KINGS POINT, N.Y. – With two minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, sophomore wideout Richard Lyons (Virginia Beach, Va.) of the United States Merchant Marine Academy football team ran for a 38-yard touchdown to put the Mariners ahead, 27-26, over the Engineers of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI). In heartbreaking fashion however, RPI drove down the field in the remaining couple of minutes and set up a 29-yard field goal, which senior kicker Peter Nilson (Appleton, Wis.) successfully nailed to give the Engineers a 29-27 lead as time expired on Saturday afternoon at Captain Tomb Field in Kings Point, N.Y.
RPI (6-3, 4-2 Liberty League) found the scoreboard first when sophomore Austin Caswell (Round Rock, Texas) caught a four-yard touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback Mike Hermann (Hardeeville, S.C.) to put the Engineers ahead, 6-0. Nilson's successful PAT made it, 7-0.
The guests would tack on another seven points before Kings Point (4-6, 3-3 LL) charged back and found the endzone itself. With 8:45 left in the opening quarter, sophomore running back John-Leon Gosselin (Nashua, N.H.) rushed for a one-yard touchdown.
Following Gosselin's touchdown, RPI scored three consecutive times. A four-yard rushing touchdown by sophomore running back Colton Callaghan (Wayne, N.J.) was bookended by two Nilson field goals (a 22-yarder and a 21-yarder). With eight seconds left before halftime, RPI led 26-7.
While there was no scoring in the third quarter, the fourth definitely picked up its slack. Gosselin recorded two straight rushing touchdowns to put the Mariners back in the contest. The first was with a little over a minute expired in the fourth (21 yards), while the second was with 2:59 left in regulation (2 yards).
Lyons huge run came up next and that gave USMMA its first advantage of the day (27-26 with 2:02 left in the game). Gosselin attempted the two-point conversion, but was stopped by the RPI defense.
Hermann reeled off a few screen passes to rookie wide receiver Reggie Colas (Miami, Fla.) to get RPI down the field and into confident field goal range. After a timeout by each school, Nilson punched the ball 29 yards through the uprights and sent the Engineers home with a 29-27 victory.
For the Mariners, Gosselin had another tremendous day. The Nashua native rushed for a game-high 197 yards with three touchdowns (31 carries). Ventre was 6-for-17 and threw for 96 yards with no TDs, while he rushed for 41 yards himself. Defensively, junior linebacker Kevin Stapf (Fort Pierce, Fla.) and senior defensive back Garret Washington (Chatham, N.Y.) had nine total tackles each. The former has seven solos, while the latter recorded eight of his own. Sophomore Alex Coviello (Cape Coral, Fla.) returning from injury, lined up on defense today and recorded an interception. Junior defensive lineman Michael Hagan (Milles Place, N.Y.) had a sack.
For the Engineers, senior RB Nick Costa (Yonkers, N.Y.) had the team-high in rushing yards with 80, while Hermann completed nine of his 25 passes, which was good for 107 yards and one touchdown. Colas compiled 98 receiving yards on eight passes (one TD). On the other side of the line of scrimmage, three RPI defenders had seven total tackles each for the squad-best, while sophomore defensive lineman Corey White (Taberg, N.Y.) had RPI's lone sack.