Merchant Marine Holds On For 15-12 Win Over Football In Liberty League Finale

Merchant Marine Holds On For 15-12 Win Over Football In Liberty League Finale

Kings Point, N.Y. - November 12, 2016 - Playing in its final Liberty League contest, the Springfield College football team was edged by the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, 15-12. The Pride, which concluded its season with a 5-5 record, will compete in the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) starting next year. 

Springfield's Drew Brown (Barringon, R.I.) was the game's leading rusher with 82 yards and a score, while Jake Eglintine (Ballston Spa, N.Y.) added 57 yards on the ground and a TD to go along with two completed passes for 42 yards. Defensively, senior Kenny Calaj (Everett, Mass.) had a team-high 12 tackles and junior Dominic Traversa (Pittsfield, Mass.) had 10 stops.

Leading the way for Merchant Marine were Patrick Keyes and freshman Reno Dubreuil on defense, as the pair both recorded a game-high 13 tackles apiece. Three of Dubreuil's tackles were for losses, including two sacks, while Keyes had a key pass break-up in the second quarter on what could've been a Pride touchdown pass.

Marcus Kitchin also recorded double-digit tackles with 11, including one sack. Alex Shiber had a huge block on a PAT on Springfield's first touchdown and sophomore Brooks Cannell recorded the game-clinching interception in the final 10 seconds of regulation.

Offensively, junior quarterback Brice Moore scored two touchdowns on 30 yards rushing, while also running in a two-point conversion in the third quarter. Moore was also 6-for-8 passing for 105 yards on the day. Freshman Luke Jamison (Tequesta, Fla.)hauled in three catches to lead all receivers with 54 yards, while sophomore Wiley Martin was USMMA's leading rusher with 45 yards.

The first half of the game took only 45 minutes, as the first quarter of the game was very quiet. Moore scored the contest's first TD early in the second quarter when he capped off a 16-play, 77-yard drive with an eight-yard scramble. Junior Jake McDonough's PAT was good and the Mariners jumped out to a 7-0 lead.

Springfield responded very late in the second half, when junior quarterback Eglintine found the end-zone on a one-yard run, but Shiber blocked sophomore Blake Heller's (North Bellmore, N.Y.) PAT attempt and the Mariners held a 7-6 lead into the halftime break.

The Pride wasted no time taking the lead early in the second half, however, as they received the ball and ran just three plays, including a 62-yard scoring rush by Brown that put the visitors ahead, 12-7. Springfield went for two, but Eglintine was sacked by Dubreuil to deny the Pride the seven-point lead.

The Mariners responded on the very next drive, however, as Moore ran in a four-yard TD to cap off a 12-play, 73-yard drive and then ran in the two-point conversion to the right to regain the lead for the Mariners, 15-12.

After stopping Springfield on four-straight plays, including a fourth-down stop by junior Isaac Lee, Merchant Marine got the ball back, but were unable to extend their lead after failing to convert a 35-yard field goal.

The next two drives for both teams ended in punts before Springfield got the ball late in the fourth (with 4:44 on the clock), looking for a winning drive. The Pride worked their way down to the Mariner 33-yard line, and burned a timeout with 11 seconds left. Eglintine threw up a pass to the far sideline that Cannell intercepted in the endzone to seal the victory.