DARTMOUTH, Mass. -- Senior quarterback Matt Long (Weymouth, Mass.) amassed 319 yards of total offense and rushed for three touchdowns to lead Massachusetts Maritime to a 28-14 Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference football victory over UMass Dartmouth Saturday afternoon at Cressy Field.
Long staked the visiting Buccaneers (6-3, 4-3 MASCAC), who have recorded their highest single-season win total in 20 years, to a 7-0 lead 4:37 into the contest with a 79-yard run, and he increased that margin to 14-0 with 6:09 remaining in the first half on a one-yard plunge that he set up with an 82-yard pass to fellow senior Will Bennett (Sandwich, Mass.). Massachusetts Maritime expanded its edge to three scores on its first possession after intermission, as Bennett found senior Ryan McNally (Sandwich, Mass.) on a 23-yard touchdown pass on a 3rd-and-9 play, and that score held up until the latter stages of the third stanza when freshman quarterback Ryan Qualey (Woburn, Mass.) connected with senior Abbi Bamgbose (Worcester, Mass.) on a 46-yard touchdown strike that got the host Corsairs (6-3, 4-3 MASCAC) on the board with 2:26 to play in the quarter.
After a Buccaneer punt early in the final frame, Qualey and Bamgbose hooked up for their second score of the day from 26 yards out that pulled UMass Dartmouth back to within a touchdown (21-14) with 13:46 remaining in the game. Long responded in just three plays on the ensuing possession for the visitors, however, as he scampered in from five yards out after connecting with Bennett on a 64-yard pass just 61 seconds later to account for the final margin.
Long rushed for 157 yards on 19 carries and added 167 passing yards on just five completions in the win for Massachusetts Maritime, as Bennett hauled in two receptions for 146 yards in the triumph. Qualey threw for a career-high 214 yards and his two scoring tosses to Bamgbose, who hauled in six catches for 132 yards in the setback for the Corsairs. Junior Jacob Francis (Middletown, R.I.) and freshman Luis Gonzalez (Greenacres, Fla.) combined for 107 rushing yards for the hosts, as the Buccaneers outgained UMass Dartmouth by a 388-311 margin in snapping a three-game series winless streak between the two schools.
Senior Kyle Johnston (Raynham, Mass.) registered 11 total tackles, including 10 solo stops and three sacks, in the victory for Massachusetts Maritime, which received eight tackles from junior Jack Fontana (Grafton, Mass.) and an interception from senior Cam Stewart (Uxbridge, Mass.). Senior Connor Russ (Middletown, R.I.) and junior Jacob Burkhead (Plymouth, Mass.) each recorded nine total tackles in the setback for the Corsairs, which notched 10 tackles for 31 yards lost as a team on the afternoon.
UMass Dartmouth heads to Westfield, Mass. next Saturday afternoon to take on Westfield State in a Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference clash that kicks off at Noon, while Massachusetts Maritime hosts Bridgewater State in the 41st Annual Cranberry Bowl next Saturday afternoon in Buzzards Bay, Mass. that also kicks off at Noon.
(Photo Credit: Bridget Bagana '22)