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Gustafson Scores Four, Trudel's Late Keeper Lifts Massachusetts Maritime To Wild 54-53 Win At Western Connecticut

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MASSACHUSETTS MARITIME FOOTBALL

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Westside Athletic Complex, Danbury, Conn.

 

FINAL:                   MASSACHUSETTS MARITIME 54, WESTERN CONNECTICUT 53

 

DANBURY, Conn. --  Junior John Trudel's (Niantic, Conn.) three-yard touchdown run with four minutes remaining proved to be the winning score as Massachusetts Maritime received a career-high 235 rushing yards and a school record-tying four touchdowns from senior Stefan Gustafson (Plymouth, Mass.) and held on in the closing minutes to post a wild 54-53 Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference football victory over Western Connecticut Saturday afternoon at the Westide Athletic Complex.

 

After the two teams exchanged fumbles on their opening drives, Gustafson staked the visiting Buccaneers (3-2, 2-2 MASCAC) to an early lead with a three-yard run 5:14 into the contest, but the host Colonials (3-2, 2-2 MASCAC) answered with a nine-play drive that was capped by a 15-yard touchdown run by senior Octavias McKoy (Stratford, Conn.).  Gustafson then broke off the third longest touchdown run in Massachusetts Maritime history of 87 yards to give the visitors a 14-7 lead with 3:12 to play in the opening frame, and the Buccaneers extended that margin to 21-7 after junior Kevin Stanton (Abington, Mass.) intercepted a pass on his own 37 and turned the ball over to senior quarterback Mike Stanton (Quincy, Mass.), who connected on a 33-yard scoring strike to junior E.J. Bennett (East Wareham, Mass.) four plays later.

McKoy's 13-yard run early in the second stanza brought Western Connecticut back to within eight and 21-13, as a blocked extra point by Buccaneer junior Brad Skeffington (Salem, Mass.) would prove to be crucial later in the game, and the Colonials closed back to within one midway through the quarter when junior quarterback Will Arndt (Newtown, Conn.) connected with sophomore Connor Falaguerra (Milford, Conn.) on an eight-yard touchdown pass to cap a 10-play, 71-yard drive.  After trading punts, Gustafson's third score of the day from seven yards out gave Massachusetts Maritime a 28-20 lead with 1:43 remaining in the half, but McKoy answered with his third visit to the end zone of the afternoon for Western Connecticut from a yard out for a 28-27 Buccaneer advantage at the break.

 

The Colonials erased their 14-point deficit and turned that margin into a 13-point lead on their first two possessions after intermission, as McKoy's four touchdown run of the day (a 1-yard plunge) gave the hosts a 34-28 lead, and an Arndt-to-Falaguerra 14-yard scoring connection just 2:38 later extended that margin to 41-28.  Gustafson responded with his fourth rushing touchdown of the contest from nine yards out on the ensuing Massachusetts Maritime possession that enabled the visitors to close back to within 41-35, and following a punt by the hosts, Mike Stanton directed the Buccaneers on a 16-play, 70-yard drive that consumed six minutes and was capped when Trudel found Bennett from four yards out for a 42-41 Massachusetts Maritime lead seven seconds into the final frame.

 

Arndt continued the see-saw battle by hooking up with sophomore Brandon Johnson (Montville, Conn.) on a 34-yard touchdown pass with 9:31 remaining and a 47-42 Colonial lead, but Mike Stanton answered back with a 47-yard scoring strike to senior Keith Caruso (Hingham, Mass.) on the ensuing Buccaneer possession to give the visitors a one-point edge once again at 48-47.  McKoy's school-record fifth rushing touchdown of the day, his third from a yard out, provided Western Connecticut with its final lead of the day at 53-48 with 5:42 to play, but Massachusetts Maritime responded in the back-and-forth affair that saw the teams combine for 16 total touchdowns on its next possession, as Mike Stanton connected with junior Jonathon Wright (Newburyport, Mass.) on a 51-yard pass that set up Trudel's winning score.  The Colonials took possession on their own 45 yard line after that plunge and drove to the Buccaneer 11 with one minute remaining, and a potential game-winning field goal attempt by junior Mike Killoran (West Hartford, Conn.) from 28 yards out sailed wide left, allowing the visitors to run out the clock.

