/seasons/2017/contrib/20170916oczvck

Fourteen-Point Fourth Quarter Propels Maritime past Merchant Marine, 38-31

KINGS POINT, N.Y. – The Maritime football team improved to 3-0 for just the second time in program history as the Privateers swept their non-conference season with a 38-31 victory over the Merchant Marine Mariners on Saturday afternoon at Brooks Stadium.
 
The Privateers trailed 31-24 heading into the fourth quarter, but the offense was able to put up two touchdowns and the defense held the Mariners off the board in the final quarter to allow Maritime to pick up the victory.
 
Leading the way for the Privateers on offense was junior wide receiver Brandonn Drumgole (Mt. Sinai, N.Y./Mt. Sinai), who hauled in 13 passes for 164 yards and had a pair of touchdowns. Junior Andrew Geni(Bronx, N.Y./Archbishop Stepinac) caught three passes for 68 yards, as senior Matt Ward (Ronkonkoma, N.Y./Sachem North) and sophomore Robert Wheeler (Staten Island, N.Y./Susan E. Wagner) each caught two passes.
 
Junior quarterback Thomas Wright (Wantagh, N.Y./Wantagh) completed 22 passes for 323 yards, which was his second highest yardage output of the season and second-most on the all time passing yards list for a single contest. Wright threw for three touchdowns with the pair to Drumgole and one to Ward.
 
Senior Chris Olberding (Dix Hills, N.Y./Walt Whitman) had the final blow on offense as he scored what proved to be the go-ahead touchdown on a two-yard scramble to give the Privateers the 38-31 lead late in the fourth quarter. Senior Devin Kenny (Staten Island, N.Y./Monsignor Farrell) also gained 52 yards on the ground.
 
The Privateer defense had its first touchdown on the season as junior Matthew Mavrovich (Port Jefferson Station, N.Y./Mt. Sinai) had a 24-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown midway through the 24-point second quarter for the Privateers. Junior Karl Riek (Sweetwater, N.J./Cedar Creek) also had a 22-yard interception return to short-circuit a Mariner drive in the third quarter.
 
Senior Kendal Parker (Evans, Ga./Lakeside) led the Privateers with 12 tackles on the game while sophomore Liam Bailey (Sayville, N.Y./Sayville) was second on the team with 11 stops. Junior Payton Campbell (Rockaway, N.J./Morris Knolls) had a career-high 10 tackles, while defensive backs senior Nick Conte (Franklin Square, N.Y./Carey) added nine and sophomore Justin Snuffer (Maple Shade, N.J./Maple Shade) also having a career high with eight stops. Senior Craig Hinrichs (Islip, N.Y./Islip) rounded out the team leaders on defense with seven tackles.
 
On special teams senior Garrett Stryzs (Wilmington, Del./Delaware Military Academy) had a pair of punt returns for a combined 24 yards, while Drumgole had a pair of kickoff returns for a combined 22 yards. Kenny and Conte each had one kickoff return.

Senior Matthew Murphy (Seaford, N.Y./Seaford) knocked in a career-long 48-yard field goal and added five extra points. He also had four touchbacks on his seven kickoff attempts including a key touchback with just over a minute to go to keep the Mariners pinned deep. He had a career-high four punts for 186 yards including a game-high 55-yard punt just before haftime.
 
The game didn't start out as the Privateers had drawn up with Wright's third pass of the game intercepted and returned for a touchdown as Merchant Marine led early with a 7-0 lead. On the next Mariner drive the team used 15 plays to drive 67 yards before a four-yard touchdown run gave Merchant Marine a 14-0 lead with just over eight minutes gone by.
 
Maritime flipped the switch in the second quarter after the slow start as Wright marched the Privateers down the field on eight plays for 69 yards, which ended up seeing Drumgole pick up his first touchdown reception on the game with a four-yard catch.
 
After Merchant Marine scored on its next possession to take a 21-7 lead, the Privateers answered right back with a touchdown of their own as Maritime converted on a 4th down play for 33 yards as Ward caught a pass from Wright for a touchdown.
 
The swing of the game came on the next Mariner possession as a botched toss allowed Mavrovich to pick up the loose ball on the ground for a 24-yard touchdown fumble recovery to tie the game at 21 apiece. Murphy added a 48-yard field goal with 3:17 left in the half to give the Privateers their first lead of the game at 24-21.
 
Merchant Marine kicked a 27-yard field goal with time expiring in the first half to send the game into halftime tied at 24.
 
The Mariners opened the third quarter with possession and capitalized with a five-yard touchdown score to wrestle back the lead at 31-24, which is where the lead stood through the remainder of the quarter and into the fourth.
 
Both teams punted the ball on their opening possessions of the fourth quarter giving Maritime the ball back with 12:53 remaining. The Privateers needed 11 plays to go 80 yards as it was once again Wright to find Drumgole and even the game at 31 following Murphy's extra point. Merchant Marine missed a field goal with 3:08 to go in the game, allowing the Privateers to regain possession.
 
Taking over on offense with 5:36 to go in the game, the Privateers had a chance to not only take the lead but leave the Mariners with little clock left late in the game. Olberding led the drive with six rushes for 21 yards, including the two-yard touchdown run to put the Privateers in front for good at 38-31.
 
Murphy's ensuing kickoff went into the end zone for a touchback. The Mariners did pick up two first downs on the drive, but it was Maritime's defense leaving the middle of the field open and denying anything to the outside to prevent the clock from stopping. The strategy worked as planned, as the Mariners' final four tosses went nothing to give Maritime the victory.
 
Maritime (3-0) heads into its bye week off the victory and will open Eastern Collegiate Football Conference play on Saturday, September 30 against league-newcomer Alfred State beginning at 1 p.m.
 
Merchant Marine (1-1) will play in their first-ever NEWMAC league game as the team makes the trek to Castine, Maine to meet with the Maine Maritime Mariners at 12 p.m. The two will meet for just the second time in program history, and first time since 1964.

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