USMMA Football Hosts Union (NY) Tomorrow on Senior Day

USMMA Football Hosts Union (NY) Tomorrow on Senior Day


Setting the Scene...  The Merchant Marine football team will play its first home game in six weeks Saturday afternoon as they host Liberty League rival Union (NY).  The Mariners will look to bounce back from a 28-13 loss at the hands of RPI.  The Dutchmen have dropped three straight games, including a 41-20 decision last week at the hands of nationally ranked Hobart.  Saturday will also serve as Senior Day at USMMA as the Mariners will honor its 19 graduating players before kick-off.

Series History...   Union currently leads the all-time series against Merchant Marine, 10-6-1.  The Dutchmen won decisively in the 2012 meeting between the two programs as the final score reached 51-7.  USMMA scored first in that game on a 34-yard Alex Coviello touchdown run before Union scored 51 unanswered points.  The Mariners have dropped three straight to the Dutchmen, last knocking off their liberty league rival in 2010, 28-21.

Meyer Makes The Start...  Freshmen quarterback Kristopher Meyer (Norman, OK) was pushed into service against RPI last week, making his first career start after Matthew McDaniels (Malverne, NY) was forced out due to injury.  The rookie signal caller completed 11-of-21 passes with one touchdown and one interception.  In the Mariners triple-option offense he carried the ball 27 times for 73 yards, averaging 2.7 yards per carry.  His first career touchdown came early in the third quarter to make it a one possession game as Meyer hit Connor Kennedy (Bellerose, NY) for a 70-yard touchdown pass.

McDaniels in NCAA Statistics...  Despite missing last week's game quarterback Matthew McDaniels (Malverne, NY) remains sixth in NCAA Division III in rushing yards per game, totaling 770 yards and eight touchdowns in his first five career games under center.  The sophomore has reached the end zone at least once in every game this season and is a three-time Liberty League Offensive Performer of the Week.

Boucher Leads The Way...  For the second straight week sophomore fullback Zachary Boucher (Wyckoff, NJ) paced the USMMA offense on the ground.  Last week versus RPI he posted 86 yards and one touchdown.  Over the last two weeks, he has racked up 189 rushing yards and three touchdowns.  Boucher is averaging 4.2 yards per carry in 2013, second on the team behind McDaniels.

Filling Up The Stat Line...  Safety Patrick Keyes (Parsippany, NJ) was all over the defensive stat sheet following the Mariners clash with the Engineers.  The rookie DB recorded an interception, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery along with his four tackles.  Senior Michael Biehn (The Woodlands, TX) reached double digits with 10 tackles and leads the Mariners in that category in 2013, averaging 8.0 tackles per game.

Scouting The Dutchmen... Union enters Saturday's match-up boasting the Liberty League's top run defense, allowing only 115.8 yards per game on the ground.  On the offensive side, Daniel Thomas and T.J. Franese have provided a solid platoon at running back with both members of the duo averaging over 55 yards per game and scoring five touchdowns.  Connor Eck directs the Dutchmen offense under center, tossing for 1196 yards and four touchdowns in 2013.  However, he has been intercepted seven times and is completing 54.3 percent of his passes.

Around The Liberty League... In last week's action Hobart, St. Lawrence, and RPI all picked up conference victories.  The biggest match-up on Saturday's slate features Hobart and St. Lawrence as the two sides will battle for first-place in the Liberty League. This week's schedule also includes Rochester vs. WPI and RPI vs. Union.

Up Next...  The Mariners will make their longest road trip of the season next week as they head to St. Lawrence for a 1:00 pm kick-off against the Saints.