THROGGS NECK, N.Y. – The Castleton University football team dropped an Eastern Collegiate Football Conference contest Saturday afternoon at SUNY Maritime, falling by a final score of 21-3.
Castleton falls to 0-6 overall with the loss with an 0-2 mark in ECFC play, while Maritime is now 2-4 on the year and 1-1 in conference play. The Privateers controlled the pace of play, possessing the ball for nearly 36 minutes while collecting 19 first downs and converting 8-of-14 on third down. Castleton was just 3-of-12 on third down with 24 minutes of possession. The two sides were nearly even in total yardage, as Maritime held a slight edge, 288-271. Castleton threw for 197 yards and ran for just 74, while the Privateers collected 177 yards on the ground and 111 through the air.
Jacob McCarthy completed 21-of-38 passes for 197 yards and an interception, finding Anthony Martinez nine times for 115 yards. Simon Davis Jr. carried the ball 13 times for 45 yards, while Matthew Hesford added 31 yards on seven carries. Jared Brockway reeled in four catches for 24 yards, while Castleton's only points came from the foot of Andy Kenosh who knocked through a 29-yard field goal in the third quarter.
Seth Gewanter's 12 tackles led all players in the game as he racked up six solo tackles and six assists. He also forced a fumble in addition to 1.5 tackles for a loss. Dustin Rock added a pair of tackles for a loss as part of a nine-tackle day, while three of Chris Rice's five tackles went for negative yardage.
Maritime's offense was led by 118 yards and a score from Hezekiah Williamson. Robert Wheeler threw for 111 yards, completing 14-of-19 passes with a pair of touchdowns. Both of those touchdowns were reeled in by Matthew Cebulski who finished the day with four catches, 55 yards and the two scores.
The first half nearly went scoreless, but the Privateers put together the game's first scoring drive late in the second quarter. After forcing Castleton to punt, Maritime took over at its own 34-yard line with four minutes to play until the break. Williamson broke off a 21-yard run on the drive's first play, before Wheeler found Andrew Geni for four yards on the next play. The next six plays were all rushes by Williamson, who racked up 41 yards before breaking the plane and giving the Privateers a 7-0 lead after Joseph Gagliardi knocked through the extra point with just 33 seconds left in the half.
The lead was doubled on the first possession out of the locker room, as Maritime drove down the field 60 yards in 11 plays while burning seven minutes off the clock. The Castleton defense buckled down in the red zone momentarily, stuffing a first-down run before drawing a holding penalty to push the ball back to the 18-yard line. Spencer Kozlak then stuffed Wheeler for a four-yard loss on a quarterback draw, bringing up third-and-goal from the 22. The Privateers were unfazed, as Wheeler connected with Cebulski on the left side for a 22-yard touchdown to make it 14-0.
Castleton answered with points on the ensuing drive, as Kenosh's field goal made it 14-3. The Spartan drive covered 51 yards in nine plays and 4:24 on the clock, beginning with a 32-yard completion from McCarthy to Martinez to push the ball into Maritime territory. Davis Jr. then carried the ball three times to pick up a first down, but Castleton was unable to get another first down as the drive stalled out in the red zone before Kenosh buried the 29-yard kick.
Maritime managed the game's last score in the fourth quarter after a costly special teams error and a penalty by the Spartans. After the defense got a stop and forced a punt, Castleton fumbled on the return. Maritime recovered the ball at the Castleton 23 yard line, but Castleton was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct after the play to move the ball half the distance to the goal at the 11. Wheeler found Cebulski on the first play after the penalty for an 11-yard touchdown and a 21-3 lead that held until the final whistle.
Castleton returns to action next Saturday, October 26, at Alfred State. Kick-off is slated for noon.