THROGGS NECK, N.Y. – Junior Nick Fischetti (Seaford, N.Y./Seaford) of the Maritime Football team scored three rushing touchdowns as the Privateers cruised to a 44-7 victory over the Anna Maria AMCATs on Saturday afternoon from Reinhart Field.
In addition to Fischetti's three scores, junior Brett McKinney (Westernville, N.Y./Rome Free Academy) got the scoring started with an early touchdown in the second quarter. Classmate Krystian Cardinal-Charles (Brooklyn, N.Y./Boys and Girls) also recorded a touchdown, with junior quarterback Thomas Wright (Wantagh, N.Y./Wantagh) capping off the scoring late in the fourth quarter.
Senior placekicker Diogo Dietrich (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil/DePaul Catholic (N.J.)) had a busy afternoon as he converted on his one field goal opportunity from 18 yards, while also collecting five extra points on the game. Junior John Arny (Metuchen, N.J./Metuchen) recorded a pair of punts for 69 yards, including one inside the 20-yard line. Sophomore Matthew Murphy (Seaford, N.Y./Seaford) picked up seven kickoffs for an average of 53 yards, despite the swirling winds on Reinhart Field. Sophomore Garrett Stryzs (Wilmington, Del./Delaware Military Academy) led the return game with one punt return for 21 yards.
Defensively, Maritime was balanced as senior Andrew Auriemma (Melville, N.Y./St. Anthony's) and sophomore Kendal Parker (Evans, Ga./Lakeside) had five tackles apiece. Auriemma also had a pair of his tackles go for a loss in yardage, while senior Michael Bunk, junior Eric Wallace (West Point, N.Y./James O'Neill) each recorded one tackle for a loss in yardage apiece. Wallace's tackle for a loss was a sack, as both he and senior Kameron Knight (Clayton, N.C./West Johnson) recorded one each. Parker and sophomore Nick Conte (Franklin Square, N.Y./Carey) also picked off tipped passes, which went for the team's pair of interceptions.
Maritime started the game on defense, and after allowing a pair of first downs, forced the AMCATs to punt the ball. Fischetti got the first Privateer drive off quickly with an 18-yard run, followed by a nine-yard pickup from McKinney. Senior quarterback Zack Chilcott (Ulster Park, N.Y./Kingston) lost the handle on the slick ball and Anna Maria picked it up to regain possession.
After the defense forced another Anna Maria punt, the offense took over and began to chew away at the field. After a lengthy run was wiped out by a penalty, McKinney got the offense going again with a six-yard carry. Junior Joe Modica (East Islip, N.Y./East Islip) then ran the ball for eight yards to pick up the initial first down on the series.
The biggest play of the drive was when Chilcott hooked up with Modica for a 32-yard catch-and-run, to propel the ball into Anna Maria territory. Maritime continued to eat away at the clock as the play crossed into the second period. On the third play in the stanza, McKinney darted home for an eight-yard score to put the team ahead 6-0. The ensuing extra point from Dietrich was good.
The next AMCAT drive resulted in a quick punt, Stryzs returned the ball for 21 yards to set up the drive from the home 36-yard line. Chilcott started off the drive with a run, followed by three straight calls to sophomore Brad Pitz (LaGrange, N.Y./Millbrook). Chilcott and senior Vincent Jones (Cudjoe Key, Fla./Key West) connected on a 16-yard reception to move into the offensive half.
On a 3rd-and-20 situation, Chilcott threw a pass into the air towards the right sideline against the wind. With the wind blowing against the play, the ball held up in the air to allow freshman Christian Castle (Felton, Pa./Red Lion) to come down with the 27-yard catch to set up 1st-and-Goal from the Anna Maria eight. On the next play, Fischetti scored to put Maritime ahead by a 14-0 score after the Dietrich extra point.
Anna Maria punted once again, as did Maritime on its next series to set up Anna Maria with 1st-and-10 at the AMCAT 24-yard line. The initial pass of the drive was tipped at the line and snagged out of mid-air by Parker, to give Maritime the ball back with 90 seconds left in the half.
