Mariners Look for First 3-0 Start in 15 Years Against Maritime (NY) Tomorrow
Complete Game Notes (PDF) | 2013 Game Notes Archive
Setting the Scene... Merchant Marine plays its first road game of the 2013 season Saturday, just across the Long Island Sound, as they take on Maritime (NY). USMMA is off to a 2-0 start for the first time since 2009 and will be looking to win its third straight game to begin a season for the first time since 1997. The Mariners defeated Coast Guard, 27-20, last week at Brooks Stadium in the annual battle for the Secretaries' Cup. Both of Merchant Marine's victories this year have come by a seven-point margin. The Privateers are still in search of their first win after falling to Mass. Maritime on the road, 24-20, last week to open the 2013 campaign.
Series History... Maritime (NY) currently leads the all-time series against the Mariners, 3-1. However, USMMA knocked off the Privateers in a 19-14 decision last year at Brooks Stadium. In that game, Merchant Marine rushed for over 300 yards, including 134 yards and two touchdowns from Luke Stidham. Daniel Kennedy also kicked a pair of field goals to provide the final margin while USMMA dominated the time of possession, holding the ball for 37:52 of a tight contest.
McDaniels Continues To Shine... Matthew McDaniels (Malverne, NY) continued to impress last weekend against Coast Guard, exploding for 245 rushing yards and three touchdowns. In the process, the sophomore quarterback garnered his second straight Liberty League Offensive Performer of the Week Award. McDaniels currently leads the Liberty League with 441 rushing yards and six touchdowns as well as posting 139 passing yards and one score through the air.
Overcoming Turnovers... The Merchant Marine defense had a solid outing against Coast Guard, allowing just six points off the Mariners four turnovers. The Mariners are 2-0 this season despite losing the turnover battle against both Susquehanna and USCGA. Merchant Marine also held the Bears to just two scores in four total trips into the red zone. The USMMA defense is still looking to force its first turnover of the 2013 season.
Strong Second Half... The Mariners have dominated the second half of games early in 2013, outscoring opponents 34-10 in the final thirty minutes. The Merchant Marine defense has not surrendered a fourth quarter touchdown this year. Opponents have only converted on third or fourth down 30% of the time against the Mariners in the fourth quarter.
Big Play Potential... USMMA has shown the ability to gash opponents for big plays in 2013. In two games, the Mariners have four touchdowns that have gone for over 40 yards, including an 88-yard rushing TD from McDaniels. USMMA also has a 71-yard touchdown reception from Connor Kennedy to its credit. Merchant Marine already has seven plays over 20 yards from scrimmage and three scoring plays of over 60 yards.
Around The Liberty League... The Liberty League posted a 5-2 record last week as Merchant Marine, RPI, Springfield, St. Lawrence, and Rochester all picked up a victory. There are currently six undefeated teams remaining in the league with the Mariners, Engineers, Pride, and Saints all sitting at 2-0. Preseason favorite Hobart was idle at 1-0 on its bye last weekend and currently sits at #8 in the Division III national rankings. All eight Liberty League teams will be in action this Saturday before conference play kicks-off next weekend.
Up Next... Next up, the Mariners open their Liberty schedule as they welcome preseason favorite and nationally ranked Hobart to Brooks Stadium. The game will also mark Homecoming at the Merchant Marine Academy with kick-off scheduled for 2:00 pm.