MASSACHUSETTS MARITIME FOOTBALL
Saturday, October 29, 2011
Alumni Field, Westfield, Mass.
FINAL: WESTFIELD STATE 11, MASSACHUSETTS MARITIME 0
1 2 3 4 Total
Massachusetts Maritime (5-3, 3-3 NEFC) 0 0 0 0 - 0
Westfield State (4-5, 3-3 NEFC) 8 3 0 0 - 11
WES: Michael Mercadante 1 yd run (Anthony Laramee pass from Dylan Smith) 8:41 1st
WES: Kennan Startzell 20 yd FG 7:18 2nd
WESTFIELD, Mass. -- Freshman Michael Mercadante (Wilbraham, Mass.) rushed for 74 yards and the game's only touchdown as Westfield State forced seven turnovers in snowy conditions to notch an 11-0 New England Football Conference Bogan Division victory over Massachusetts Maritime Saturday afternoon at Alumni Field.
The host Owls (4-5, 3-3 NEFC Bogan) took the opening kickoff and drove 59 yards on 12 plays over the first 6:19 of play, as Mercadante's one-yard plunge was followed by a two-point conversion pass from senior Dylan Smith (Worcester, Mass.) to fellow senior Anthony Laramee (Wilbraham, Mass.). Westfield State capitalized on the visiting Buccaneers' (5-3, 3-3 NEFC Bogan) second fumble of the day at midfield early in the second quarter, as the Owls drove to the Massachusetts Maritime six-yard line before settling for a 20-yard field goal from junior Kennan Startzell (Rockland, Mass.), which proved to be the final points of the day. The Buccaneers had three punts and three lost fumbles in their six first half possessions, and after driving to the Westfield State 25-yard line with the second half kickoff, the visitors lost the ball on downs and proceeded to commit four additional second half turnovers, including a pair at the Owl 29 and 18 yard lines in the final 4:28 of action. Massachusetts Maritime's defense, which forced nine total turnovers in last Saturday's 34-6 Admiral's Cup victory over Maine Maritime, forced 10 Westfield State punts in the wintry conditions, including six straight on possessions after Startzell's field goal, as the Owls controlled the ball for over 32 minutes and did not commit a turnover on the day.
Westfield State amassed only 152 yards of total offense on the day as compared to 267 for Massachusetts Maritime, as senior quarterback Tyler Dow (Franklin, Mass.) passed for 74 yards for the Owls, including three connections with junior Kevin Parnell (Berlin, Conn.) for 41 yards. Senior Matt White (Westwood, Mass.) gained nearly as many yards on the ground for the Buccaneers as Westfield State had for the contest, as he posted his sixth career 100-yard rushing performance with 126 yards on 23 carries for the visitors, who also received 51 rushing yards from junior Barry Reopell (South Dennis, Mass.). Sophomore quarterback Mike Stanton (Quincy, Mass.) threw for 117 yards for Massachusetts Maritime, including six hook-ups with sophomore Keith Caruso (Hingham, Mass.) for 49 yards, as the visitors saw their three-game winning streak come to an end.
Sophomore Kevin Duffy (Natick, Mass.) paced Westfield State defensively with seven total tackles, including six solo stops and a sack, while junior Dan Dowling (Stoneham, Mass.) added five total tackles and a pair of fumble recoveries for the Owls. Senior Mike Bois (Lakeville, Mass.) notched a game-high nine total tackles, including five solo stops and a sack, to lead Massachusetts Maritime defensively, as sophomore Sheldon Roper (Sharpsbury, Ga.) and junior Nick Mazurkiewicz (Attleboro, Mass.) also posted nine tackles each for the Buccaneers, who also received seven stops from senior Walter Butler (Bourne, Mass.).
Massachusetts Maritime closes out its 2011 slate next Saturday afternoon by heading to Bridgewater, Mass. to take on Bridgewater State in the 33rd Annual Cranberry Bowl Presented By Ocean Spray that kicks off at Noon, while Westfield State closes out its 2011 campaign next Saturday afternoon by heading to Fitchburg, Mass. to take on Fitchburg State in a New England Football Conference Bogan Division match-up that kicks off at 1:30 p.m.