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Merchant Marine 2nd-half rally falls short in 41-21 loss to Springfield

KINGS POINT, N.Y. – After spotting Springfield College a 21-point lead, the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy staged a second-half rally to pull within seven points before the comeback fell short in a 41-21 non-conference loss at Tomb Field on Saturday.

The Mariners fell to 1-4 while the Pride improved to 3-1.

Quarterback Josh Carter led the Pride attack running for four touchdowns and throwing for a fifth – to Phil Baier – while he rushed for 200 yards in 40 attempts. Running back Mike Davis added 124 yards in 15 carries, as the visitors amassed 406 yards.

The Pride had allowed only 411 total rushing yards in three previous games entering the encounter, but the Mariners' ground attack found holes to run for 243 yards, including 119 in 25 carries by junior running back John-Leon Gosselin.

Wide receiver Chase Dunn, who finished the day with five receptions for 82 yards, caught two TD passes from quarterback Alex Coviello – for 15 and 19 yards.

Carter, who scored on runs of three, 22, 9 and 7 yards, gave Springfield the lead with his first TD – a three-yard rush -- with 10:35 remaining in the opening quarter as Ricky Peacock converted the first of his five extra-point attempts (he missed one).

But the Mariners tied it with 10:07 left in the second period on Dunn's first score, a 15-yard reception that closed out a 14-play 86-yard drive.

Springfield, however, went into halftime with a 21-7 advantage as Carter scampered 22 yards and Baier caught a 35-yard pass from Carter with 2:36 remaining in the second quarter.

Kings Point made it interesting by scoring twice within 2:11 early in the fourth quarter. Adema's three-yard run close and J.P. Bourquin's extra point – he converted all of his three attempts – closed the gap to 28-14 with 13:24 left.

After the Mariners stopped the Pride on downs, Michael Mitchel returned a punt 43 yards to the Springfield 28-yard line. Three plays later, Coviello found Dunn open for a 19-yard TD as the extra point pulled the hosts within 28-21 with 11:13 remaining in the quarter.

Springfield, however, struck for two TDs within 74 seconds. First, Carter's seven yard run climaxed a seven-play, 70-yard drive in only 1:44 for a 34-21 margin (the extra point was blocked).  A Springfield interception by Mike Chicoine set up the final score of the afternoon – Joel Altavesta's three-yard run with 8:07 left -- to give the visitors some breathing room.

Senior linebacker Ken Stapf enjoyed an outstanding afternoon, making 12 tackles and assisting on four others. Junior defensive back Chris Dumesnil added eight tackles and four assists.

Kings Point travels to Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, Mass. next Saturday at 4 p.m.

Photo: Chase Dunn caught two touchdown passes from Alex Coviello.