PAXTON, Mass.— The Anna Maria College football team snapped a 16-game home winless streak with Saturday's 27-13 Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) win over the Bison of Gallaudet University.
The win is the first of the season for Anna Maria and brings their season record to 1-8 overall and 1-5 in ECFC action. The Bison are also 1-5 in the league and 2-6 overall.
The entire game was plagued by turnovers, as Gallaudet threw three picks and lost a fumble while Anna Maria threw two interceptions of their own in the first half alone. Over the full game, the two teams combined for 10 turnovers—each team also lost two fumbles each.
Gallaudet's quarterbacks saw two of their four interceptions returned for touchdowns.
Two of the three touchdowns in the first half were pick-sixes, as Gallaudet opened scoring with a 75-yard interception return by Carneilus Smith (Chesapeake, Va.) at the 11:57 mark.
AMCAT running back St. Clair Ryan (South Easton, Mass.) evened the score at 7-7 with a one-yard touchdown run before freshman defensive back Brian Moretti (West Warwick, R.I.) returned an interception for 25-yards for the go-ahead score.
Anna Maria held a 14-7 lead at halftime and opened an even larger gap early in the third quarter when Joseph D'Onofrio (Everett, Mass.) completed a nine-yard scoring run with 11:39 still to play in the quarter.
Malik Faison (Bowie, Md.) scored Anna Maria's second defensive touchdown in the fourth quarter on a 12-yard interception return. The AMCATS tried to go for two on the extra-point attempt but were unsuccessful, sealing their 27-points.
Galladuet added a final touchdown with just under three minutes left to play in the fourth quarter as Dylan Mento (Hammonton, N.J.) caught a nine-yard touchdown pass from Tony Libit (Deerbrook, Wisc.). The extra-point attempt was fumbled by the holder.
THE DEFENSE DOES IT
The AMCATS set a new program record for sacks in a game as they brought down the Gallaudet quarterbacks eight times on the day. The also held their opponents to just one offensive score and held their opponents to a season-low 114 offensive yards.
Stefano Marziale (Cranston, R.I.) totaled a team-best 14 tackles on the day and finished with two sacks and four tackles-for-loss. Malaki Holan (New Caanan, Conn.) and Kai Nero-Clark (Wheatley Heights, N.Y.) also totaled two sacks each.
Trevor Brown (Gardner, Mass.) finished with two interceptions on the day and a pass breakup.
AMCAT OFFENSIVE LEADERS
D'Onofrio totaled 52 yards on the ground for Anna Maria. Quarterback Darius Jones-Clark (Baltimore, Md.) completed 14 of 24 passes for 165 yards on the day. His favorite target was Bailey Braga (Foster, R.I.) who exploded for eight catches and 104 yards.
Punter Francis Cole (Maspeth, N.Y.) was brilliant again, averaging 46.7 yards per punt and landing three inside the 20-yard line, including one that was downed on Gallaudet's one-yard line and set up Faison for his pick-six.
The Bison were paced by Canton Meadows (Yukon, Okla.) who totaled 28 rushing yards on 10 carries. Quarterback Antoine McKinney (Racine, Wis.) completed seven passes on 24 attempts and was responsible for all four interceptions.
The AMCATS make the short trip to Becker next weekend for the final game of the season. Kickoff is set for noon.