FITCHBURG, Mass. – The Fitchburg State football team collected its first New England Football Conference (NEFC) Bogan Division victory this afternoon, defeating Maine Maritime Academy, 34-14 at Elliot Field. Fitchburg moved to 2-2 (1-0 NEFC) on the season, while the Mariners slipped to 0-3 (0-1 NEFC).
Steph'fon Teague paced a balanced Falcons attack, posting his third consecutive 100-yard game with 112 yards rushing and two touchdowns. Teague averaged 7.4 yards per carry, while surging for a 36-yard touchdown early in the second quarter.
Christian Lopez was solid with 193 yards passing and two touchdowns, while junior Jordan Burris brought in a career-best seven receptions for 152 yards and one score.
Maine Maritime opened the scoring early in the first quarter, finding the pay dirt on its initial possession with a 65 yard, 14-play drive. Billy Wetherbee (Veazie, Maine) capped the Mariners' touchdown drive with a three-yard run, giving Maine Maritime a 7-0 advantage through one quarter of play. The Mariners' junior rushed for 168 yards on 21 carries, including a 52-yard jaunt.
In the second quarter, Fitchburg State turned up the heat, posting three touchdowns to take a 21-7 margin into the locker room. Teague kick-started the Falcons' rally with his 36-yard touchdown run, before taking advantage of a Mariners' turnover for a five-yard score at the 7:49 mark. Fitchburg State capped the surge when Lopez connected with Ty Spencer with a 15-yard pass down the right sideline.
Back-to-back scores by Burris and Cody Titus took the game out of reach. Burris reeled in a season-long 61-yard touchdown reception at the 3:52 mark of the third quarter, while Titus blasted through the middle for a three-yard touchdown early in the fourth. Maine Maritime capped the day's scoring midway through the fourth with a 17-yard run by Michael Cummings (Bucksport, Maine).
Fitchburg State totaled 342 yards with 149 on the ground and 193 through the air. The Falcons' defense forced five Maine Maritime fumbles on the afternoon, while Talib Barksdale controlled the running attack with a team-best 12 tackles, including 1.5 tackles for losses. Tevin Bienamie was also solid with seven solo efforts, while Tyrie Osby added seven tackles with five solo stops and two assists.
Fitchburg State (2-2, 1-0 NEFC) will be back in action next Saturday as it visits Coast Guard Academy at 1:30 p.m. Maine Maritime (0-3, 0-1 NEFC) will host Worcester State University next Saturday at 1 p.m.