Late Surge Falls Short for Maritime Football at Norwich

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NORTHFIELD, Vt. – The Maritime Football team recorded 17 points in the second half of Saturday afternoon's contest against the Norwich Cadets, but it was just shy as the Privateers fell to the Cadets by the score of 30-22 on Sabine Field.
"I'm really proud of our team and how they played this afternoon," said Head Coach Clayton Kendrick-Holmes, after the game. "Norwich never could put us away and we continued to battle and had a chance to win the game at the end."
Offensively, Maritime was led by senior quarterback Zack Chilcott (Ulster Park, N.Y./Kingston), who picked up 11 completions for 160 yards and also ran for a team-high 86 yards on the ground. Chilcott both passed and rushed for one score each. On the receiving end of Chilcott's touchdown pass was junior Brett McKinney (Westernville, N.Y./Rome Free Academy), who caught the one pass for seven yards and also rushed for 26.
Junior Joe Modica (East Islip, N.Y./East Islip) also ran the ball for eight yards, and led the team in receiving yards with 58 for the afternoon. Freshman Christian Castle (Felton, Pa./Red Lion) hauled in three passes for 51 yards.
The defense was led by sophomore Kendal Parker (Evans, Ga./Lakeside), who picked up 14 tackles, and also had one sack and one pass breakup on the afternoon. Junior Brian Price (New York, N.Y./Wadleigh) was second on the team with 12 stops, while senior Patrick Connick (Spanish Fort, Ala./Spanish Fort) had a career-best 10 tackles on the game. In addition to Parker's sack, sophomore Daniel Hink (Seymour, Conn./Seymour) and freshman Payton Campbell (Rockaway, N.J./Morris Knolls) also registered sacks.
Maritime had a good day on special teams with Price leading the way on kickoff returns; Price had three returns for 85 yards. Freshman Karl Riek (Sweetwater, N.J./Cedar Creek) also had one return for 15 yards.
Senior Diogo Dietrich (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil/DePaul Catholic (N.J.)) converted on a pair of field goals from 38 and 27 yards, respectively, while sophomore Matthew Murphy (Seaford, N.Y./Seaford) averaged 60 yards on his five kickoffs, with three for touchbacks. Junior John Arny (Metuchen, N.J./Metuchen) had a strong afternoon as well, with the right-footed punter averaging 42 yards on his three punts. Arny also pinned the Cadets inside their own 20 yard line on two of those three occasions.
Norwich picked up the first two scores of the game as the Cadets punched the ball in for a one-yard rush halfway through the first quarter. The second score came on a 32-yard touchdown reception as Norwich opened up a 14-0 advantage.
After the Cadet score, Maritime got the ball back and began to chew away at the field as junior Nick Fischetti (Seaford, N.Y./Seaford), Chilcott, and McKinney all rushed for a combined 53 yards to set up a Dietrich 38-yard field goal. The first points of the afternoon for the Privateers pulled the team to within 11 with 5:23 left in the opening half.
On the next Norwich drive, the Cadets were backed up to a 2nd-and-Long after a 15-yard penalty. The Cadets were then pushed back by the Privateer defense into their own end zone as the defensive unit picked up a safety to give Maritime the rare "5" on the scoreboard, down by a 14-5 score.
Maritime was forced to punt on its next drive, which was followed by a touchdown by the Cadets on a 15-yard strike. The extra point failed, as Norwich increased its lead to 20-5.
In the second half, Maritime received the ball to start and got great field position after a 52-yard return by Price. Chilcott picked up a first down on the first play of the series, followed by a nine-yard run by Fischetti. After a few more handoffs, to Fischetti and Modica, Chilcott had his number called and darted into the end zone for the first Privateer touchdown of the day. Dietrich's extra point was good, to make the score 20-12.
Norwich recorded another score to pull ahead by 15 points, but the Privateers responded several possessions later as the team needed just over five minutes to march 54 yards down the field en route to a 27-yard Dietrich field goal. The Cadets then answered on their next drive on a 22-yard field goal as play crossed over into the fourth quarter.
On its first series of the fourth quarter, Chilcott connected with Castle to start things off for an 11-yard pickup. Fischetti, Modica, McKinney and Chilcott all rushed to help drive the ball down the field for a 1st-and-Goal from the Norwich seven yard line. Chilcott dropped back and found McKinney for a seven-yard score to pull Maritime back within eight at 30-22 with 7:31 left in regulation.
Needing a big stop, the defense answered allowing just one first down on the next drive before forcing a punt. Sophomore Nick Conte (Franklin Square, N.Y./Carey), Parker, Price and Campbell all had stops on the drive. The punt pinned Maritime at their own 19 yard line after a fair catch from sophomore Garrett Stryzs (Wilmington, Del./Delaware Military Academy).
Chilcott hooked up with Modica for a 14-yard pickup on the first play of the series before rushing for two-yards himself on the next play. Chilcott and Fischetti then connected on a 20-yard pickup to move play into enemy territory. Chilcott looked for Fischetti two plays later and the play resulted in another first down after a pass interference territory by Norwich.
With a fresh set of downs, Chilcott ran for two yards before an incomplete pass to senior Vincent Jones (Cudjoe Key, Fla./Key West). On the next play from the Norwich 28-yard line, Chilcott looked deep and had a pass intercepted at the two-yard line to give possession back to the Cadets.
Following the turnover, the defense responded once again, as Maritime looked to preserve clock with the team using a pair of timeouts on the series. On the drive, Connick registered three tackles, while sophomore Craig Hinrichs (Islip, N.Y./Islip), and Campbell also picked up stops to force the punt.
Maritime got the ball back with 39 seconds left, and Chilcott began to throw down the field. Chilcott found Castle for 18 yards, and then found Modica for 24 to set up 1st-and-10 from the Norwich 25. The offense had two chances with the clock working against the team, and a pair of chances fell incomplete as Norwich held off the Privateers for the 30-22 victory.
Maritime (3-3, 1-2 ECFC) will return home next week to Reinhart Field for an ECFC matchup against the Castleton Spartans at 1 p.m. from Reinhart Field.
Norwich (3-3, 3-0 ECFC) will look to extend its three-game winning streak next weekend, when the Cadets host Anna Maria for a 1:30 p.m. start on Sabine Field.

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