MASSACHUSETTS MARITIME FOOTBALL
45th Annual Admiral's Cup
Saturday, September 16, 2017
Ritchie Field, Castine, Maine
FINAL: MASSACHUSETTS MARITIME 34, MAINE MARITIME 25
CASTINE, Maine -- Senior Richie Phillips (Onset, Mass.) rushed for a career-high 146 yards on 25 carries and scored a pair of touchdowns as Massachusetts Maritime held off a late charge to post a 34-25 victory over Maine Maritime in the 45th Annual Admiral's Cup contest played Saturday afternoon at Ritchie Field.
The visiting Buccaneers (1-1), who claimed the Admiral's Cup for the fifth time in seven years with the triumph, overcame an early 7-0 deficit to take a 10-7 edge after the opening 15 minutes of play on a 34-yard field goal by freshman George Lampros (Bridgewater, Mass.) and a 10-yard touchdown connection from senior quarterback Chris Haggerty (Cohasset, Mass.) to junior Paul Sances (Middleboro, Mass.). The host Mariners (0-2) regained a three-point edge with 4:09 remaining in the half on senior quarterback Corey Creeger's (Biddeford, Maine) second one-yard plunge of the day, but Massachusetts Maritime took the lead for good by scoring 10 points in the final 1:56 before intermission on a 31-yard scoring strike from Haggerty to Phillips and a 39-yard field goal by Lampros as time expired in the half.
Phillips capped an 11-play, 85-yard drive with a three-yard touchdown run (his fifth overall visit to the end zone in two games) that extended the Buccaneer advantage to 27-13 with 6:29 remaining in the third stanza, but Maine Maritime answered back with an 11-play, 75-yard drive of its own capped by senior Jacob Doolan's (Fairfield, Maine) 21-yard scamper with 1:27 to play in the quarter, as the hosts missed a two-point rush attempt to close to within eight. Creeger directed the Mariners on a 10-play, 79-yard drive and visited the end zone for a third time from a yard out with 9:55 remaining to pull Maine Maritime to within two, but his two-point conversion passing attempt was knocked down at the line. Massachusetts Maritime responded with a nine play, 71-yard drive over a 4:14 span that stretched the visitors' lead to the final margin, as senior Derek Stegman (Dover, N.H.) hauled in his first career touchdown reception on a four-yard strike from Haggerty with 5:35 to play. The Mariners drove to the Buccaneer 2-yard line on the ensuing possession, but Creeger was stopped short of the goal line on fourth down by sophomore Sean Smialek (South Dartmouth, Mass.) that turned the ball over on downs. The hosts forced a punt with 42 seconds remaining in the game, but Maine Maritime was only able to advance to the Massachusetts Maritime 12-yard line as time expired, giving the Buccaneers their first Admiral's Cup win since 2014.
Phillips, who topped his previous career rushing high of 143 yards set last September at Worcester State, finished with 177 all-purpose yards in the win for the visitors, while Haggerty completed 20-of-39 pass attempts for 226 yards and his three scores that gives him six touchdown passes in the opening two weeks of play. Sances and Stegman combined for 77 receiving yards to go with their respective scoring receptions for Massachusetts Maritime, which amassed 445 yards of total offense on the day. Creeger rushed for 209 yards and completed six of his 12 pass attempts for another 160 yards to finish with 360 yards of total offense and three touchdowns in the setback for the hosts, which received 88 rushing yards from senior James Ferrar (Cumberland, Maine) and 88 receiving yards from senior Jordan Susi (South Portland, Maine). The Mariners collected 525 yards of total offense and ran 81 plays in the setback, including 365 total rushing yards on 69 attempts.
Smialek recorded a game and career-high 12 total tackles (six solo) to lead the way defensively for Massachusetts Maritime, which received a career-best 11 total stops (nine solo) and the first career interception from sophomore Hunter Leveille (Easthampton, Mass.). Sophomore Kyle Johnston (Raynham, Mass.) and freshman Colin McCabe (Dartmouth, Mass.) combined for three sacks for the Buccaneers, who received a fumble recovery from senior Tim Churchill (Scituate, Mass.) in posting their 26th victory in the Admiral's Cup series that dates back to 1973. Senior Cody O'Brien (Wells, Maine) made 10 total stops on the defensive side in the setback for Maine Maritime, which received nine tackles from sophomore Derek Clark (Winslow, Maine) as well as a 45-yard interception return by junior John Bennett (Chelsea, Maine) on the afternoon.
Massachusetts Maritime travels to Framingham, Mass. next Saturday afternoon to open Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference play against Framingham State beginning at Noon, while Maine Maritime hosts Merchant Marine in its New England Women's & Men's Athletic Conference opener next Saturday at Ritchie Field that also kicks off at Noon.