Paxton, MA – The Anna Maria College football team battled back from a 22-0 deficit with 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter to defeat the Husson Eagles in a triple overtime thriller by a score of 44-42 today at AMCAT Field in the season finale for both teams.
This ECFC victory brings the AMCATS to 1-6 in the conference and 2-8 overall. The Eagles drop to 2-8 on the year and 1-6 in the ECFC as well.
Today's Football game was preceded by a ceremony honoring the AMCATS' seven seniors: wide receivers Dominique Concepcion (Middlebury, CT) and David Marsh (Boston, MA), quarterback Santino Simone (Worcester, MA), kicker Jamal Mitchell (Shelton, CT), linebacker Kyle Peterson (West Boylston, MA), defensive back Dan McKenna (Rutland, MA), and outside linebacker Anthony Overmars (Fairlawn, NJ).
Santino Simone tied a record he set himself with 349 yards through the air, netting a total of four touchdown passes on a record setting 30-of-51 performance. He added an additional two TDs on the ground on 11 yards rushing. Concepcion also set a school record with three TD catches, and tied his record of 18 points in one game. He caught 13 balls for 166 yards, resulting in an average of 12.8 yards per catch.
Anna Maria had troubles finding any sort of momentum for much of the game. On their first drive, Husson scored a touchdown when freshman Taquan Broadway (Bridgeport, CT) ran the ball in to the end zone from three yards out. In the second quarter, Reece Attard (Werribee, Australia), a first year kicker, booted two field goals. The first was from 37 yards out, and the second strike came from 50 yards away. The score going in to the half was 13-0 in favor of the Eagles.
The third period saw much of the same for the AMCATS. Husson's freshman tight end Josiah Hartley (Bangor, ME) busted though a narrow hole in the line and found the end zone on a four yard rush, making the score 20-0. On the ensuing AMCATS drive, Santino Simone (Worcester, MA) was sacked in the end zone by defensive lineman Godfrey Taylor (Hollis, NY). This safety brought the score to 22-0 in favor of the Eagles.
The fourth quarter was when everything turned around for the AMCATS. Faced with a 4th and 11 from their own 21 yard line, the AMCATS were in punt formation but instead the ball was snapped directly to freshman QB Samuel Hickey (Poughkeepsie, NY) who delivered a 15 yard pass to Dan McKenna for the first down. With 9:55 left on the clock, Simone connected with Concepcion on a 9 yard pass for the first Anna Maria score.
After holding the Eagles to four and out and capitalizing on a Husson penalty the AMCATS drive started at their 31 yard line. Simone opened up with a 12 yard rush to the AMCAT 43, then he connected on three-of-four pass plays culminating with a 28 yard strike toConcepcion, narrowing the gap to 8 points.
The game-tying drive was filled with some intense moments. Anna Maria started at AMCAT 29 yard line with 4 minutes remaining. Santino hit Concepcion for two receptions and Bobby Small rushed for a yard and the AMCATS were sitting at the Husson 40 yard line at 1st and 10 when Eagles Earnest Wiggins sacked Simone for a 10-yard loss. Faced with 4th and 20 from the 50 Husson was assessed a 15 yard pass interference call giving the AMCATS a fresh set of downs and excellent field position. A few plays later, Concepcion caught his third and final TD of the day when Simone placed a 13 yard pass perfectly in the end zone.
The two point conversion attempt to tie the game was another trick play in the form of a double handoff reverse. Concepcion ended up with the ball and looked as if he was about to try and carry it, but instead planted his feet and tossed the ball to Simone, who had broken open in the end zone. This play tied up the game at 22 apiece, and took us in to overtime.
Husson had the ball first in overtime. Broadway ran the ball 4 yards in to the end zone for the Eagles, giving them the 29-22 edge. Simone of the AMCATS matched the Eagles, delivering a touchdown on the ground of his own.
In the second overtime period, Simone found freshman wide out Donald Graham (Stratford, CT) to give the AMCATS a 36-29 edge. Senior QB Kash Keezer (Veazie, ME) tied the game up with a TD throw to Ben Foss (Wales, ME), a junior wide receiver.
The Eagles opened up the third and final overtime with possession of the ball. Broadwaybroke loose for a 22 yard touchdown rush. On the two point conversion Keezer was stopped just short of the goal line by the AMCATS defense.
With one last chance to score, the AMCATS scored with two plays. First Small rushed for 13 yards to the Husson 12 and the Simone ran it into the endzone to tie the game up. The ensuing two point conversion play was a pass. Simone placed a beautiful pass to the left outside shoulder of Graham, who made an incredibly athletic one handed leaping catch to give the AMCATS the 44-42 victory.
The AMCATS ended the season on quite an incredible note. This is the perfect way to end a year, and the seniors can hold their heads up high knowing that they played such an instrumental part in not only todays' win, but have also in paving the way for the future success of the Anna Maria Football Program.