This release is courtesy of USMMA Sports Information.
BEVERLEY, Mass. (Nov. 17, 2018) – The USMMA football team defeated Endicott College, 38-22, on Saturday to capture the 2018 New England Bowl. With the win, the Mariners' second victory in a bowl game in as many years, Merchant Marine has tied the Academy's single-season program record with eight victories.
The Mariners end the year 8-2, which marks the eighth time in program history that the Mariners have compiled eight wins in a season – 1968, 1976, 1985, 1986, 1992, 1997, 2002 and now 2018. The Gulls end the 2018 campaign with a 7-4 record, their first winning season since 2013.
Merchant Marine was led by junior quarterback Krystian Abbott (Lansing, Kan.), who rushed for 109 yards and one score on 25 carries. He also completed six passes on 11 attempts for 97 yards. For his efforts, Abbott was named the New England Bowl Most Outstanding Player.
Leading 17-14 in the fourth quarter, Merchant Marine scored three unanswered touchdowns to claim all momentum in the contest and come away with the victory.
The Mariners grabbed a 14-0 lead in the first quarter after one-yard rushing touchdowns by senior Joseph Bellomo (Holliston, Mass.) and junior James Early (Middletown, Md.).
Endicott made things interesting by scoring a touchdown in the second and third quarters, respectively, while holding Merchant Marine to just a 24-yard field goal by junior Gavin Gartner (Cedar Park, Texas) in the second quarter.
Junior wide receiver Justin McEwen cut the Gulls' deficit in half at 14-7 in the second with a 35-yard passing touchdown to classmate and quarterback Joe Kalosky at 6:54. After giving up the field goal nearly five minutes later, senior Christian Cole hauled in a catch down the left sideline at 12:31 of the third and took it 43 yards to make it 17-14.
From there, Merchant Marine took over using three separate rushing touchdowns to seal the victory by freshman Matt Strong (Pacific, Mo.), from 17 yards, Abbott from eight yards and senior Dominic Spadafore (Lodi, Calif.) from 10 yards.
FOR MERCHANT MARINE
- The Mariners outgained Endicott 559-333.
- Of the 559 yards, 462 of them came on the ground (90 rushing attempts, 5.1 average per rush).
- Merchant Marine won the time of possession battle 41:40-18:20.
- Senior Wiley Martin (Polo, Mo.) racked up 105 yards on the ground on 16 attempts (long 53, 6.6 average).
- Senior Brooks Cannell (Ambler, Pa.) paced the Merchant Marine defense with a team-high 11 tackles (six solo, five assisted).
- Junior Tanner Carter (Columbiana, Ala.) had two interceptions (13 yards) and three tackles (one solo, three assisted).
- Merchant Marine improved to 6-3 overall in postseason play (6-2 in bowl games, 0-1 NCAA).