MASSACHUSETTS MARITIME FOOTBALL
35th Annual Cranberry Bowl Presented By Ocean Spray
Saturday, November 16, 2013
Clean Harbors Stadium, Buzzards Bay, Mass.
FINAL: BRIDGEWATER STATE 45, MASSACHUSETTS MARITIME 20
BUZZARDS BAY, Mass. -- Senior quarterback Mike McCarthy (Edgartown, Mass.) amassed 402 yards of total offense and accounted for three touchdowns to earn his third straight Lee Harrington Most Valuable Player Trophy in leading Bridgewater State to a 45-20 victory over Massachusetts Maritime in the 35th Annual Cranberry Bowl Presented By Ocean Spray Saturday afternoon at Clean Harbors Stadium.
The visiting Bears, who close out their season at 6-4 overall and 5-3 in Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference play, capitalized on a pair of interceptions to take a 14-0 advantage late in the opening quarter, as McCarthy scampered in from five yards out midway through the frame before hooking up with junior Matt Green (Stoughton, Mass.) on a 33-yard scoring strike with 12 seconds to play in the stanza. The host Buccaneers, who finished the year at 5-5 overall and 3-5 in MASCAC action, evened matters at the break with a pair of second quarter touchdowns, as junior John Trudel (Niantic, Conn.) scored from three yards out less than three minutes into the frame before finding senior David Wilson (Weare, N.H.) from eight yards out with 2:31 remaining in the half for the tying touchdown.
Bridgewater State took control of the contest with 17 unanswered points in less than four minutes midway through the third quarter, as junior Jarred Diorio (Kingston, N.H.) capped a 13-play drive that consumed the first 6:13 after intermission with a 27-yard field goal, and senior Mike Gentili (Leominster, Mass.) extended that margin to 24-14 on the ensuing possession when he scooped an interception off his shoe tops and ran the pick-six back 33 yards. Following a Massachusetts Maritime punt, junior Blaise Branch's (Brockton, Mass.) 40-yard touchdown run with 4:46 remaining in the quarter gave the Bears a 31-14 lead, and after the Buccaneers crept back to within 11 with 6:14 to play in the game on an 18-yard scoring pass from senior quarterback Mike Stanton (Quincy, Mass.) to fellow senior Stefan Gustafson (Plymouth, Mass.), the visitors recovered an onside kick that led to McCarthy's second touchdown run of the day from six yards out just 48 seconds later. Gentili iced Bridgewater State's 26th Cranberry Bowl triumph with a 23-yard run with 2:12 to play that capped the scoring for the contest.
McCarthy completed 20-of-30 pass attempts for 273 yards to set the Bears' career passing yards mark of 4,672, breaking the previous record of 4,628 held by Dan Maurer from 1996-99. He also became the second Bridgewater State quarterback to amass 2,000 passing yards in a season and closed out his career as the school's leader in total offense (7,478) in adding 119 rushing yards on 28 carries for the afternoon. Green tied the Bears' single-game receptions mark with 12 catches for 181 yards to go with his score, as he also set the school single-season standards for receptions (69) and touchdown catches (16). The visitors amassed 511 yards of total offense, including 306 in a second half that saw them hold the ball for over 20 minutes.
Gustafson rushed for 107 yards while collecting 143 all-purpose yards in the setback for Massachusetts Maritime, while Stanton completed 20-of-42 pass attempts for 230 yards to break his own single-season passing yards mark with 2,543 but threw four interceptions and lost a fumble as part of six Buccaneer turnovers on the day. Senior Keith Caruso (Hingham, Mass.) closed out his career with eight receptions for 55 yards, while junior E.J. Bennett (East Wareham, Mass.) added six catches for 90 yards to break his single-season receptions mark with 60 on the year.
Senior Dillon Huber-Parker (Longmont, Colo.) paced Bridgewater State defensively with 11 solo tackles, two interceptions and a forced fumble, while Gentili added six solo stops to go with two picks on the day for the Bears, who also received nine solo tackles from freshman Ronnie Shephard (Walpole, Mass.). McCarthy is the only player in the 35-year history of the Cranberry Bowl to win three Harrington MVP honors, as Bridgewater State now leads the Cranberry Bowl series by a 26-8-1 margin.
Junior Victor Andrade (Yarmouth Port, Mass.) registered a game-high 12 total tackles (11 solo) in the setback for Massachusetts Maritime, which also received nine solo stops from sophomore Matthew King (Scituate, Mass.) and an interception from senior Michael Sylvia (Lincoln, Mass.). The Buccaneers posted their fourth straight five-win campaign after amassing nine triumphs in the previous five-year period.