October 26, 2013

UMass Dartmouth Rally Comes Up Short At Mass. Maritime, 34-21

BUZZARDS BAY, Mass. – The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth football team scored 14 unanswered points in the second half to attempt its third straight comeback, but the Massachusetts Maritime Academy recorded a late fourth quarter touchdown to earn a 34-21 Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) win at Clean Harbors Stadium.

The Corsairs (3-4) had their two-game winning streak snapped at the hands of the Buccaneers. Massachusetts Maritime also snapped UMass Dartmouth's six-game series win streak that spanned from 1996 to October 29, 2005.

Freshman quarterback Cullen Hanna (Richmondville, N.Y.) led the visitors, accounting for 257 of the 332 total yards. Hanna was 20-for-59 with 170 passing yards and a touchdown, while also gaining 87 yards on 10 carries. Classmate Trent Barneys (Avenal, N.J.) recorded 51 yards on the ground and a TD. Freshman wide receiver Brenden LaRosa (Everett, Mass.) hauled in a team-high eight receptions for 80 yards, while sophomore Abiola Aborishade (Attleboro, Mass.) pulled in five passes for 46 yards. Junior Adam Ledoux (Somerset, Mass.) had three catches, including a five-yard reception.

Junior Austin Pierce paced the Buccaneers with a career-high 131 rushing yards and three touchdowns.  Senior signal-caller Mike Stanton was 17-for-38 with 239 yards, one TD, and three interceptions.  Stanton spread the ball around, connecting with 10 different receivers.  David Yerxa pulled in three receptions for 22 yards, while Bobby Rosano registered 47 yards on two catches.  

Trailing 27-7 at the intermission, UMass Dartmouth fueled its second-half rally with a seven-play, 56-yard drive on its second possession. Barneys capped the march with his second rushing score of the season to cut the Corsairs deficit to 21-14 with 10 minutes remaining in the third.

The visitors' defense continued to apply the pressure, setting up UMass Dartmouth with a short field on consecutive possessions. The Corsairs blocked Mass. Maritime's punt on the ensuing possession to set up the visitors on the plus-35. UMD had its drive stall on the 20-yard line, when the Buccaneers picked off Hanna. Freshman Trevor MacNeil (Holden, Mass.) gave the Corsairs the ball right back, intercepting Mike Stanton and returning it 26-yards to the Mass. Maritime six. UMass Dartmouth couldn't convert inside the red zone, failing on a fourth and goal play from the nine.

The Corsairs produced their third turnover of the half, when senior Arthur Azatyants (Brookline, Mass.) registered his first pick-six of the season. Azatyants intercepted Stanton's first pass of the fourth quarter to whittle the deficit to 27-21 with 12 minutes, 46 seconds remaining on the clock.

After each teams traded possessions, the Buccaneers utilized a 14-play, 80-yard drive to secure the victory. Mass. Maritime controlled the clock with 12 runs, covering 59 yards on the ground. Stanton denied UMass Dartmouth's comeback win with an eight-yard plunge with 2:13 left in regulation.

Sophomore Derek Tarpey (Tewksbury, Mass.) led the Corsairs' defense with 13 tackles, including one stop for a loss. Junior Cody Merritt (Plymouth, Mass.) was one tackle off the team lead, while sophomore Blake Sullivan (Medford, Mass.) and freshman David Collins (Mansfield, Mass.) each reached double digits in stops with 10.

UMass Dartmouth will return to action at 1 p.m. on Nov. 2, when the Corsairs host Western Connecticut State University on Senior Day.