SUNY Maritime Privateers sailed past the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, 20-16
Throggs Neck, NY – On the banks of the Long Island Sound in Throggs Neck in New York City on the State University of New York Maritime campus, it was a beautiful, cool, clear evening looking out toward the Freedom Tower in Manhattan as the SUNY Privateers celebrated Heroes Appreciation Day. Many of the graduates from both schools go on to serve in the US Military. In a game that intensified as the game played out into the fourth quarter, the SUNY Maritime Privateers sailed past the U.S. Merchant Marine academy, 20-16.
After the pregame festivities, the USMMA Mariners forced a punt on three and out and took over from their 33. From there, they drove the length of the field as QB Robert Moore (32 carries for 142 yards) scored a three-yard run to give the visitors from Kings Point an early 7-0 lead. Early in the second period, SUNY lit up the scoreboard with a 26-yard FG by Matt Murphy. Late in the second period, Moore’s fumbled pitch was recovered by MLB Paul Lamarca at the Merchant Maine 18. Four plays later, Murphy converted again from 32 to close the first half scoring and to cut the lead down to 7-6 in favor of the Merchant Marine Academy going into the halftime intermission.
On the first series of the second half, USMMA drove the length of the field 68 yards to put up another six points with Wiley Martin’s four-yard TD plunge. A bad snap on the point after negated the extra point and the Mariners were up, 13-6. On their next possession, the Privateers converted twice on fourth downs starting from their 28 to get to the King’s Point 19. Strong-armed QB Tom Wright tossed the ball deep into the back of the end zone in the right corner to WR Christian Castle for a 19-yard scoring strike to even things up, 13-13. The SUNY Privateers next forced the Merchant Marines to punt from their ten and took over with good field position before entering the final period at the USMMA 47.
On third and seven at the Mariners’ 11-yard line, Wright (21 for 26, 173 yards, two TDs passing) zipped another pass to WR Brett McKinney for six points and 20-13 Privateer lead. The Mariners responded with a drive to the Privateer 11 where they had to settle for Erik Swayne’s 28-yard GB with 11:07 remaining in the game. The Mariner defense held SUNY Maritime to a three and out. Their next offensive series was halted by the stingy Privateers at the 38 of SUNY where they took over on downs. However, the home team Privateers gained no yardage and punted back. With 1:46 remaining, Moore (1 of 5 for 17 passing yards) was intercepted by CB Brian Price. Game over and the SUNY Privateers (2-1) celebrated their second win of the season, 20-16.
It was a quick game completed in about two hours and 30 minutes. Two linebackers led both teams with many tackles. Merchant Marine MLB Josh Woodburn tallied 14 tackles including 12 solos. For the Privateers, OLB Eric Wallace garnered 17, nine of which were solo. Guest Game Analyst Frank Scarpa and I had pizza from the Third Avenue Pizza concession stand in the parking lot near the bleachers. They fired up the stove oven to 900 degrees. Pizzas baked in less than two minutes, but our opinion was that they should pull them out a little quicker as the pizzas we and others had were slightly over-charred, but they still tasted pretty good.
The Privateers are off next week before starting Eastern Collegiate Football Conference play at home against Husson of Maine on October 1. The Mariners (1-1) also start conference play in the Liberty League next week when they play home against Rochester. Collegefootballfan.com headed back to Jimmy’s in Haledon, NJ for wings and to catch up on other Friday night games. The next morning, we were heading to The Birthplace of College Football to see Frank’s favorite team, Rutgers, host the Lobos of New Mexico.