THROGGS NECK, N.Y. - John Smith's 11th straight 100-yard rushing game helped propel Husson to a 33-12 Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) victory over SUNY-Maritime on Saturday afternoon at Reinhart Field.
Husson (3-1, 1-0 ECFC) extends their winning streak to three, while SUNY Maritime (2-2, 0-1 ECFC) loses its fifth-consecutive game to the Eagles and falls to 2-10 in the series.
SUNY-Maritime won the coin toss at the beginning of the game and deferred to the second half, giving the ball to Husson to open the game. The Eagles scored eight plays later as Husson drove 70 yards to score the first points of the game for the 12th game in a row on a three yard touchdown run by John Smith to move ahead 6-0, Travis Tetreault missed the extra point wide left keeping the lead at six.
Both teams punted on their next possessions, giving Maritime the ball back at the Husson 35-yard line. After an incomplete pass, Thomas Wright found Nick Fischetti for an 11-yard hookup to put the Privateers in field goal position. Matthew Murphy came on and knocked the ball through the uprights for a 41-yard field goal to trim the lead in half at 6-3.
Kendal Parker came up big on the next drive as he stuffed the Husson offense going for it on fourth down to put the ball back in Wright's hands on offense. Chris Olberding got the ensuing drive started with a six-yard gain, but it stalled when Tarik Smith and Luke Washburn tackled Wright at the SUNY-Maritime 44 and forcing John Arny to punt.
After a few more punts, the Eagles got the ball back with 13 seconds left in the first quarter and needed just three plays for J. Smith to find the end zone for second rushing touchdown of game as play crossed into the second period and Tetreault was able to convert on the extra point as the Eagles took a 13-3 lead.
On the following kickoff, Husson kicked it off and got the ball back as the return was fumbled when Charlie Meli forced Krystian Cardinal-Charles to cough up the ball at the Husson 46. The Privateer defense short-circuited the drive as Garrett Stryzs forced a fumble deep inside the SUNY-Maritime territory, which was recovered by Karl Riek just outside the goal line. However, SUNY-Maritime was unable to get the offense going and punted once again.
Taking over at the SUNY-Maritime 33-yard line, Husson needed just three plays to get into the end zone as Cory Brandon found Andre Miller for a 31-yard passing touchdown to take a 20-3 lead as Tetreault converted the extra point.
Arny punted on SUNY-Maritime's next possession, tailing out of bounds at the Husson five yard line. On the first play of the possession, the ball was snapped over Brandon's head and out the back of the end zone for a safety to give SUNY-Maritime two more points. The score held at 20-5 heading into the halftime break.
In the third quarter, Husson scored on their second possession with a 34-yard touchdown pass from Brandon to DJ Allen to take a 26-5 lead. The Eagles added one more touchdown in the opening stages of the fourth quarter on a Robenson Saintard two yard rushing touchdown to take a 33-5 advantage heading into the final 12 minutes of the game.
Both teams punted a few more times, as Maritime got the ball back with exactly two minutes remaining. Joseph Butterworth completed a 45-yard pass to Cormac Quigley to set up first and goal at the Husson 10-yard line. Sean Kinney picked up nine-yards on his first carry, and then punched the ball in on the next play to give the Privateers a dozen points.
Husson ran the clock out on the last drive to close out the 33-12 victory of the Privateers.
Kinney scored SUNY-Maritime's lone touchdown of the day as he carried the ball three times for 13 yards. Andrew Short and Devin Kenny were also tied with Kinney for rushing with 13 yards apiece.
J. Smith led all rushers with 164 yards on 28 carries with two scores. With his 28 rushing attempts on the day, Smith surpasses 2016 Husson Sports Hall of Fame inductee Julius Williams for the most career attempts in program history. Obie Christmas carried the ball 13 times for 60 yards, while Saintard ran three times for 9 yards with a touchdown.
Thomas Wright completed 10 passes for 156 yards through the air, with Fischetti catching five of those passes for a team-best 72 yards. Short also had three grabs for 32 yards on the afternoon for the Privateers.
Brandon and Luis Martinez connected on 13-of-28 passes for 224 yards with two touchdowns to seven different receivers: J. Smith (2, 58yds), Jon Saban (2, 46yds), Allen (3, 40yds, 1td), Miller (2, 36, 1td), Tyler Bassett (2, 31yd), Kyle Gaudet (1, 9yd) and Saintard (1, 4yd).
Eric Wallace led the Privateers with 14 stops on the afternoon followed closely by Styzs with 13 stops. Parker picked up eight stops, with 1.5 stops coming for a loss in four yards. Riek also had a solid showing with seven stops and also recovered one fumble while deflecting a pair of passes. Brian Price had a sack for a seven-yard loss, while Alex Cappellino had a sack of his own for a four-yard loss.
Leading the way for the Husson defense was Rick Orio who totaled a team-high seven tackles as the Eagles smothered the Privateers to the tune of just 29 yards on the ground. Jake Dobos finished with six tackles and one interception for 47 yards on the day. Alonzo Connor had five tackles, while Elvin Suzao, Jr. record two sacks and Ellis Throckmorton, Jeff Turcotte, and Washburn each had one sack apiece.
On special teams, Arny had a busy afternoon with nine punts for a total of 373 yards for SUNY-Maritime and Tyler Bassett punted six times for the Eagles for a total of 230 yards.
In the return game, Cardinal-Charles had three kickoff returns for a game-high 88 yards, while Price had four returns for 87 yards. Wiggins lead the Eagles with three punt returns for 41 yards and one kickoff return for 37 yards.
SUNY-Maritime will look to right the ship next Saturday as the Privateers travel to Paxton, Mass. for a league showdown with the Anna Maria AMCATs for a 1 p.m. kickoff on AMCAT Field.
Husson will play host to the Gallaudet Bison at home at 1 p.m. as the team returns to Maine on Saturday, September 8.