WORCESTER, Mass. (Oct. 26, 2019) – The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy football team lost on the road at NEWMAC opponent WPI, 66-13, on Saturday at the Engineers' Alumni Field. The Mariners fall to 4-3 (3-2 NEWMAC) in defeat, while WPI remains undefeated, improving to 7-0 (4-0 NEWMAC) with the victory.
Senior quarterback Krystian Abbott (Lansing, Kan.) was 5-for-10 on completions for 91 yards, with sophomore Matt Strong (Pacific, Mo.) catching two passes for a team-best 71 yards. Sophomore Brian McGovern (Cranford, N.J.) led the Mariners on the ground with 67 rushing yards and he scored the first of USMMA's two touchdowns on the day in the third quarter.
Junior Matt Restifo (Hudson, Ohio) was second on the squad with 47 rushing yards on just three carries, and sophomore quarterback Ian Blankenship (McRae, Ga.) rushed 14 times for 44 yards and the final touchdown of the day with just 11 seconds left in the fourth quarter.
Defensively, freshman Colton Ray (Bellevue, Ohio) had a team-best five tackles, including one for a loss of two yards. Junior Dylan Brown (Milton, Wis.) and sophomore Eric Davidson (Savannah, Ga.) both had four tackles apiece, with Davidson also adding a forced fumble and recovery.
The Engineers led 14-0 at the end of the first quarter and exploded for five touchdowns in the second quarter, including one on a fumble recovery, to take a 49-0 lead into the halftime break. After the hosts opened the scoring in the second half with a long rushing TD, the Mariners got on the board with a 16-yard run by McGovern.
WPI added another touchdown before the end of the third, and then a field goal midway through the fourth before Blankenship's four-yard touchdown run closed out the scoring on the day.
For the Engineers, senior quarterback Julian Nyland threw for 332 yards on 14-for-18 passing with three touchdowns. Three different receivers caught TD passes - seniors Nic Rossi (125 receiving yards), Clark Ewen (95 yards) and Sean McAllen (78 yards). McAllen added 129 rushing yards with a TD, and senior Connor Field also had 129 yards on the ground, and he scored a game-best three touchdowns. Senior Julian Nyland scored the first touchdown of the day and finished with 17 rushing yards.
On defense, seniors Sam Casey and Nick Ostrowski both had a game-high seven tackles, and two of Casey's were for losses. Senior Steve Mey registered six stops and also broke up two passes. Senior Carter McLellan had the defensive score for WPI on a 17-yard fumble recovery.
The game took just 2:15 to play, as the two teams had a near penalty-free game, with each team only flagged for a single penalty for five yards. The Mariners had a 34:42 to 25:18 edge in time of possession, while first downs were close with WPI holding a 22-17 edge.
The Mariners move into a bye week during finals week at USMMA, and will return to action on Saturday, Nov. 9, with the home-finale against Catholic on Senior Day. Opening kickoff is scheduled for 12-noon. Prior to the contest, the Mariners will pay tribute to their 18 graduating seniors with a special Senior Day Ceremony. Live stats and a live video feed of the game will be available with links on the USMMA Football Schedule Page.
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