Fischetti had three runs on the next drive of at least seven yards, with the drive eventually setting up a 3rd-and-Goal situation at the Anna Maria two-yard line. McKinney's number was called, and was ruled down at the one-yard line to make it fourth down. With time working against them, and no timeouts left, Dietrich and the field goal unit sprinted onto the field and got off the snap with one second left. The short field goal was good, as Maritime went into the locker room with a 17-0 score.
In the third quarter, things went from bad to worse for the AMCATs, as the opening kickoff which looked like it was heading toward the end zone, took a Maritime bounce and hopped out of bounds at the one-yard line. The penalty set up 1st-and-10 for the Privateers from their own 40-yard line.
The Privateers used the drive to eat up 6:40 off the clock, as McKinney, Chilcott, Fischetti, Modica all rushed on the drive. Chilcott completed a short five-yard dunk pass to McKinney to keep the drive alive for a first down. The final play of the drive saw Fischetti make his way into the end zone for a three-yard score, increasing the team's lead to 24-0, after the Dietrich extra point.
Anna Maria finally answered with a touchdown on its next series to trim the deficit to 17, after the touchdown made the score 24-7.
It didn't take long for the Privateers to get their large lead back again, as Chilcott connected on a pass to sophomore Jordan Formicola (Bayville, N.Y./Locust Valley) down the left sideline for 26-yards. The next play saw Modica register another 27 yards on a handoff. With 1st-and-Goal from the six-yard line, Fischetti sniffed out the end zone for the third time on the day and increased the team's lead to 23; Dietrich's extra point made it a 24-point advantage.
Conte short-circuited Anna Maria's next drive as he dove to the ground and was ruled to intercept the wobbly pass from the AMCAT offense. Maritime then took over late in the third, with the drive continuing into the fourth quarter.
Up next, it was Cardinal-Charles, who played the role of Houdini on the next scoring play. After rushing towards the Privateer sideline, it appeared as if Anna Maria's entire defense had pushed the swift running back out of bounds. However, Cardinal-Charles kept his legs churning and emerged from the pile and ran untouched for the final several yards into the end zone for the score.
The next three possessions all resulted in punts, giving Maritime the ball back with 6:08 left in regulation. Sophomore Devin Kenny (Staten Island, N.Y./Monsignor Farrell), along with classmate Shawn Todd (Jamaica, N.Y./Jamaica) got a few carries on the drive as did Wright, who had relieved Chilcott at quarterback. Wright ended the drive with a three-yard touchdown run to cap off the scoring at 44-7.
Anna Maria threatened late on its final drive, but the clock had expired and Maritime ended the matchup with an overwhelming victory.
Overall the team rushed for 347 yards, with Fischetti leading the way with 81 yards, followed by McKinney with 65, Modica, Chilcott, Cardinal-Charles, Wright, Kenny, Pitz, Todd, and freshman Severino Torelli (Bayville, N.Y./Locust Valley) all contributed to the total. The offensive line paved the way highlighted by the starting offensive line of seniors Brandon Kuster (Woodstock, N.Y./Kingston), J.T. Kennedy (Blauvelt, N.Y./St. Joseph Regional (N.J.)) and Joseph Tanguay (Baldwinsville, N.Y./C.W. Baker), along with sophomores Connor McDaniel (Islip Terrace, N.Y./East Islip), and Thomas Korwan (Wantagh, N.Y./Wantagh).
As a team, Maritime dominated the time of possession battle as the team held the ball for 38:54 of the contest. The Privateers accumulated 455 yards of total offense, while Anna Maria registered 270 yards. The Privateers were also 6-of-6 on red zone opportunities while converting of 11-of-17 third down chances, and were a perfect 3-for-3 on fourth down conversions.
Maritime (3-1, 1-0 ECFC) will head back on the road next weekend when the team takes on Becker from Alumni Field in Worcester, Mass.
Anna Maria (0-4, 0-1 ECFC) will return home to face preseason-favorite Husson next week with a 2 p.m. kickoff slated for Saturday afternoon on AMCAT Field.