September 22, 2012

Mariners Seeking Season's First Victory; Maine Maritime (0-2) at Fitchburg State (1-2)

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Series History: Today's game marks the 23rd meeting between Maine Maritime Academy and Fitchburg State University. The Mariners hold a 14-8 lead in the series. The teams first met on the gridiron in 1986 with MMA coming out on top, 46-21.

The Last Meeting: Maine Maritime Academy exploded for 34 first half points en route to a 40-7 win over Fitchburg State in the New England Football Conference (NEFC) Bogan Division opener. The Mariners (3-0, 1-0) scored on each of their first five possessions, piling up 316 yards offense in the first half to the delight of the homecoming crowd. The early run on the scoreboard left the Falcons (1-3, 0-1) in a hole they could not escape.

Fitchburg's Last Game: Richie Edwards rushed for 116 yards and two touchdowns to lead Salve Regina to a 34-7 win over the Falcons on Fitchburg's Elliot Field.

Maine Maritime's Last Game: Plymouth State made a late goal line stand to preserve a 13-7 win over Maine Maritime Academy in New England College Football conference inter-divisional play on Saturday. The middle of the Panthers' line held as Mariners fullback Billy Wetherbee (Veazie, Maine) attempted to punch in on fourth and goal from the one in the waning seconds of the contest, giving Plymouth its first win of the season to move to 1-2. Maine Maritime slides to 0-2.

NEFC Honorees: Fitchburg State had a pair of players land on the NEFC's Weekly Honor Roll following their September 15 performances. Steph'fon Teague rushed for 123 yards on 29 carries. He picked up 53 yards on a single touch. The Falcons got 10 tackles, including eight solo stops from linebacker Talib Barksdale.

Maine Maritime's Ryan O'Neal rushed for 107 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries for a 7.1 average. Linebacker Joel Chadbourne found his way to the Honor Roll for the second-consecutive week after recording 13 tackles (10 solo) recovering a fumble and picking off a pass.

The Coaches: Patrick Haverty returns to Fitchburg State for his seventh season as the head coach of the Falcons football team. Highly decorated, Haverty enters the 2012 season as the program all-time winningest coach with an overall mark of 32-28. In his six years at the helm of the Falcons, Haverty transformed Fitchburg State football, guiding the Falcons to two New England Football Conference (NEFC) Bogan Division titles. He led the Falcons to back-to-back NEFC post-season berths as well as consecutive ECAC North Atlantic Bowl appearances with a pair of eight win seasons.

Chris McKenney is in his 12th season at the helm in Castine. The most victorious coach in the Academy's history, McKeney picked up his 50th win in the 2011. Under McKenney's direction, the Mariners have med three postseason appearances, including the Academy's first-ever NCAA Championship appearance in the wake of the 2009 NEFC Championship. That season, McKenney was named the New England Football Writers Coach of the Year for Divisions II & III. In 2005, he was named the NEFC Coach of the Year. He had earned Bogan Division Coach of the Year honors in 2006 and 2008. McKenney enters today's game with a record of 53-54.

 
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