Numbers never lie, and Western Connecticut's Fleeting is the real deal

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Midway through last season, transfer Quinn Fleeting found his stride for Western Connecticut. So far, defenders have done little to break it.
Courtesy of Peggy Stewart, Western Connecticut

By Tom Haley

There are some numbers that just scream for attention. Like a 100-yard interception return. Trinity's Dominique Seagears had one in the 23-16 victory over Tufts. Fourteen is another pretty amazing number when it comes to winning streaks. That's what Trinity's skein is up to now.

Then there are the numbers put up by Maine Maritme's Corey Creeger in the Mariners' first win of the year, 34-16 over Coast Guard. How often do you see someone rush for more than 200 yards and throw for 100 more in a game?

Creeger piled up 212 yards on the ground with a touchdown and threw for 117 and two scores.

But the number I find staggering is the touchdown-interception ratio of Western Connecticut's Quinn Fleeting. He has thrown for 17 touchdowns against just a single interception in leading the 5-1 Colonials to a 28-21 win over Mass. Maritime. Fleeting riddled the Bucs' defense with 208 passing yards along with three touchdown throws.

A transfer from Assumption, he began to put it all together midway through last season, said Western Connecticut coach Joe Loth.

"Quinn is in his second year in the system now, and he understands what we are trying to do," Loth said.

Loth said Fleeing reminds him of former Colonial quarterback Will Arndt, who recently signed with Ottawa in the CFL.

The Colonials have been a resilient team. They were down 28 points to Hartwick and came back to win; they also had to mount a comeback to beat Salve Regina.

"We are doing a great job of finding ways to win," Loth said.

He attributes much of this to Fleeting and his senior classmates.

"We have great senior leadership. It's a strong senior class that was very committed in the off-season," Loth said.

Plymouth's special win

It would be understating the matter to say special teams play was an important piece of the Panthers' 16-13 overtime victory over previously unbeaten Framingham State. The Panthers blocked two field goals and a PAT and then won it in overtime on Jeremy Martin's 22-yard field goal.

Martin never played football before arriving at Plymouth. He was a high school soccer player.

"He sent us video of him kicking on is own and asked if we needed a kicker," coach Paul Castonia said. "Who are we to say no?"

Martin is a freshman who has also punted and kicked off his year, doing a good job in all phases of the kicking game.

Castonia only sees him getting better.

"He is diligent. He wants to get better, and he is a competitor," he said.

"We work a lot on special teams. Field position was huge in that game."

Plymouth took a big step last year, going 6-4, after a succession of lean seasons. Now, they are 5-1 and the only team to beat Western Connecticut.

"Plymouth is a good team," Loth said. "He has done a great job. They have gone from one of he worst teams to a pretty good team last year to one of the best teams in three years. It is a great turn-around."

Speaking of special teams, SUNY Maritime's Matt Murphy just might have an NFL leg attached to his hip. Five of his eight kickoffs were touchbacks in the 51-15 victory over Anna Maria.

They throw, too

Castleton coach Tony Volpone went to Husson determined to slow down John Smith, the ECFC's premier back.

"I don't think you ever stop John Smith. We want to minimize him," Volpone said.

Smith didn't quite get his 100 yards (95), a rarity, but Husson quarterback Cory Brandon threw four touchdown passes as the Eagles built a 42-0 lead by halftime and won 49-0.

The Eagles stay unbeaten in the league.

Wrecking crews

Westfield State's Andrew Carpenter had seven tackles, recovered a fumble and had an interception in the Owls' 33-21 in over Fitchburg State.

Josh David had 18 tackles for Mount Ida as the Mustangs defeated Dean 14-7.

Now there is one

Trinity is the lone undefeated team in the NESCAC as Williams knocked off Middlebury. Bobby Maimaron led the charge for 4-1 Williams as he threw for two scores and ran another one in.

Amherst also kept pace, going to 4-1 with a 40-7 win over Colby in which Nate Tyrell returned apunt for a touchdown and Joe Kelly had an interception return for a touchdown.

Hamilton won its first game, beating Bowdoin 28-7 with Kenny Gray figuring in all four touchdowns. He passed for three and ran for the other.

Wesleyan became another 4-1 NESCAC team with a 41-23 win over Bates. Mark Piccirillo threw for two scores and ran for one for the the Cardinals.

Quick kicks: Gallaudet's Timel Benton threw two touchdown passes and ran for another as the Bison won their second straight, beating Alfred state, 35-17. ... Thomas Wright threw for 334 yards and a couple of scores for SUNY Maritime. ... The versatile Travon Holder rushed for 153 yards and two touchdowns and also caught three passes for 51 yards for Westfield State. ... Max Chipouras ran for 165 yards and the winning score late in the game for Trinity. ... Luke Aruzzi had 16 tackles and T.J. Rothman 15 for Williams. ... Springfield stayed perfect (7-0) by beating Merchant Marine 35-17. Jordan Wilcox rushed for 169 yards and a touchdown. ... Salve Regina rolled to a 45-10 win ov er Nichols with Danny McDermott passing for three touchdowns and James Dawson rushing for 118 yards and two touchdowns. ... Anthony Service passed for a touchdown and ran for another as Western New England whipped Endicott 41-17. ... Alex Corvese had a big day through the air and Sean Amaru on the ground as Curry went to 5-1 with its 40-0 win over Becker. Corvese threw for 261 yards and two scores. Amaru had three rushing touchdowns.

The big game

The big game is the NESCAC where two of those 4-1 teams collide. Wesleyan makes a journey into the Berkshires to take on Williams.

In the ECFC, Husson must contend with the long trip and a Gallaudet team that has won two straight. Still, Husson is a prohibitive favorite.

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Tom Haley

A seven time Vermont sportswriter of the year, Tom Haley has been with the Rutland Herald since 1987. He was inducted into the Castleton State College Hall of Fame in 2004 and received the Contributor to Football Award from the National Football Foundation's Vermont Chapter. He has been D3football.com's Around the Northeast columnist since 2007.

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