 

Gustafson, who has gone over the 200-yard mark in three of his last four contests, tied the Massachusetts Maritime record of four rushing touchdowns set originally by Mike Quinn against Framingham State on October 28, 1978 and subsequently tied by Steve Crowley in 1982 and Kevin Piecewicz in 1992.  Mike Stanton completed 22-of-33 pass attempts for 349 yards and extended his school career touchdown passes mark to 43 for the Buccaneers, as Bennett hauled in seven connections for 83 yards and Caruso added six receptions for 153 yards to close to within 38 yards of matching Tim Quinn's school career receiving yards mark of 1,733 set from 1981-83.  Trudel has now run 70 total plays on offense this season (39 rushing, 31 passing) and has accounted for 12 touchdowns for Massachusetts Maritime, which entered the day ranked third nationally in Division III in total offense at 589.3 yards per game and amassed 676 yards (378 passing, 298 rushing), the fifth highest single game total in school history.  The visitors ran 97 total plays on the day and have now run 309 plays in their last 12 quarters of action, including an NCAA Division III record 121 plays in a 64-63 setback at Worcester State on September 28th.

 

In addition to setting Western Connecticut's single-game rushing touchdowns mark, McKoy also set a Colonial record with 372 rushing yards on 42 carries, as he accounted 61 percent of the hosts' 606 yards of total offense.  Arndt completed 14-of-22 pass attempts for 170 yards to go with his three scores in the setback, as Falaguerra hauled in six receptions for 72 yards.

 

Senior Michael Sylvia (Lincoln, Mass.) and junior Kyle Espindola (Dartmouth, Mass.) each recorded eight tackles to lead the way defensively for Massachusetts Maritime, as Skeffington recorded a career-high seven total tackles while forcing and recovering a fumble, notching a pass break-up and blocking an extra point on the day for the Buccaneers, who forced three turnovers (including one at their goal line).  Graduate student Michael Lacaria (Watertown, Mass.) led Western Connecticut on the defensive side with 14 total tackles (12 solo), as today's contest was the first meeting between the two teams in 28 years (a 31-17 Colonial victory on October 19, 1985).

 

Massachusetts Maritime heads to Westfield, Mass. next Saturday afternoon to take on Westfield State in a Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference outing that kicks off at 2:00 p.m., while Western Connecticut hosts Fitchburg State in a MASCAC clash next Saturday afternoon at the Westside Athletic Complex beginning at 5:00 p.m.

