CASTINE—After scoring the first touchdown of the game to take a 7-0 lead over Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Maine Maritime Academy Mariners football team only found the end zone once more during the game on Saturday, September 24. The team went on to lose the game, 13-30, but the score after the final whistle was only a fraction of the story.
The football game was part of Maine Maritime Academy’s annual Homecoming weekend, which coincided this year with the school’s 75th anniversary. Hundreds of alumni, from graduating classes of 2016 and as far back as the very first graduating class of 1942, and current students packed the athletics parking lot over an hour before the game to mingle and reminisce while enjoying food and beverages provided by the academy during a tailgate party right next to Ritchie Field.
Prior to the game, honor classes and current regimental students marched onto the field, after which academy president Bill Brennan welcomed a full stadium to the game and the 75th anniversary celebration.
After his welcoming remarks, Brennan introduced representatives from graduating classes of each decade, including three representatives of the Class of 1942. Brennan’s father, William Brennan, was one of those three.
As the regimental students, alumni, president, Commandant of Midshipmen Nathan Gandy and alumni association president Jim Proulx stood on the field, and those in the stands rose for a standing ovation that lasted over a minute. A testament, it seemed, to just how much the academy has impacted them.
The game itself was a struggle for the Mariners, who, after scoring two touchdowns in the first half and going into halftime down 13-17, could not get any offense going in the second half against MIT’s bigger defensive line. MMA quarterback Corey Creeger (Biddeford) was forced out of the pocket on most possessions, forced to throw on the run for many of the passing plays. Creeger managed 60 yards on four completions and ran for 28 yards, while James Ferrar (Cumberland) rushed for 43 yards.
John Bennett (Chelsea) led the defense with a career-high 10 tackles and a broken up pass.
The Mariners are now 1-2 and 0-1 in conference play. The team will travel to New London, Conn. Saturday, October 1, to take on the Coast Guard Academy.
The team lost 13-30 but the score after the final whistle was only a fraction of the story.