Mass. Maritime falls to unbeaten Western Connecticut
BUZZARDS BAY — Going against one of the top small college teams in New England, the Massachusetts Maritime Academy football team gave Western Connecticut a battle Saturday afternoon.
Leading 14-7 heading into the fourth quarter, senior workhorse Kyle McKinnon rushed for 122 yards and two touchdowns to lead the unbeaten Colonials (6-0, 4-0 MASCAC) to a 23-13 win over the Bucs (1-5, 0-4) before 862 fans at Clean Harbors Stadium.
The 6-0 start marks first time since 2001 the Colonials opened the season unbeaten this far into the campaign and finished that year at 8-2.
Last week, Western Conn defeated Worcester State, 44-25, while MMA was coming off a 38-24 loss to Westfield State.
WC, which came into the game averaging 37.8 points and 410 total yards per game, outgained MMA, 342 yards to 288, including 141-56 on the ground.
“I was extremely pleased how our team battled and executed against a good, veteran team,” said MMA coach Jeremy Cameron. “We were down just one touchdown going into the fourth quarter and had a couple chances to tie it.”
Bucs quarterback Ty Ebdon completed 8-of-22 passes for 148 yards, while backup John Teehan completed 5-of-10 passes for 84 yards and one score.
Paul Sances caught seven passes for 99 yards, while Will Bennett (Sandwich) hauled in three passes for 56 yards and one score. Ben Sheehan rushed for 49 yards and caught a 64-yard pass from Ebdon.
After taking over at their 25, the Bucs marched to the WC 11-yard line before George Lampros missed a field goal on their opening possession and marched to the WC 28 on the next series before being stopped on downs in a scoreless first quarter.
WC took a 7-0 lead with 12:16 left in the second quarter on a 10-yard scoring burst by McKinnon. The key play was an 11-yard pass from David James to Lucas DeSouza.
A 34-yard slant from James to Austin Calamita gave the Colonials a 14-0 advantage midway through the second quarter.
But the Bucs cut it to 14-7 with 2:23 left in the second quarter on a two-yard TD run by Connor Reynolds, set up on a 64-yard pass from Ebdon to Sheehan.
MMA had an golden opportunity before halftime when Kamil Bak recovered a sack-fumble caused by Kyle Johnston, but Lampros missed a long field goal.
The 5-11, 226-pound McKinnon gave the Colonials a 21-7 lead with 13:38 left in the fourth quarter on a one-yard plunge. He set up his score with a 28-yard run.
After the WC defense sacked Ebdon for a safety, the visitors threatened, but Hunter Leveille intercepted a pass in the end zone.
MMA scored with 16 seconds left on a 28-yard TD pass from Teehan to Bennett.
MMA travels to Plymouth State next Saturday at 1 pm and returns home Oct. 27 with noon kickoff against Worcester State.