CASTINE, Maine -- Maine Maritime exploded for a 42-26 halftime lead but Anna Maria scored the games final 29 points to mount an monumental second-half comeback to beat the Mariners 55-49 in a non-conference football game Saturday. The AMCATS were backboned by junior Robert Small's 240 yards on the ground and four touchdowns while freshman Gregory McGoldrick was 12-of-19 for 161 yards and one touchdown.
Maine Maritime rushed for 532 yards, which included all of MMA's seven scores, while the AMCATS passed for 210 yards and ran for 322. Anna Maria improved to 1-1, while the Mariners fell to 0-1.
AMC set a new team record for points scored with the 55 point outburst; the former record of 52 points was set in 2011.
Michael Fahey ran for 217 yards and scored four times for Maine Maritime and Billy Wetherbee added 170 yards on the ground and two scores.
The Mariners held a 49-47 lead with about two and half minutes left to play when Anna Maria started a drive on their own 49. Facing third-and-14, McGoldrick was sacked by Cody Chapman setting up fourth and long. McGoldrick fired a pass, intended for Josh Sundquist, that sailed out of bounds but an official called Matt Clifford for a controversial unsportsmanlike conduct call for bumping into Sundquist when he was out of bounds. Three plays later, McGoldrick hooked up with Sundquist on a 29-yard touchdown pass. McGoldrick two-point pass to William Ricard put the AMCATS up for good, 55-49.
That score was one of four unanswered touchdowns by Anna Maria in the final quarter and a half of play. Small scored on a run 32 and had a pair of 3-yard scoring plunges to set up the AMCATS final score. Anna Maria trailed 49-26 before its four unanswered scores.
The Mariners went ahead early in the first quarter when Chapman stripped Small of the ball on the game's second play of the game. Frank True scooped the loose ball and raced 20 yards to give Maine Maritime a 7-0 lead.
Small and Co. rebounded on the AMCATS next possession when John LaMothe threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to Small. Johnny Weymouth blocked the PAT to keep the Mariners ahead 7-6 with 12:53 left in the opening quarter.
Fahey gave Maine Maritime a 14-6 lead when he sprinted to end zone on a 41-yard run. Anna Maria answered on the ensuing possession when LaMothe found Justin Ennis from 12 yards out to get the AMCATS within one, 14-13, with 9:39 left in the first.
Fahey and Wetherbee combined for three scores over the next 15 minutes to put Maine Maritime ahead 35-13 with 5:13 left before the half. Fahey scored on runs of 48 and 1 and Wetherbee plunged into the end zone from a yard out. Christopher Bettano made it 35-20 on the ensuing kickoff when he raced 94 yards to paydirt. Bettano's return set an AMCATS record for longest kick return, Kevin McCoy previously held the record return of 69 yards set in 2010.
Fahey and Small traded scores in the final two minutes of the first half to make 49-26 at the break. Fahey scored on a one-yard run and Small reached the end zone after an 80-yard run.
Wetherbee opened the second half with 36-yard run to put the Mariners ahead 49-33 before Anna Maria made its comeback.
Tony Valente paced AMCAT defense with thirteen total tackles, including a record setting three forced fumbles and one tackle for loss. Senior Jordan Koehler also had double-digit (11) tackles while Mike Kennedy and Billy Bishop each had six tackles.
The AMCATS set or tied eleven records in the game. Bobby Small's 30 points scored and 5 touchdowns shattered the records of 18 and 3 respectively, set last season by alumni Dom Concepcion.
The AMCATS are off next Saturday and will head to Catholic University on Saturday September 28 for a 1:00pm tilt.