Football Team Heads Northward

Football Team Heads Northward

Sept. 16, 2010

NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA-The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's football team hopes to win on the road for the first time this season when they visit Maine Maritime in a New England Football Conference crossover game Saturday afternoon. Game time at the Mariners' Ritchie Field is set for 1:00 p.m.

The Corsairs are 1-1, having lost a tough, 10-7 decision at Bridgewater State last week, while Maine Maritime is 1-0 after opening with a 47-0 victory at Anna Maria last Saturday. This will mark UMass Dartmouth's first overnight trip since Mark Robichaud took over as the head coach.

"We're leaving Friday, and going to Bangor, which is only about 45 minutes from Maine Maritime," said Robichaud. "It's a different situation traveling this way rather than traveling the day of the game."

The Mariners are the defending NEFC champions, having won the title game and advanced to the NCAA Championships last season. "Maine Maritime is a very good team," said Robichaud. "They return Jim Bower at fullback and they run the triple option, which is an extremely tough offense to defend, because we only see it once this year. It will create some challenges for our defense. They're good at it, and they know all the adjustments that defenses usually make."

The problem is two-fold. "They run their offense waiting for you to blow an assignment, and then they take advantage of it," said Robichaud. "Bower is one of the best running backs in the country, and he's very similar to Justin Fuller of Bridgewater State, who we saw last week. One of the problems is trying to prepare for it. We had to take a wide receiver who was an option quarterback in high school and make him the scout team quarterback for the week."

The Corsairs hope that their newfound emphasis on throwing the ball could cause the Mariners some consternation. "That's the reason we do some of the things we do," said Robichaud. "We hope that makes us more of a challenge to prepare for. We're going to have to score points against this team. I don't think seven points is going to be enough to win the game."

UMass Dartmouth must be disciplined and avoid mistakes if they are to be successful. "It's going to be a tough contest on both sides of the ball," said Robichaud. "We are going to have to be mistake-free, defensively, and we're going to have to execute on offense. We have to be able to take advantage of what they give us. There were times last week that we didn't do that, and we have to be able to do that against a quality opponent like Maine Maritime."

The Corsairs will return home next week to host Plymouth State in the homecoming game.