Springfield, MA – The Mariners dropped a 66-13 decision at Springfield College Saturday afternoon in a Liberty League match-up. The Pride rattled off 35 unanswered points in the second quarter to break open the game. Springfield quarterback Jonathan Marrero tallied seven touchdowns, four rushing, along with 307 all-purpose yards. The setback gave Merchant Marine back-to-back losses for the first time in 2012.
Springfield (4-3, 2-2 Liberty) used its option offense efficiently on the opening drive of the game. The Pride ran the ball eight straight times to cover 75 yards and found the end zone on a Marrero 27-yard run up the left sideline. The Pride took advantage of good field position, starting at their own 45 yard line, and pushed the lead to 14-0 on a 14-yard touchdown pass from Marrero to receiver James Poggio.
Merchant Marine (3-4, 1-3 Liberty) struck with 17 seconds remaining in the first quarter as the Mariner offense took to the air. Alex Coviello (Cape Coral, FL) fired a strike to a wide open Westin Haddock (Merritt Island, FL), who beat the Springfield defense deep down the middle of the field. The junior receiver rumbled 62-yards across the goal line to cut the USMMA deficit in half, making it a 14-7 affair.
The Pride would answer right back on the ensuing possession as Marrero broke free for a 24-yard touchdown. USMMA's Christian Bommer (New Orleans, LA) would block the extra point as Springfield's advantage remained at 20-7. The Pride offense stayed hot as Marrero tallied his second TD through the air, finding Mike Davis with a 43-yard touchdown pass. The home side then converted a two-point try on a pass to Poggio that made it 28-7 with 11:20 to play in the second quarter.
Springfield would build a 49-7 cushion heading into the halftime intermission. Marrero rushed for his third touchdown of the first half, again from 24-yards out, and then hit Poggio with a 57-yard TD pass. After a USMMA turnover Marrero tossed a 36-yard touchdown pass to Phil Baier on the first play from scrimmage to round out the first half scoring.
The home team would notch the first 10 points of the second half as Ricky Peacock split the uprights with a 23-yard field goal and Timothy O'Brien found the end zone on a 24-yard touchdown run.
USMMA made its way across the goal line on a seven-yard TD run from Luke Stidham (Baltimore, MD) with 2:36 remaining in regulation. The final points of the afternoon came on a Mike Chicoine 29-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown to make it 66-13.
The Pride finished the game with 545 yards of total offense while holding the Mariners to 223 yards. The home side also won the time of possession battle, holding the ball for 34:13.
Merchant Marine will look to get back in the win column next weekend as they host WPI at Brooks Stadium on Saturday for a 2:30 pm kick-off.