BANGOR, Maine - The Husson University football team defeated Norwich 27-13 in an Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) game and home final on Saturday afternoon at the Dr. John Winkin Sports Complex to clinch their second ECFC Championship in the last three years when SUNY-Maritime defeated Mount Ida 17-14 today.
Husson recognized 17 seniors prior to the game for their accompishments with the Husson University football program: Seth Batty, Alphonso Belnavis, Tom Black, Alonzo Connor, Kadeem Edge, Marquis Jimenez, Nick Lewis, Kevin McKellar, AJ McLaughlin, Rick Orio, James Osgood, Andrew Sickenberger, Logan Steward, Ellis Throckmorton, Jeff Turcotte, Jon Walker, and Deon Wiggins.
Husson (8-1, 6-0) and Norwich (4-5, 4-2) gave impressive plays in what ended up being defensive chess match of a first half. John Smith jumped his way into the end zone to put the Eagles on the board to giving Husson their 17th game in a row of scoring the first points of the game. Smith was also responsible for most of the yards on the scoring drive. A 33 yard rush by the junior running back set up the Husson offense on Norwich's 2 yard line. Smith's offensive line opened a hole for the back to run through and put the Eagles in the lead.
The second half got under way with a Husson touchdown when quarterback Cody Brandon completed two passes of 20 yards to drive his offense into Norwich's red zone. John Smith capped the scoring drive off with his 47th career rushing touchdown, surpassing Julius Williams for the most in program history, with a 3-yard run giving Husson a 13-0 lead.
Tyreque Estrada-Capps of Norwich received a toss from Philippe Bazinet and threw a 44 yard pass to Pierre Noel getting his offense on the board. The extra point was missed, which kept the score at 13-6 Husson.
Norwich was not done. Their next possession also resulted in a touchdown. Patrick Brown busted through his offense line and sprinted 64 yards for a touchdown to tie the score 13-13.
Smith and the Eagle offense answered with a scoring drive of their own. Cory Brandon completed a 22 yard quick hitter to Kadeem Edge to set up the score and Smith did the rest. Smith scored his third touchdown of the day and his 50th of his career to give Husson the lead, which they would not surrender.
Brandon and Edge connected one last time at the end of the fourth quarter to give Husson a 27-13 lead and the win over Norwich.
Husson University ended with 445 total yards of offense, while Norwich ended with 199 total yards. The Eagles' defense forced four turnovers compared to the Cadets' three turnovers.
Brandon connected on 15-of-26 passes for 219 yards with one touchdown and two picks, while throwing passes to five different recievers: Kyle Gaudet (4, 75yds), DJ Allen (6, 66yds), Edge (2, 66yds, 1td), Andre Miller (1, 11yds) and Robenson Saintard (2, 1yd).
Smith led all rushers with 211 yards on 44 carriers with three touchdowns to become the first Eagle player in program history to record 50 career touchdown scored.
Leading the way for the Husson defense was Ellis Throckmorton who recorded a team-high eight tackles (2 solo) and 0.5 tackles for loss with four quarterback hurries, while Turcotte, Elvin Suazo, Jr. and Luke Washburn chipped in five tackles. Connor, Steward and Tarik Smith each added four tackles. Turcotte (0.5), Suazo, Jr. (0.5), Washburn (1.5), T. Smith (0.5) and Jean Gabriel combined for four sacks on the day.
For the Cadets, Estrada-Crapps, Philippe Bazinet and Nolan Aurelia combined to connect on 8-of-24 passes for 71 yards with a touchdown and three picks. Patrick Brown rushed 13 times for 100 yards and a score. Pierre Noel caught three passes for 64 yards and a touchdown. Austin Roberts, Cody Lindell and Benjamin Hummer recorded 17, 11 and 11 tackles respectively.
The Eagles are back in action next Saturday at 12:00 p.m. at conference rival Mount Ida. The Cadets return to action next Saturday at 1:00 p.m. at Castleton.