CASTINE, Maine – Justin Fuller (Berkley, Mass.) rushed for 143 yards and three touchdowns to lead Bridgewater State University to a 27-0 win over Maine Maritime Academy in New England Football Conference (NEFC) Bogan Division action on Saturday. The Bears (6-2, 4-2 Bogan) defense limited the Mariners (4-4, 2-4 Bogan) to 184 yards of offense in posting the first shutout of Maine Maritime since Coast Guard pulled the feat in a 3-0 win five years and one day ago.
The shutout was the Bears' first of MMA since a 12-0 blanking in 1986. The shutout was Bridgewater State's third this season, tying the 1985 and 1988 teams for the school record. The victory was Bridgewater's fourth in as many games. Fuller reached the 2,000-career rushing yard plateau in the win and scored his 30th career touchdown. He now has 2,136 yards in his career.
Fuller got the Bears on the board late in the first quarter, breaking through on Bridgewater State's second possession for a 30-yard touchdown run. His first score finished off a drive that accounted for 87 of the Bears' 410 yards of offense on the afternoon.
Bridgewater State threatened late in the first half having gotten to first and goal on the three yardline with three seconds left in the second quarter. The Bears managed to get two plays off, but could not punch in. The teams went to the half with Bridgewater State holding a 7-0 lead, but the Mariners gave the Bears a gift early in the second half.
A fumbled exchange gave Bridgewater State the ball on Maine Maritime 30, while a personal foul on the play moved it up to the Mariners 15. Maine Maritime fumbled the ball seven times, losing it twice on Saturday. Fuller broke off 14 yards before being bumped out on the left sideline, and then finished the short drive with a one-yard plunge. A botched snap and hold led to a failed two-point attempt leaving the score at 3-0.
The Mariners were still in the game in the fourth quarter when they pieced together their second deepest foray into Bears' territory. A mishandled exchange left the ball on the Bears' 38-yardline where it was recovered by Bridgewater State. Maine Maritime had gotten as far as the Bridgewater State 27 on its second possession of the game, which ended with a Vincent Henry (Middleboro, Mass.) interception.
The teams traded punts before Bridgewater State's defense forced a turnover on downs at the MMA 41 with 4:53 remaining. Fuller broke through the right side of the Mariners defense and raced into the endzone 1:33 later, making it 20-7. On the next possession, Dillon Huber-Parker (Longmont, Colo.) intercepted a pass and went 32 yards into the end zone to make it the 27-0 final.
Maine Maritime Academy posted more passing yards than rushing yards in the game, gaining 98 yards through the air and 86 on the ground. Ben Violette (Waterville, Maine) completed 7-of-19 attempts for 98 yards.
In addition to his interception, Henry broke up a pass. Ryan Connolly (Norfolk, Mass.) broke up a pair of passes for Bridgewater State. Eddie Jewel (Amherst, Mass.) and Alex Monteiro (Portsmouth, R.I.) led all Bears tacklers with seven stops apiece. Jewel had five solo stops, while Monteiro recorded four.
Maine Maritime's linebacking corps did solid work with three players finishing in double-digits in tackles. Joel Chadbourne (Westbrook, Maine) posted a dozen stops including seven solo tackles. Brock Lawrence (Benton, Maine) had 11 tackles with four solo stops to his credit. Frank True's (Harpswell, Maine) 10 tackles included six solos and a sack.
Bridgewater shuffled between two quarterbacks, Mike McCarthy (Edgartown, Mass.) and Caleb Gelsomino (North Scituate, R.I.). McCarthy completed 6-of-10 passes for 72 yard, while rushing for 84 yards on 14 carries. Gelsomino went 4-of-7 for 72 yards. He threw an interception to Matthew Rende (Augusta, Maine), the Mariners' quarterback turned quarterback because of injury. Rende recorded six tackles.
The Bears return to action next week against Massachusetts Maritime Academy, while the Mariners will close out the regular season against the Coast Guard Academy at Ritchie Field.
Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Score
Bridgewater State 7 0 6 14 27 Record: (6-2,4-2)
Maine Maritime 0 0 0 0 0 Record: (4-4,2-4)
1st 03:19 BSU Justin Fuller 30 yd run (Jarred Diorio kick), 7-87 3:40, BSU 7 - MEM 0
3rd 12:42 BSU Justin Fuller 1 yd run (Dillon Huber-Parker pass failed), 3-15 1:06, BSU 13 - MEM 0
4th 03:20 BSU Justin Fuller 32 yd run (Jarred Diorio kick), 3-41 1:33, BSU 20 - MEM 0
01:51 BSU Dillon Huber-Parker 32 yd interception return (Jarred Diorio kick), , BSU 27 - MEM 0
FIRST DOWNS 24 13
RUSHES-YARDS (NET) 53-266 38-86
PASSING YDS (NET) 144 98
Passes Att-Comp-Int 18-10-1 19-7-2
TOTAL OFFENSE PLAYS-YARDS 71-410 57-184
Fumble Returns-Yards 0-0 0-0
Punt Returns-Yards 0-0 1-15
Kickoff Returns-Yards 0-0 5-101
Interception Returns-Yards 2-33 1-7
Punts (Number-Avg) 2-33.5 4-34.2
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 7-2
Penalties-Yards 7-70 6-75
Possession Time 35:29 24:31
Third-Down Conversions 6 of 13 2 of 12
Fourth-Down Conversions 0 of 2 0 of 3
Red-Zone Scores-Chances 1-6 0-0
Sacks By: Number-Yards 1-4 1-11
RUSHING: Bridgewater State-Justin Fuller 18-143; Mike McCarthy 14-84; Blaise Branch 13-40; Chris Constantine 8-minus 1. Maine Maritime-Nick Bourassa 8-45; Cameron Panciera 4-17; Bradley Reed 2-15; Ian Champeon 4-10; Ben Violette 17-1; Matthew Rende 3-minus 2.
PASSING: Bridgewater State-Mike McCarthy 6-10-0-72; Caleb Gelsomino 4-7-1-72; Dillon Huber-Parker 0-1-0-0. Maine Maritime-Ben Violette 7-19-2-98.
RECEIVING: Bridgewater State-Jake Scott 3-34; Chris Constantine 2-28; Nick Pistacchio 1-26; Matthew Green 1-20; Justin Fuller 1-17; Matt Monahan 1-11; Michael Murphy 1-8. Maine Maritime-Nate Duford 2-31; Spencer Bowring 2-28; Michael Brennan 2-26; Cameron Panciera 1-13.
INTERCEPTIONS: Bridgewater State-Dillon Huber-Parker 1-32; Vincent Henry 1-1. Maine Maritime-Matthew Rende 1-7.
FUMBLES: Bridgewater State-None. Maine Maritime-Ben Violette 4-2; Bradley Reed 1-0; Ian Champeon 1-0; Matthew Rende 1-0.
SACKS (UA-A): Bridgewater State-Tate Doehler 1-0. Maine Maritime-Frank True 1-0.
TACKLES (UA-A): Bridgewater State-Eddie Jewel 5-2; Alex Monteiro 4-3; Justin Cruz 4-2; Ryan Connolly 3-2; Paul Melicharek 4-0; Dillon Huber-Parker 4-0; Brian Smith 3-0; Tate Doehler 2-1; Mike Nazzaro 1-2; Chris Lora 2-0; Jacob Curren 1-1; Matt MacFadzen 1-1; Justin Fuller 1-1; Anthony Ferzoco 1-0; David Silvia 1-0; Vincent Henry 1-0; Rich Torres 0-1; Jarred Diorio 0-1; Adam Ledoux 0-1. Maine Maritime-Joel Chadbourne 7-5; Brock Lawrence 4-7; Frank True 6-4; Ryan Williams 5-4; Wade Severance 5-3; Matthew Rende 2-4; Michael Burgess 1-4; Andrew Hammond 1-3; John Regis 1-3; Alex Hermes 3-0; Chris Brawn 2-1.