CASTLETON, Vt. – Coming off a thrilling victory last Saturday night, the Castleton University football team heads to SUNY Maritime to take on the Privateers Saturday, Oct. 28, in an Eastern Collegiate Football Conference contest starting at 1 p.m.
Castleton improved to 4-3 overall with a 17-14 victory over Dean College at Spartan Stadium as Moe Harris broke through for a 44-yard touchdown run with 2:34 remaining in the fourth quarter. This is the third consecutive year in which the Spartans have started the conference season with a 3-1 record, currently tied with SUNY Maritime for second place in the league standings, one game behind Husson.
After last week's 200-yard, two-touchdown performance, Harris is second in the ECFC and 28th in the country in both rushing yards per game (119.0) and rushing touchdowns (10). Currently with 833 yards so far this season, Harris needs just 11 yards to move into second place on Castleton's single-season rushing list, passing Tyler Carpenter's 2009 total of 843 rushing yards.
On defense, Jakob Trautwein continues to lead the team and the league with 12.1 tackles per game, good enough for 10th in the country. Trautwein is third in the ECFC with 11 tackles for a loss, while Bubba Collins is seventh in the conference with 9.5 tackles for a loss. Last week against Dean, Grant Cummings led the Spartans with 11 tackles, with Justin Nolan contributing 10 tackles, including 2.5 tackles for a loss.
SUNY Maritime has lost just once so far this season, a 35-17 loss at Husson on Oct. 7. The Privateers improved to 6-1 with a 21-13 victory at Mount Ida last Saturday, taking the lead for good late in the third quarter on a 30-yard interception return for a touchdown by Matt Mavrovich. The Mustangs held the Privateers to half of their scoring average coming into the game, as SUNY Maritime had scored at least 37 points in each of its previous five victories.
Thomas Wright is the leading quarterback in the ECFC, completing 58.45 percent of his passes (128-for-219) for 1,789 yards and 12 touchdowns. Wright has also gained 172 yards on the ground with six rushing touchdowns, third in the ECFC in that category. Chris Olberding is the Privateers' leading rusher with 477 yards and five touchdowns, while Brandonn Drumgole is Wright's top target, collecting 51 receptions for 694 yards and seven touchdowns.
Kendal Parker leads the Privateer defense with 9.3 tackles per game, tied for fourth in the league, including 5.5 sacks, second in the ECFC, as part of 10.5 tackles for a total loss of 51 yards. In the defensive backfield, Justin Snuffer leads SUNY Maritime with three interceptions, while Karl Riek has one interception, seven pass breakups, and two blocked kicks.
The series between Castleton and SUNY Maritime is tied 4-4, with the Privateers winning four of the first five matchups before the Spartans put together the current three-game winning streak. In 2015, the last time Castleton traveled to SUNY Maritime, the Spartans defeated the Privateers 49-34 as Harris carried the ball 34 times for 157 yards and five touchdowns, still a Castleton single-game record.
Last season at Spartan Stadium, Castleton rallied from an eight-point deficit midway through the third quarter to defeat SUNY Maritime on Senior Day, 32-31. Corey Brimmer collected 28 carries for 80 yards and three touchdowns, and Trautwein led the defense with 14 tackles, with Joe DeAlesandro earning 13 total tackles and two pass breakups.
After Saturday's game, Castleton hosts Gallaudet University on Senior Day Saturday, Nov. 4, with a 12 noon kickoff at Spartan Stadium.