Sep. 16: All times Eastern
Final
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Salve Regina 27, at Dean 0
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Massachusetts Maritime 34, at Maine Maritime 25
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Wesley 33, at TCNJ 0
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Buffalo State 53, at Morrisville State 48
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Stevenson 52, at FDU-Florham 14
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Union 31, at Gallaudet 21
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Sewanee 29, at Austin 17
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Salisbury 21, at Kean 13
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Montclair State 24, at Southern Virginia 0
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Rowan 41, at William Paterson 14
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Springfield 66, at Mount Ida 20
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UW-Platteville 38, at Hampden-Sydney 29
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DePauw 55, at Hiram 28
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at Albion 79, Concordia (Wis.) 7
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Dickinson 24, at Gettysburg 21
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at Wooster 38, Ohio Wesleyan 20
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Thiel 28, at Bethany 13
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LaGrange 39, at Methodist 30
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at Wabash 62, Kenyon 7
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King's 44, at Lebanon Valley 39
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at Alfred 24, Utica 17
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Maryville (Tenn.) 56, at Emory and Henry 46
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Averett 19, at Ferrum 7
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at Catholic 25, Randolph-Macon 20
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Susquehanna 14, at Muhlenberg 11
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at Cortland 31, Hartwick 30
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Brevard 63, at Greensboro 7
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Ithaca 24, at St. Lawrence 13
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at St. Scholastica 48, Westminster (Mo.) 18
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MacMurray 48, at Crown 34
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Eureka 48, at Minnesota-Morris 20
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UW-Whitewater 40, at Washington U. 21
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at Widener 34, Misericordia 21
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Heidelberg 40, at Ohio Northern 21
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Carnegie Mellon 30, at Waynesburg 20
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Mount Union 69, at Marietta 3
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at Centre 52, Hendrix 42
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Albright 21, at Lycoming 17
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Bluffton 32, at Mount St. Joseph 31
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SUNY-Maritime 38, at Merchant Marine 31
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Concordia-Chicago 41, at Kalamazoo 29
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John Carroll 24, at Baldwin Wallace 21
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at Otterbein 56, Wilmington 28
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Trinity (Texas) 28, at Millsaps 26
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Gustavus Adolphus 42, at Augsburg 37
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Coe 35, at Nebraska Wesleyan 25
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Wartburg 40, at Simpson 31
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Elmhurst 23, at North Park 20
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at Hardin-Simmons 55, Louisiana College 10
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UW-River Falls 30, at Missouri Baptist 3
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at Whitworth 53, La Verne 0
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St. Thomas 63, at Carleton 0
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Denison 62, at Allegheny 26
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Lewis and Clark 40, at Pomona-Pitzer 29
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at Wittenberg 34, Oberlin 0
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Final
at Western Connecticut 37, Plymouth State 29
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Final
Washington and Lee 24, at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 14
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Cancelled
Warner at Pacific Lutheran
Video Recap Live stats
Final
Cal Lutheran 28, at Willamette 13
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Mary Hardin-Baylor 24, at Linfield 3
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Final
at George Fox 13, Redlands 10
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at Mass-Dartmouth 51, Westfield State 26
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at Castleton 28, Norwich 14
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at Berry 34, Rhodes 13
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Final
Brockport 38, at St. John Fisher 7
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at WPI 38, Becker 0
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at Adrian 62, Rockford 7
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Frostburg State 33, at Christopher Newport 30
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at Hobart 56, Shenandoah 30
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Final
at Case Western Reserve 42, Grove City 10
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at Davidson 42, Guilford 21
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at Bridgewater 52, The Apprentice School 0
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at Washington and Jefferson 37, Thomas More 29
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at North Central (Ill.) 26, Illinois Wesleyan 13
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at McMurry 33, Howard Payne 21
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at Wheaton (Ill.) 37, Carthage 14
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at Texas Lutheran 37, Belhaven 0
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at Carroll 28, Augustana 25
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St. Vincent 31, at Geneva 27
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East Texas Baptist 28, at Southwestern 10
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Cancelled
Pacific at Occidental
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Sep. 16: All times Eastern
Final
Wesley 33, at TCNJ 0
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at Johns Hopkins 37, Moravian 7
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at Alfred 24, Utica 17
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UW-Platteville 38, at Hampden-Sydney 29
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Mount Union 69, at Marietta 3
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John Carroll 24, at Baldwin Wallace 21
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Final
at Hardin-Simmons 55, Louisiana College 10
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Final
St. John's 56, at St. Olaf 7
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Final
at Concordia-Moorhead 31, Bethel 7
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Final
at Whitworth 53, La Verne 0
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Final
St. Thomas 63, at Carleton 0
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Final
at Wittenberg 34, Oberlin 0
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Final
Mary Hardin-Baylor 24, at Linfield 3
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Final
at George Fox 13, Redlands 10
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Final
Brockport 38, at St. John Fisher 7
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Final
Frostburg State 33, at Christopher Newport 30
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Final
at Case Western Reserve 42, Grove City 10
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Final
at Washington and Jefferson 37, Thomas More 29
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at Wheaton (Ill.) 37, Carthage 14
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Final
at North Central (Ill.) 26, Illinois Wesleyan 13
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