Bangor’s Husson University and Castine’s Maine Maritime Academy will look to bounce back from close losses two weeks ago in two intriguing contests against Massachusetts opponents this weekend.
Husson entertains Dean College for a rare Friday night game and Maine Maritime heads to Buzzards Bay on Saturday afternoon to take on archrival Massachusetts Maritime Academy in the 44th annual Admiral’s Cup at Clean Harbors Stadium.
Husson Director of Athletics Frank Pergolizzi said they wanted to play a night game to “create some excitement and do something a little different. And Dean was open to it. The kids are excited about playing at night.”
Husson and Maine Maritime both lost by the same score to New York teams (35-28) and have had two weeks to prepare for this weekend’s opponents.
Dean College is making the transition from a two-year school to a four-year school, and the Bulldogs will join Husson in the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference next season.
Dean College played its first ever game against an NCAA Division III team last weekend and lost 24-14 to Salve Regina.
Salve Regina beat Husson 42-39 in the Clayton Chapman Bowl Championship game last season.
Dean College (0-1) at Husson University (0-1), Friday, 7 p.m., Winkin Sports Complex, Bangor: The visiting Bulldogs don’t have any seniors and only one junior, but Husson coach Gabby Price is quick to point out that Dean College has a 50-year football tradition and will be a tough opponent.
“They’re a very good football team. They would be in the top half of our conference today,” said Price.
“They do a lot of different things. They are very active on defense, and they spread out on offense,” said Price. “They have a great recruiting base. They have a lot of things going for them.”
Dean College has 85 players on its roster, including 17 from Florida and Georgia.
“We know we have a great challenge on Friday night,” said Dean College first-year head coach Steve Tirrell. “We know Husson was the preseason No. 1 pick in the conference, and they have the No. 1 running back in the league [John Smith].
Tirrell, 50, has an extensive coaching resume that includes stints as an assistant coach at the University of Massachusetts, Northeastern and Brown.
Husson junior Smith continued to close in on the school’s all-time career rushing record by running for 153 yards on 22 carries against Alfred. He has 3,294 career yards, 297 yards shy of Julius Williams’ mark.
Cory Brandon completed 16 of 29 passes for 181 yards, and he spread it out with eight different receivers catching at least one pass.
Defensively, Price said his line was “immense” against Alfred led by Luke Washburn, who led the team with 10 tackles, Tarik Smith (6), Elvin Suazo Jr. (4) and Jeff Turcotte (1).
Linebackers Ellis Throckmorton (7) and Alonzo Connor (6) and defensive back Logan Steward (6) were the other top tacklers.
Converted wide receiver David Curry will be quarterbacking the Bulldogs, and Brendan Carter, who was a quarterback, will be their featured running back. Justin White headlines the receiving corps.
The defense features the team’s lone junior, linebacker Trent Waters, along with sophomores Taj Watkins, Noel Brown and Tyler Joseph.
Maine Maritime Academy (0-1) at Massachusetts Maritime Academy (1-0), Saturday, 1 p.m., Clean Harbors Stadium, Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts: The two engaged in a wild affair last season with Maine Maritime building a 41-13 lead and holding on for a 47-41 triumph. That snapped the Buccaneers’ four-game winning streak in the series. Massachusetts Maritime holds a 25-18 advantage in the series.
“We’ve had some real barn burners with Mass. Maritime,” said Maine Maritime coach Chris McKenney.
The Buccaneers are coming off a 28-24 win over SUNY Maritime in the Chowder Bowl.
McKenney, who has an 8-7 record against Massachusetts Maritime, said his team has to reduce its turnovers, do a better job in the red zone (inside the opponent’s 20-yard line) and finish the game more efficiently.
The Mariners turned the ball over five times against SUNY Maritime, including four interceptions. They went 4-for-8 in the red zone and squandered a 28-14 lead with 6:26 remaining in regulation.
McKenney was pleased with his running backs as James Ferrar (81 yards, 19 carries) and Josh Doolan (80 on 17) paced the Mariners. He also thought quarterback Corey Creeger (6-for-13, 123 yards, four interceptions) had a decent debut but has to take care of the ball better.
Linebacker Cody Chapman (10 tackles) turned in an impressive performance according to McKenney, and he also praised freshman safety Jaret Mundth (10) and junior cornerback Ben Salley (6).
Massachusetts Maritime received a career-high 100 yards rushing from Richie Phillips as first-team, all-conference running back Kenny Pierce suffered an injury and was limited to 31 yards on nine carries. Pierce, who gained 1,211 yards a year ago (including 212 on 15 carries with three touchdowns vs. Maine Maritime) is questionable for Saturday’s game.
Quarterback Chris Haggerty was 16-for-30 for 229 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions and brother Shane Haggerty caught six balls for 55 yards in the Buccaneers’ opener.
Linebacker Marshall McCarthy, a second-team, all-conference pick, has 111 tackles in his last 11 games and had 11 vs. SUNY Maritime as did fellow linebacker Bobby Gross.