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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. 23: All times Eastern
Final
at Framingham State 50, Massachusetts Maritime 7
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Muhlenberg 56, at Juniata 40
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at Dean 25, Becker 10
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Salisbury 27, at TCNJ 7
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MIT 38, at Catholic 21
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Merchant Marine 56, at Maine Maritime 31
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at Hobart 34, Endicott 17
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Final
at Morrisville State 44, Nichols 22
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at Delaware Valley 27, Stevenson 7
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at Albright 9, Widener 7
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Christopher Newport 16, at Montclair State 8
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at Westminster (Pa.) 41, Bethany 14
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Middlebury 41, at Bowdoin 14
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Williams 24, at Colby 7
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Amherst 36, at Hamilton 6
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Ursinus 35, at Moravian 17
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Trinity (Conn.) 51, at Bates 0
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Final
at LaGrange 38, Brevard 28
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Geneva 33, at Thiel 24
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Final
at Plymouth State 37, Mass-Dartmouth 7
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Kean 28, at Southern Virginia 14
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Frostburg State 24, at Rowan 10
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Final
Union 17, at Curry 14
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at Carnegie Mellon 37, Thomas More 17
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Lycoming 44, at King's 41
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at Western New England 21, Husson 14
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Johns Hopkins 41, at Dickinson 10
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Final
at DePauw 51, Wooster 24
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at Ohio Wesleyan 37, Allegheny 21
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at Misericordia 43, Wilkes 14
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at Alfred 45, Rochester 7
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Wesley 66, at William Paterson 0
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Final
at N.C. Wesleyan 35, Maryville (Tenn.) 25
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Huntingdon 31, at Ferrum 28
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Final - OT
at McDaniel 27, Gettysburg 20
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at Buffalo State 33, RPI 21
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Final
Franklin and Marshall 27, at Susquehanna 24
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at Denison 45, Oberlin 17
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Final
at Northwestern (Minn.) 10, Westminster (Mo.) 7
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at Eureka 44, Crown 20
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Final
at Lebanon Valley 24, FDU-Florham 14
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at Heidelberg 47, John Carroll 21
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Final
at Ohio Northern 35, Otterbein 7
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Final
at Mount Union 55, Baldwin Wallace 7
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Final
at Rose-Hulman 37, Defiance 14
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Final
at Marietta 49, Muskingum 25
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Franklin 59, at Bluffton 30
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at Hanover 64, Anderson 21
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Final
Mount St. Joseph 31, at Manchester 14
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Final
Worcester State 34, at Westfield State 10
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Coast Guard 13, at Norwich 9
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at Fitchburg State 31, Bridgewater State 29
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Final
Wittenberg 48, at Kenyon 11
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at Wabash 25, Hiram 21
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North Central (Ill.) 51, at Millikin 21
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Final
at Millsaps 17, Sewanee 13
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Final
at Rhodes 35, Birmingham-Southern 9
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Final
at Hendrix 36, Austin 24
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at Martin Luther 34, Greenville 20
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Final - OT
at Trinity (Texas) 41, Chapman 35
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Final
at Loras 73, Buena Vista 34
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at Wartburg 30, Washington U. 20
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Final
at Gustavus Adolphus 51, Hamline 7
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Augsburg 48, at Carleton 28
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at Bethel 64, St. Olaf 7
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at Luther 21, Dubuque 17
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Final
at Central 52, Nebraska Wesleyan 27
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Final
Simpson 38, at Coe 33
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Final
Wheaton (Ill.) 40, at Elmhurst 15
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Final
St. Norbert 66, at Grinnell 13
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Final
at Knox 13, Ripon 6
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at MacMurray 32, Iowa Wesleyan 14
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Hardin-Simmons 63, at Howard Payne 3
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Southwestern 37, at Louisiana College 34
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Monmouth 26, at Macalester 0
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at St. Thomas 20, St. John's 17
@ Target Field, Minneapolis
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Final
at Springfield 42, WPI 10
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Final
at Cornell 55, Beloit 36
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at Brockport 28, Utica 14
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Final
at Hartwick 24, St. John Fisher 21
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Final
at UW-La Crosse 41, Carroll 6
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Final
at St. Scholastica 37, Minnesota-Morris 3
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Final
at George Fox 44, UW-Eau Claire 0
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Final
at Western Connecticut 37, Salve Regina 23
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Final
at UW-Stevens Point 41, Adrian 28
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Final - OT
at Wesleyan 24, Tufts 17
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Final
at Averett 35, Methodist 6
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Final
at Berry 28, Centre 14
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Final
at Case Western Reserve 56, Waynesburg 21
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at Grove City 24, St. Vincent 14
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at Illinois Wesleyan 18, North Park 0
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at Mary Hardin-Baylor 50, Texas Lutheran 7
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Final
at UW-Platteville 56, Lakeland 22
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Final
Carthage 55, at Augustana 14
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Final
Chicago 28, at Illinois College 7
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at Sul Ross State 35, McMurry 7
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at Wilmington 37, Capital 30
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Final
Lake Forest 42, at Lawrence 26
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Final
at East Texas Baptist 79, Belhaven 40
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Final
Arizona Christian 56, at Whittier 38
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Sep. 28: All times Eastern
6:30 PM
Shenandoah at Randolph-Macon
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Sep. 29: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Delaware Valley at FDU-Florham
Sep. 23: All times Eastern
Final
at Delaware Valley 27, Stevenson 7
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Final
Wesley 66, at William Paterson 0
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Final
at Alfred 45, Rochester 7
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Final
Johns Hopkins 41, at Dickinson 10
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Final
Frostburg State 24, at Rowan 10
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Final
at Heidelberg 47, John Carroll 21
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Final
at Mount Union 55, Baldwin Wallace 7
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Final
Wittenberg 48, at Kenyon 11
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Final
at Wabash 25, Hiram 21
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Final
Hardin-Simmons 63, at Howard Payne 3
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Final
North Central (Ill.) 51, at Millikin 21
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Final
Wheaton (Ill.) 40, at Elmhurst 15
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Final
at St. Thomas 20, St. John's 17
@ Target Field, Minneapolis
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Final
at Brockport 28, Utica 14
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Final
at Case Western Reserve 56, Waynesburg 21
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Final
at Illinois Wesleyan 18, North Park 0
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at UW-Platteville 56, Lakeland 22
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Final
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 50, Texas Lutheran 7
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Sep. 29: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Delaware Valley at FDU-Florham