Records Fall As Worcester State Uses Score On Game's Final Play To Edge Massachusetts Maritime, 64-63
MASSACHUSETTS MARITIME FOOTBALL
Saturday, September 28, 2013
Coughlin Field, Worcester, Mass.
FINAL: WORCESTER STATE 64, MASSACHUSETTS MARITIME 63
WORCESTER, Mass. -- Junior quarterback Kevin Bumpus (Bridgewater, Mass.) connected with sophomore Aaron Witkus (Chelmsford, Mass.) on a 15-yard touchdown pass as time expired to lead Worcester State to a wild and record-setting 64-63 Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference football victory over Massachusetts Maritime Saturday afternoon at Coughlin Field.
Bumpus came off the bench and threw for 333 yards and five touchdowns while adding a two-yard scoring run for the host Lancers (3-1, 1-1 MASCAC), who combined with the visiting Buccaneers (2-1, 0-1 MASCAC) to set an NCAA Division III single game record with 230 plays. The two squads combined for 127 points (11 shy of the NCAA Division III record), including a school-record 63 by Massachusetts Maritime, which also set the NCAA Division III records for most plays (121) and first downs (44) in a contest featured nearly 1,400 yards of total offense (1,385) and 18 touchdowns.
Bumpus began his heroics late in the second quarter with Worcester State trailing 41-14, as he directed the Lancers to touchdowns on their next six ensuing possessions in less than a quarter of game time. Bumpus hooked up with junior Dana Barry (Hudson, Mass.) on a 60-yard strike before finding fellow junior Jack Sprague (Maynard, Mass.) on a five-yard connection in the closing seconds of the half that sliced the hosts' deficit to 41-29. Bumpus directed his squad to scores on all four possessions they had in the third quarter, as his two-yard scamper enabled Worcester State to creep back to within five before junior Dana Valentine's (Roxbury, Mass.) five-yard run gave the Lancers a 43-41 lead midway through the frame. Two more Bumpus touchdown tosses, one of 38 yards to Barry and the other of 18 yards to Valentine, came in a 3:40 span late in the quarter that gave the hosts a 58-41 advantage.
Massachusetts Maritime answered back with four straight scores of its own when the fourth quarter began, as senior Stefan Gustafson (Plymouth, Mass.) hauled in a 54-yard touchdown from senior quarterback Mike Stanton (Quincy, Mass.) to get the Buccaneers back to within 10 just 28 seconds into the frame, and freshman Ryan Quinn (North Andover, Mass.) followed with his first career field goal from 27 yards out less than three minutes later to slice Worcester State's lead to 58-51. The Lancers used an interception by sophomore Brian Gencarelli (Niantic, Conn.) at the Massachusetts Maritime 31 to set themselves up for another scoring chance, but their field goal attempt was blocked at the line to give the visitors possession once again with 6:45 remaining.
The Buccaneers drove 87 yards on 13 plays and crept back to within one on junior John Trudel's (Niantic, Conn.) four-yard run, and after the extra point attempt was missed, Massachusetts Maritime recovered an onside kick with 3:40 to play trailing by one. The visitors then regained the lead for the final time at 63-58 eight plays later on Trudel's 13-yard run, giving the hosts the ball on their own 42 yard line on the ensuing kickoff with 1:04 remaining. Bumpus then drove the Lancers to the Buccaneer 15 yard line and faced a 3rd-and-8 with just six seconds remaining, as he hit Witkus for the winning touchdown to cap the wild affair.
Massachusetts Maritime raced out to an early 13-0 lead when Stanton connected on a pair of touchdown passes with junior E.J. Bennett (East Wareham, Mass.), the first from 32 yards out just 48 seconds into the contest and the second from 23 yards out midway through the opening quarter. Worcester State closed back to within six when junior quarterback Pat Viencek (Bernardston, Mass.) hit junior Casey Hippert (Douglas, Mass.) on a six-yard scoring strike, but Bennett extended the Buccaneer advantage to 20-7 on the opening play of the second quarter when he hauled in his third touchdown of the game, a seven-yard pass from Trudel. Viencek hooked up with senior AJ Scerra (Marlboro, Mass.) on a 36-yard touchdown on the ensuing Lancer possession, but the visitors used three scores in a 4:17 span to extend their lead to 41-14, as Trudel and Gustafson scampered in from four and six yards out, respectively, and after Viencek had driven the hosts deep into Massachusetts Maritime territory, Buccaneer junior Kevin Stanton (Abington, Mass.) picked off the Lancer quarterback's pass at his own goal line and returned it 100 yards to set a school record and tie the NCAA Division III record with 5:25 to play in the half, setting the stage for Bumpus's heroics that led to a 44-point swing in 15-plus minutes.
Bumpus completed 22-of-33 attempts for that 333 yard total to go with his five touchdowns for Worcester State, as Barry (seven receptions, 158 yards), Scerra (11 receptions, 118 yards) and Hippert (8 receptions, 105 yards) combined for 26 catches and 281 receiving yards. Valentine rushed for 126 yards on 29 carries to go with his score for the Lancers, who amassed 663 yards of total offense and 35 first downs.
Gustafson rushed for a career-high 223 yards on 39 carries and finished the day with 298 all-purpose yards for Massachusetts Maritime, as he has now rushed for 1,192 career yards in just 10 games as a running back dating back to last season. Mike Stanton completed 31-of-49 attempts for 365 yards to go with his three scores for the Buccaneers, as Trudel ran 17 plays, amassed 84 yards of total offense and accounted for four touchdowns (three rushing) for a second straight week. In three games to date, Trudel has run 38 plays, collected 163 yards of total offense and accounted for nine touchdowns, an average of 1.42 points per play. Bennett shattered the school single-game receptions record of 12 set shared by senior Keith Caruso (Hingham, Mass.) and Tim Quinn with 17 catches for 188 yards and his three touchdowns, as Massachusetts Maritime's previous single-game scoring record came in a 57 point performance at Fitchburg State on October 24, 2009. The Buccaneers' 722 yards of total offense was the third highest single-game mark in school history, but the visitors hurt themselves with four turnovers, including a pick at the goal line as the first half ended.
The previous NCAA record for most plays was 112 by Gustavus Adolphus in a game against Bethel (Minn.) on November 2, 1985, and that same contest had produced the previous Division III mark for most combined plays (214). Massachusetts Maritime's 44 first downs topped the previous Division III record of 40 shared by Mount Union (vs. Marietta, October 15, 2005) and Upper Iowa (vs. Loras, November 7, 1992).
Junior Zack Skerry (Milford, Mass.) paced Worcester State defensively with 13 total tackles (11 solo), while Gencarelli picked off a pair of passes and notched 11 total stops (eight solo) for the Lancers. Junior Victor Andrade (Yarmouthport, Mass.) recorded 10 solo stops to pace Massachusetts Maritime, while fellow junior Reynard Ortiz (Lowell, Mass.) joined Kevin Stanton with an interception for the Buccaneers.
Both teams will take on Fitchburg State in their next Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference outings, as Massachusetts Maritime hosts the Falcons next Saturday afternoon at Clean Harbors Stadium beginning at 1:00 p.m. while Worcester State heads to Fitchburg, Mass. in two weeks on Saturday, October 12th for a 1:30 p.m. kickoff.