NEWTON, Mass. -- A shootout between the Mustangs and the Anna Maria AMCATs in ECFC action ended in a Mount Ida 58-41 victory Saturday afternoon at Alumni Field. It was the most points scored by the Mustangs since 2010 and the third most all-time.
Mount Ida topped a number of statistical categories in the contest as they score touchdowns on offense, defense, and on special teams. Anna Maria was the first on the scoreboard early in the first quarter when running back Christian Montero (Medford, N.Y.) scampered into the endzone for a 1-yard touchdown run. After the Mustangs turned the ball over on downs with their first possession, senior linebacker Chris Medeiros (Pelham, N.Y.) picked off AMCATs quaterback Emmanuel Leake (Providence, R.I.) and took the ball to the house for his first interception and touchdown of the season.
The two teams would continue to go back and forth for the remainder of the first quarter, capped off by a touchdown pass from Michael Pina (Brockton, Mass.) to Travis O'Brien (Portsmouth, R.I.). The second quarter would begin with a bang for the Mustangs as DeSean Hart (Mays Landing, N.J.) stripped backup quarterback Camden Brown (Gardner, Mass.) and returned the fumble 90 yards for a touchdown. Riley Ford's (Guilderland, N.Y.) extra point gave the Mustangs the 21-13 lead. Both teams continued to go up and down the field as both defenses struggled to slow down the opposing quarterback and the teams were aided by a number of penalties. With just over a minute and half remaining in the half, Hart made another terrific defensive play and intercepted Leake in the endzone, returned the ball all the way to the opposing endzone, and gave Mount Ida the 34-21 lead.
Anna Maria looked to run a two-minute offense to end the half and it looked as though the AMCATs would find the endzone, but Samuel Ejiasi (Forney, Tex.) was able to pick-off Jayson Wallace (Rochester, N.Y.) and returned the ball all the way to the Ida 49 yard line. Pina was able to complete a pass to Nick Hewitt (Killingly, Conn.) for a big 21-yard game, but the clock would run out on the half and the team would go into the break with Mount Ida leading 34-21.
After neither team was forced to punt the ball in the first half, the second half began with four straight punts. With the next Mount Ida possession, Pina used his legs to scramble for a number of big gains. The AMCATs kept Mount Ida out of the endzone and the Mustangs were forced to settle for a Ford 30-yard field goal, the first of his career. The AMCATs cut the lead to ten after Trai Weaver (Waterbury, Conn.) found the endzone just before the end of the third quarter. After terrific field position to start the drive, Oscar Lopez (Revere, Mass.) caught back to back passes from Pina for 60 yards and touchdown.
Starting the fourth quarter deep in their own territory, Anna Maria was forced to punt to Michael Whitsett (Springfield, Mass.), which turned out poorly for the visitors as he took the punt 60 yards to the endzone for another Mustangs touchdown. Now 51-27, the AMCATs needed a score to try and stay in the game, which they got just two minutes later after Wallace led an efficient drive, finished off by a 28-yard touchdown reception from Marquis Roderique (Dorchester, Mass.).
Anna Maria would add another touchdown by Wallace, cutting the lead to 51-41. The Mustangs would put the finishing touches on the game with a 51-yard touchdown reception by Hewitt, giving the Mustangs the 58-41 victory.
The teams combined for just under 1,000 yards of total offense and 46 first-downs. Mount Ida easily surpassed the most interception return yards with three picks for 185 yards. For the Mustangs, the scoring outburst was a terrific turn after a few weeks of struggling to put up points. Pina finished the afternoon 19-29 for 305 yards and three touchdowns, adding 55 yards and a touchdown on the ground. Hart led the Mustangs defensively with ten tackles, adding a fumble and interception, both of which were returned for touchdowns. Josh David (Sandown, N.H.) chipped in with nine tackles, two of which went for big losses.
Mount Ida improves to 4-5 (3-3) on the season, while the AMCATs fall to 1-8 (1-5). The Mustangs will hit the road for their final game of the season when they travel to Husson next Saturday for a 12:00pm kickoff. Anna Maria will play host to Dean on Saturday with a noon start time.
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