DUDLEY, Mass.—The Anna Maria College football team broke up a 94-minute scoreless streak with a third quarter touchdown, but it was not enough as the AMCATS fell 22-7 to the Bison of Nichols College in Friday night's non-conference game.
The win boosts the Bison to 1-1 on the season, while Anna Maria falls to 0-2.
The Bison racked up 608 yards of total offense in their home opener. Nichols held a 33-14 advantage in first downs on the day and totaled 91 offensive plays to Anna Maria's 59. The Bison completed 25 of 45 pass attempts to set a new program record for completions in a game.
The first half was low-scoring as a Bison touchdown at the 7:35 mark of the first quarter was the only scoring play. Anna Maria had two field goal opportunities in the first half, but the first attempt was blocked and the second attempt, from 24-yards out, was wide left.
The remainder of scoring happened in the third quarter. Anna Maria struck first, using seven plays to travel 71 yards resulting in a 44-yard touchdown reception from freshman quarterback Darius Jones-Clark (Baltimore, Md.) to sophomore wide receiver Joseph D'Onofrio (Lawrence, Mass.). Cole completed the extra-point to tie the score at 7-7.
The tie was short-lived though, as Nichols scored on the ensuing drive as they racked up three-straight first-downs to travel from their own 39-yard line to Anna Maria's 34-yard line. On third-and-11 from just outside the red zone, Nichols quarterback Chris Mullins competed a 23-yard touchdown pass to Tony Martignoli. The Bison were successful on a two-point conversion to take a 15-7 lead.
Anna Maria's next two drives were three-and-outs, which gave the Bison to tire the AMCAT defense out. Their final scoring drive took 3:20 and nine plays, resulting in an 18-yard touchdown rush by Pierre-Charle Pierre-Charles.
FOURTH QUARTER FUMBLE
The AMCATS went three-and-out on their ensuing drive and had to punt, but they found themselves with another opportunity as Nichols returner Kris Carlson fumbled. The fumble was recovered by Anna Maria's Malik Faison (Bowie, Md.) at the Nichols 30-yard line.
Anna Maria ended their first-down drought on the drive on a seven-yard pass from Jones-Clark to Trai Weaver (Waterbury, Conn). The AMCATS used the next three downs to advance the ball to the Nichols 12-yard line, where they elected to go for it on fourth-and-three and found themselves a yard short to put the ball back in the hands of the Bison.
Anna Maria got one more offense chance with 8:35 left to play in the game, but the Bison defense held their guests to just four plays for a total of 20 yards.
Jones-Clark completed 16-of-30 pass attempts for 173 yards in his first collegiate start at quarterback. Fellow freshman Vincent Iaquinta (Oceanside, N.Y.) was his favorite target as he caught five passes for 81 yards for an average of 16.2 yards per catch. Weaiver caught six passes for 38 yards, while D'Onofrio caught the 44-yard touchdown pass.
D'Onofrio also added 68 yards on three kick returns.
On the ground, senior St. Clair Ryan (South Easton, Mass.) totaled 36 yards on 13 carries with a long of 11. Freshman Phillips Calvaire (Everett, Mass.) added 21 yards on seven rushes.
Defensively, the AMCATS saw 10 tackles each from Jarius Ransom (Williamstown, N.J.), Brian Moretti (West Warwick, R.I.), and Stefano Marziale (Cranston, R.I.). Ransom also added two pass breakups.
Mullins had a record day at quarterback with his 25 pass completions for 282 yards and two touchdowns. Martignoli caught seven of those passes for 96 yards and a touchdown, while Brenden Massey added 50 yards on five catches. Nine different receivers registered a completion the victory.
On the ground, Pierre-Charles tallied 228 yards on 25 carries, averaging 9.1 yards per carry.
Defensively, Matt McEvilly and Brett McEvoy both finished with 10 tackles each. Two of McEvilly's tackles were for-loss.
Kicker Alex Santiago was successful on both his extra-point attempts.
Anna Maria concludes non-conference play next Saturday, September 17th in a 1:00 p.m. game at Curry College. Nichols will travel to take on Becker College at noon on the same day.