Courtesy Norwich Sports Information
NORTHFIELD – The Norwich University football team won its third straight Eastern Collegiate Football Conference game with a 30-22 victory over Maritime (N.Y.) on Saturday afternoon at Sabine Field.
The Cadets (3-3, 3-0 ECFC) would get on the board first on a Quincy Williams (Brossard, Quebec) one-yard run, followed by a successful extra point attempt by junior kicker Wesley Medeiros (Gilford, N.H.), for the 7-0 score in the first quarter.
Maritime (3-3, 1-2 ECFC) looked to even up the score on the next possession but on the kickoff return, senior linebacker Eric Wabrek (Bridgewater, Mass.) would come up with a force fumble and the recovery against the Privateers as Norwich retained the ball on Maritime’s 31 yard line. The Cadets looked to produce a touchdown on the next drive but came up short, forcing to punt the ball away.
The Cadets would limit the Privateers’ possession of the ball on defense, forcing a punt on the next drive as Norwich started its third drive of the game on its own two yard line. The Cadets marched the ball down the field on 12 plays for 98 yards before sophomore quarterback Nolan Aurelia (Stratford, Conn.) completed a 32-yard pass to wide receiver Zach Allen (Boston, Mass.) for the touchdown, extending the lead 14-0, with 12:27 remaining in the first half.
Maritime would get on the scoreboard five minutes later on a Diogo Dietrich’s 38-yard field goal before a fluke punt by Norwich inside its own 15 yard line, sailed high over Medieros’ head for the Privateers’ safety and the 14-5 score.
The Cadets made up for their mistake shortly before the end of the half as wide receiver Pierre Noel (Manchester, N.H.) hauled in a 15-yard pass from quarterback Philippe Bazinet (Otterburn Park, Quebec) after driving downfield on 82 yards in 14 plays to push Norwich’s lead to 15 for the 20-5 score at the half.
After the halftime break, Maritime struck hard and fast, wasting no time to score its first touchdown of the game on a Zack Chilcott one yard run for the 20-12 score with 12:25 on the board in the third quarter.
Norwich responded quickly three minutes later as Bazinet connected with Allen on a 25-yard pass for his second touchdown of the game with the Cadets still ahead by 15. The Privateers continued to battle their way back into the game late in the third as Dietrich nailed his second field goal from 27-yards out to shave down the deficit to 27-15 before the start of the fourth quarter.
Norwich looked to burn time off the clock in the fourth quarter and attempted to score once more but was stonewalled by Maritime’s defense and had to settle for a Medieros’ 22-yard field goal.
With time running out, Maritime moved the ball down field for 76 yards on 10 plays before Chilcott completed a 7-yard pass to Brett McKinney for the touchdown, cutting the deficit to seven points. After stopping the Cadets’ march downfield with just 39 seconds on the clock, Maritime started its final drive down field for 42 yards but time expired as the Cadets held on for the 30-22 victory.
Bazinet produced 259 passing yards after going 18-for-27 in the pocket with two touchdowns as Aurelia threw a perfect 2-for-2 for a touchdown for the Cadets. Williams would lead the ground attack, rushing for 107 yards on 16 attempts and a touchdown, while Allen led the air attack for 192 receiving yards on seven attempts and two scores with Noel racking up 76 yards for 10 receptions and a touchdown.
Junior defensive back Donovan Murby (Manchester, N.H.) collected a team-high five solo tackles for the Cadets as classmate Tyler Bates(Marblehead, Mass.) collected two solos and five assist tackles for a team-high seven total tackles on the day. Wabrek came up with two tackles along with a forced fumble and a fumble recovery, as the Cadets held Maritime to just 167 rushing yards in the win.
Norwich will return to action next weekend as the Cadets host Anna Maria College for the 1:30 p.m. kickoff.