KINGS POINT, N.Y. (Oct. 11, 2016) – On Monday, the Liberty League released its weekly reports and two USMMA football players picked up accolades – junior quarterback Brice Moore (Pace, Fla.) was named the Liberty Offensive Player of the Week, while freshman Joe Vitelli (Warrington, Pa.) was selected as the league's Rookie of the Week. The duo earned the honors after helping the Mariners defeat WPI on the road, 45-44, this past Saturday up in Worcester, Mass.
Moore had a hand in five touchdowns for the Mariners on Saturday. He ran for 150 yards on 5.6 yards per carry with three rushing touchdowns, while also passing for 156 yards (out of the option offense) on 11-for-21 passing with two pass touchdowns. This is the second time that Moore has been named the Liberty Offensive Player of the Week this season – he also picked up the accolade back on Sept. 26 – and the fourth time he has been honored by the league – he was a weekly honor roll selection on Sept. 12 and Oct. 3.
Vitelli hauled in four catches for 36 yards and a touchdown late in the fourth quarter that pulled the Mariners to within two points of the Engineers. He also returned seven kickoffs 131 yards (18.7 yards per return), including a long of 27 yards, while returning two punts 18 yards (9.0 yards per return) with a long of 11 yards.
Both players rank high statistically among all Division III players. Vitelli is sixth in the country in Combined Kick Returns with 565 yards. Moore is eighth in the country in Rushing TDs (nine) and is also 10th in the nation with 709 rushing yards, 10th in Rushing Yards per Game with 141.8 and 24th in Scoring with 10.8 points per game. Sophomore Wiley Martin (Polo, Mo.) is 18th in DIII with eight rushing touchdowns.
As a team, Merchant Marine ranks in the Top 10 in the country in seven categories. The Mariners are second in the country in Kickoff Return Defense (10.64 yards per return) and Tackles for Losses Allowed (2.80 per game). They are also third in the nation in Rushing Offense (17.62 yards per game), fifth in Third-Down Conversion Percentage (55.2%), sixth in Sacks Allowed (0.60 per game) and tenth in both Fourth-Down Conversion Percentage (75.0%) and Passing Yards per Completion (17.62 yards).
For the weekly report by the Liberty League, click here. The NCAA statistical ranking summary can be found by following this link (PDF). For the Liberty League Football stats, click here.
The Mariners host RPI in Liberty League action this Saturday, Oct. 15, beginning at 1 p.m. at Brooks Stadium. Live stats and a live video feed of the game, with play-by-play man Jaden Daly on the call, will be available with links on the USMMA Football Schedule Page.
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