CASTLETON, Vt. – In a back-and-forth affair that saw over 800 yards of total offense combined, Castleton University used two late touchdown runs by Moe Harris to defeat Mount Ida College, 35-31, Saturday afternoon in an Eastern Collegiate Football Conference contest at Spartan Stadium. The Mustangs fall to 2-3 overall and 1-1 in ECFC play, while the Spartans move to 3-2 overall and 2-0 in conference action.
The Mustangs started the game with an opening-drive touchdown run from running back De'Andre Goldson-Fisher (Springfield, MA) continuing his streak of three-straight games with a touchdown. Castleton would tie the score at 7-7 later in the first quarter on a Mitchell Caron (Augusta, ME) touchdown pass to Jermaine Coggins (Waterbury, CT). After another touchdown from Caron, the Mustangs had the ball 1st and goal from the four-yard line, but the Spartans defense stood-strong and forced the turnover on downs.
The offense came back out onto the field inspired and brought the score to 13-14 after another touchdown run from Goldson-Fisher, but the Mustangs could not convert the 2-point conversion. A big defensive stand by the Mustangs, capped by a tackle for loss from Chris Medeiros (Pelham, NH) gave the Mustangs the ball back with 2:10 remaining in the first half. Quarterback Mike Pina (Brockton, MA) was able to settle the team and run a terrific two-minute offense, which he capped with a 20-yard touchdown pass to freshman Kolbie Humble (Vidor, TX). Mount Ida went into halftime leading 19-14 after they failed to complete another 2-point conversation.
Castleton opened the second half with a fleaflicker as Caron found Adnane Adossama (South Burlington, VT) wide open down the field for a 61-yard touchdown pass. Mount Ida responded with its own trick play, faking a punt to gain a first down near midfield, but the Mustangs would turn the ball over on downs. The Spartans threatened to increase their lead with a nine-play, 54-yard drive that stalled on the Mustang 18-yard line, but the field goal attempt was blocked by Medeiros and brought back all the back to the Castleton end zone by DeSean Hart (Mays Landing, NJ). However, two Mustang penalties wiped out the touchdown and forced Mount Ida to start its next drive from its own 16-yard line, a drive that would end with a punt.
Both teams struggled to put more points on the board until Mount Ida responded with an 18-play, 96-yard drive that took 9:27, with Pina completing a 10-yard touchdown pass to Nick Hewitt (Killingly, CT) to give the visitors a 25-21 lead with 3:41 left in regulation. Caron marched the Spartans back into the redzone, with Moe Harris (Pine Hill, NJ) sprinting 20 yards for his first touchdown of the day to put Castleton back on top, 28-25, with 1:47 remaining in the fourth quarter. The Mustangs were unable to execute on offense, turning the ball over on downs after a Spartan defender batted away Pina's pass attempt on fourth down, and Harris put the game away on the next play with a 42-yard touchdown run, his longest run of the season. Mount Ida ran out the final 52 seconds with a seven-play drive, capped by an 18-yard touchdown pass from Pina to Hewitt as time ran out.
Mount Ida finished with 429 yards of total offense and close to 34 minutes of possession time, but the Mustangs were hurt by 10 penalties totaling 98 yards. Goldson-Fisher finished with 163 yards on 23 carries and two touchdowns, while Pina completed 18-of-32 passes for 210 yards and three touchdowns.
The Mustangs look to rebound next Saturday as they head to Dean College for ECFC action at 12:00pm. Castleton heads to Bangor, Maine for a contest against defending ECFC champion Husson next Saturday, Oct. 14, starting at 1 p.m.
Founded in 1899, Mount Ida College is a small, private college in Newton, Massachusetts, providing career-focused programs built upon a strong foundation in the social sciences, humanities and the arts, all developed and implemented to prepare our approximately 1,450 students for success. The College is comprised of the School of Applied Sciences, the School of Business, the School of Design and the School of Social Sciences and Humanities, awarding associate, bachelor and master's degrees. www.mountida.edu