Goal-line stand lifts MMA Mariners to victory 43rd Admirals Cup

Sports; MMA; football; touchdown; 092415 The Mariners position for a touch down. Photo by Anne Berleant

The Mariners position for a touch down. Photo by Anne Berleant

CASTINE—Senior quarterback Michael Fahey amassed 216 yards of total offense and accounted for three touchdowns as Maine Maritime used a last-second goal-line stand to post a 47-41 victory over Massachusetts Maritime in the 43rd Annual Admiral’s Cup game on Saturday, September 19, at Ritchie Field.

In a game that saw the teams combine for 88 points, the highest scoring Admiral’s Cup clash in the 43-year modern-day series history, and 1,233 yards of offense, a defensive stand gave the Mariners (1-1) their first Admiral’s Cup win since 2010.

The Mariners posted a 34-13 lead early in the second quarter, and the Buccaneers responded late in the the quarter to end the high-scoring first half with the Mariners ahead 41-34.

After a high-scoring first half, the second half proved to be completely different, as the Mariners added six points on two field goals by Chad Martin to extend the Mariner lead to 47-34. Bucaneer Kenny Pierce added an 11-yard touchdown run with a little over seven minutes remaining in the game to close the gap to 47-41.The Buccaneers held the Mariners on their next drive, forcing a punt, but the Mariner defense responded when Matt Clifford  picked off Brad Skeffington at the visitor’s 12-yard line.

Matthew Anson intercepted Fahey’s pass on the next drive, giving the Buccaneers another chance.

With a little over three minutes remaining in the game, the Buccaneers took over on offense and brought it down to the Mariner four-yard line, but the Maine Maritime defense stepped up, breaking up a last-second pass from Skeffington, as time expired to claim the victory in dramatic fashion, in front of an excited homecoming crowd.

The final score broke the previous highest scoring mark in the annual rivalry contest between the two schools of 82 points set on September 28, 1991, in a 48-34 Massachusetts Maritime win in Castine, as the Buccaneers now hold a 25-18 series advantage over Maine Maritime in the Admiral’s Cup series dating back to 1973.

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