PAXTON, Mass. – AMCAT quarterback Santino Simone (Worcester, MA) accounted for 417 yards and four touchdowns in a 35-33 victory over visiting Becker College at AMCAT field on Saturday afternoon. The well-earned victory marks the first win in program history for the Anna Maria football team. The win improves the AMCATS record to 1-8 (ECFC) while Becker falls to 1-9 ( 1-6 ECFC) with the loss.
Santino Simone, Josh Sundquist and Jason Campbell starred for the AMCATS, as the aforementioned Simone passed for 264 yards and a score while adding 153 yards on the ground and three scores. Josh Sundquist added 78 yards receiving and a touchdown while Campbell chipped in with eight tackles and three sacks.
Kyle Gregg (Charlotte, NC), Robert Baker (Monroe, CT) and Asante Harris (Charlotte, NC) starred for the Hawks, as Gregg paced the offense with 129 rushing yards and two scores to go along with 48 receiving yards and a score. Baker added 215 yards in the air and a score while Harris accounted for eight tackles and two interceptions.
Becker started off the scoring after Andrew Reid forced a fumble on the AMCATS' first drive of the contest. Kyle Gregg scampered into the end zone on a 21-yard rush on the following play, giving the Hawks a 7-0 advantage.
The AMCATS responded after taking over on the Becker 45-yard line following a Hawks' punt. Santino Simone hit Josh Sundquist on consecutive plays, the first a 14-yard completion while the second was a 31-yard touchdown reception to even the score.
The next two possessions the team traded scores, as Becker struck first with a Kyle Gregg two yard rushing touchdown while Anna Maria countered with a 17-yard rushing touchdown by Simone.
The visitors padded their lead on the following two drives of the contest, as quarterback Robert Baker hit Kyle Gregg for an athletic 33-yard reverse field touchdown. The Hawks proceeded to strike again after Asante Harris returned an interception 75 yards to pay dirt, giving Becker a 27-14 advantage.
The first-half lead was short lived, as a Dom Concepcion reverse put the ball on the Becker 1-yard line. Santino Simone pushed his way through the opposition and snuck into the end zone to cut the lead to 27-21.
Anna Maria's defense stepped up on the following kickoff, as Nii Quartey (Worcester, Mass.) and Jason Campbell (Melrose, Mass.) sacked Robert Baker on back-to-back plays, setting up a 4th and 25 on Becker's own one-yard line. The snap sailed high and gave Anna Maria a safety and possession of the ball following a free kick.
The AMCATS wouldn't let the free kick opportunity go to waste, as Chris Nelson returned the kick 35 yards to the Becker 37-yard line. The return set-up a Jamal Mitchell 22-yard field goal and cut the Hawk's lead to one point (27-26) heading into the locker room.
Anna Maria had possession to start the second-half and used a 40-yard Dom Concepcion reception and a 21-yard Santino Simone rush to put them in field-goal range. The big plays set-up a 19-yard field goal from Jamal Mitchell (Shelton, Conn.) that gave the AMCATS their first lead of the contest, 29-27.
Both defenses stepped it up in the 3rd quarter, as Mitchell's field goal was the only scoring down in the third frame.
The Anna Maria defense was exceptionally strong in the quarter, forcing Becker on a pair of three-and-out's while only allowing the Hawks to convert one first down.
Turnover's proved costly for both teams in the 4th quarter, as Tino Lopes (Stoughton, Mass.) forced and recovered an Anna Maria fumble at mid-field.
After being held in check the entire 3rd quarter, Robert Baker hooked up with a Corinthian Bostic (Jacksonville, Fla.) for a 30-yard gain. Ezequiel Torres (Ledyard, Conn.) finished off the drive with a one yard touchdown plunge to give the Hawks a 33-29 lead.
Becker would give the lead right back on their ensuing offensive position. Kyle Gregg coughed the ball-up and the AMCATS' recovered the fumble on the Becker 20-yard line. A pass interference penalty on the visitors put the ball at the Becker 2-yard line and Santino Simone promptly polished off the drive with his third rushing touchdown of the contest. After a missed point after, Anna Maria took back control of the lead, 35-33.
Becker had one last final shot to take the lead, as they started their final drive at the Anna Maria 49-yard line. The AMCAT defense held strong and forced the Hawks with a 4th and 2 situation on the AMC 41 yard line. Kevin Card (Deer Park, NY) and Joseph Williams (Capitol Heights, MD) brought down quarterback Robert Baker for no gain and sealed the first program win in AMCAT Football history.
Anna Maria returns to action next week when they travel to Husson University for a 1:00 pm tilt with the Eagles.