October 20, 2012

THE 40th ADMIRAL's CUP

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Today's Game: Massachusetts Maritime (2-2 Bogan, 3-3 overall) at Maine Maritime (0-4, 0-6).

Series History: Today marks the fourth decade that Massachusetts Maritime and Maine Maritime have battled for the Admiral's Cup. The Bucs hold a 22-17 lead in the trophy game. Mass. Maritime won last season's contest, which snapped a seven game winning streak by the Mariners. The series started in 1946 has been played every since 1973. Including Admiral Cup games, the Bucs and Mariners have faced off 51 times with Mass. holding a 27-24 lead.

The Last Meeting: Massachusetts Maritime forced nine turnovers in notching a 34-6 New England Football Conference (NEFC) Bogan Division victory in the 39th Annual Admiral's Cup. Senior linebacker Walter Butler registered seven total tackles, including a pair of sacks, and returned a fumble 48 yards for a touchdown for the Buccaneers.

The host Buccaneers reclaimed the Admiral's Cup from the visiting Mariners for the first time in eight years with the triumph, and in the process clinched their first outright winning season since 2000 while matching their win total from a year ago.  Maine Maritime turned the ball over on its first three possessions of the day, and Massachusetts Maritime capitalized with a pair of scores that came in a 15 second span in the opening stanza.  A bad Mariner snap on a punt attempt was scooped up by Buccaneer freshman Victor Andrade and returned 17 yards for his first career touchdown with 5:11 to play in the first quarter, and Butler forced and returned a fumble 48 yards on the ensuing visitors' possession to extend the hosts' advantage to 13-0 after 15 minutes.

Mass. Maritime's Last Game: Junior Mike Stanton (Quincy, Mass.) and sophomore John Trudel (Niantic, Conn.) combined for 36 completions, 556 all-purpose yards and eight touchdowns (six passing, two rushing) to lead Massachusetts Maritime to a 56-32 New England Football Conference Bogan Division victory over Fitchburg State Saturday afternoon at Clean Harbors Stadium.

Stanton threw for two scores and ran for another in the opening 10 minutes of action for the host Buccaneers (3-3, 2-2 NEFC Bogan), as connected on a 23-yard touchdown strike to sophomore E.J. Bennett (East Wareham, Mass.) on the opening drive of the contest before hitting fellow junior Keith Caruso (Hingham, Mass.) on a 41-yard hook-up midway through the opening stanza.  Stanton's 27-yard scoring scamper with 5:10 to play in the first extended Massachusetts Maritime's advantage to 21-0, but the visiting Falcons (2-5, 1-3 NEFC Bogan) crept back to within nine at 21-12 midway through the second quarter, as a four-yard run by sophomore Ty Spencer (Foxboro, Mass.) and a six-yard scamper by sophomore Steph'fon Teague (Fitchburg, Mass.) closed Fitchburg State's gap.  Trudel extended the hosts' advantage to 28-12 at the break, as his 12-yard touchdown run with 1:22 to play in the half capped a 10-play, 70-yard drive, but Fitchburg State responded on the opening possession after intermission when Spencer hauled in an eight-yard scoring strike from junior quarterback Christian Lopez (Bronx, N.Y.) to close the Falcons' deficit back to 10 at 28-18.

Maine Maritime's Last Game: Framingham set four school records in a 56-0 win over Maine Maritime in a New England Football Conference Bogan Division game Saturday. The Rams improved to 4-0 in the Bogan Division, 6-1 overall while the Mariners dropped to 0-5, 0-6.

FSU set a new school record for points in a game with 56, surpassing the old record of 53 which was set a year ago and for largest margin of victory. The Rams also established a new single season shutout mark with three and a new mark for consecutive victories in a single season with six.

NEFC Honorees: Bucs' QB Mike Stanton picked up his second Offensive Player of Week award Stanton amassed 359 yards of total offense and accounted for four touchdowns in Buccaneers' 56-32 victory over Fitchburg. He completed 27-of-42 passes for 317 yards and three touchdowns (23, 41, 34) and added 42 rushing yards with 27-yard scoring run. Stanton broke the school single-season passing yardage record on his first completion of game (previous mark 1,506 set in 1982, now has 1,823 in six games).
Mass. Maritime linebacker Nick Mazurkiewicz landed on the defensive honor roll after recording 11 solo tackles, two for a loss, a pass break up and a quarterback hurry.
 
The Coaches: After guiding the Massachusetts Maritime football program to its best season in 11 years last fall, Jeremy Cameron looks to continue to build upon the resurgence of success the Buccaneers have enjoyed over the last two campaigns.  Cameron guided Massachusetts Maritime to its second straight five win season, and over the past 24 months his squads have toppled traditional Buccaneer rivals Coast  Guard, Bridgewater State and Maine Maritime while along the way shattering school records on both sides of the ball.  The buzz of enthusiasm along the banks of the Cape Cod Canal surrounding the program is directly tied to the hard work of its mentor, and he looks for that to continue in 2012 and beyond.
 
Chris McKenney is in his 12th season at the helm in Castine. The most victorious coach in the Academy's history, McKenney 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.
 
NEFC Rankings: Maine Maritime leads the conference with 243.2 rushing yards per game. …Mass. Maritime paces the conference with 332.8 yards passing per game and 452.7 total yards per game but is last in defense, surrendering 452.7 yards per game.
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