THROGGS NECK, N.Y. – The Maritime Football team held a 24-14 lead with 8:06 remaining in the fourth quarter, but the Mass. Maritime Buccaneers fought back and edged out the Privateers by a 28-24 score on Friday night from Reinhart Field.
Senior Brett McKinney led Maritime with 125 yards on the ground, while junior quarterback Thomas Wright threw for 138 yards and had 41 more yards on the ground. Sophomore Severino Torelli added 28 yards in the running attack, while junior Chris Olberding added 27 yards.
Sophomore Christian Castle led the aerial attack with 63 yards, including a 35-yard touchdown strike, while junior Matt Ward had 51 yards on the game as well.
Defensively, senior Kendal Parker led the Privateers with 10 tackles, while freshman Liam Bailey had eight in his Reinhart Field debut. Senior Brian Price had seven stops, while junior Wesley Joseph had six. Both Price and classmate Eric Wallace had interceptions on the game, as junior Garrett Stryzs had two pass breakups.
On special teams, senior John Arny accumulated 159 yards on four punts, including a pair that landed inside the Mass. Maritime 20-yard line. Junior Matthew Murphy was 1-for-2 on field goal attempts, as he converted on a 38-yard attempt in the second quarter. Murphy also amassed 267 yards on his four kickoff attempts including a pair of touchbacks.
After a scoreless first quarter, Maritime got on the board first in the second stanza. The Privateers got the ball back with just under a minute gone by off of a blocked punt by Price, which was recovered by sophomore Karl Riek. The ensuing Privateer drive stalled on the 21-yard line allowing Murphy to line up for his 38-yard boot to put Maritime ahead by a 3-0 score.
On the next possession, Mass. Maritime needed just 2:50 seconds with their high-tempo offense to drive 75 yards for a touchdown to take its first lead of the game.
Maritime was up next on offense and drove the length of the field to regain the lead at 10-7. Wright had a pair of big rushes for the team with a combined 33 yards on the two carries. The final blow of the drive came when McKinney punched the ball in from three yards out to put the Privateers back on top.
A few series later, Mass. Maritime was back on top with a quick drive that lasted just 46 seconds as the Buccaneers converted on a 3rd-and-6 attempt with an 83-yard touchdown strike down the right sideline.
The Privateers took the lead right back on the next possession, with an eight-play drive, which resulted in Wright connecting with Castle on a 35-yard touchdown pass to regain the lead at 17-14 heading into the halftime break.
The third quarter was scoreless just as the first quarter was as both teams struggled to put any extended drives together.
Mass. Maritime got the first full possession of the fourth quarter, which lasted just two plays as Wallace short-circuited the drive win an interception at the Mass. Maritime 38-yard line. The Privateers got points off the turnover as Wright darted into the end zone for a one-yard touchdown drive, after Olberding was tripped up at the one-yard line the play before.
Up by 10, the Privateer defense was tasked with holding down the Buccaneer offense, which hadn't scored since the second quarter. The Buccaneers got the ball back and needed 14 plays to go 65 yards as they found the endzone to cut the deficit to one touchdown.
The next Maritime possession was costly as a fumble gave the ball back to Mass. Maritime around midfield. Nine plays later, the Buccaneers were in the endzone and were in the lead at 28-24, as the Privateers got the ball back with just 17 seconds left in regulation.
Needing to draw up big plays, Wright's first pass towards Ward was incomplete. On the next play with time working against them, the Privateers used several laterals from senior Joe Modica, senior Nick Fischetti, and Wright before getting tackled at midfield as time had expired.
Maritime (1-1) will look to put this game behind them, and look ahead to next Friday's matchup when the Privateers host the Merchant Marine Mariners on 7 p.m. on Reinhart Field.
Mass. Maritime (1-0) will take on Maine Maritime at home next Saturday, September 17 at 1 p.m. from Clean Harbors Stadium.