Massachusetts Maritime Academy: 8th Annual Chowder Bowl Opens ’15 College Football Season

BUZZARDS BAY — Massachusetts Maritime begins its 43rd NCAA varsity intercollegiate season tonight as the Buccaneers tangle with the SUNY-Maritime Privateers in the Eighth Annual Chowder Bowl at Clean Harbors Stadium with the opening kick-off set for 6:00 pm.

Massachusetts Maritime Academy defensive lineman Jack Schmitt is a Bourne native and Bourne Canalmen alum. MMA Athletics Photo

Massachusetts Maritime Academy defensive lineman Jack Schmitt is a Bourne native and Bourne Canalmen alum.
MMA Athletics Photo

Massachusetts Maritime welcomes back 50 letterwinners and 11 starters from last year’s squad that took four overall victories, including triumphs in the 42nd Annual Admiral’s Cup over Maine Maritime and a season-ending 31-21 win at Bridgewater State in the 36th Annual Cranberry Bowl Presented By Ocean Spray, and Head Coach Jeremy Cameron is looking to keep the momentum of last year’s late-season surge going this fall. SUNY-Maritime opened its 2015 slate last Saturday afternoon with a 30-0 non-league victory over Maine Maritime at Reinhart Field in Throggs Neck, N.Y.

LAST MEETING: Massachusetts Maritime and SUNY-Maritime last met on September 11, 2014 in the Seventh Annual Chowder Bowl at Reinhart Field in Throggs Neck, N.Y., and the Privateers used a touchdown with 93 seconds remaining to eke out to a 31-30 victory over the Buccaneers. Massachusetts Maritime overcame an early 3-0 deficit to take a 14-3 hafltime advantage on a 10-yard touchdown pass from John Trudel to junior Aidan Desrosiers (North Attleboro, Mass./Xaverian) that was followed by a 30-yard fumble recovery for a score by Victor Andrade right before the break. SUNY-Maritime used a pair of third quarter scores to regain the lead, but a one-yard run by senior co-captain David Yerxa (Milford, Conn./Foran) early in the final frame staked the visitors to a 21-18 cushion. The hosts answered back with a score of their own in the see-saw affair, and Desrosiers’ second scoring catch of the contest, a three-yard toss from Trudel with 4:41 remaining, gave the Buccaneers their final lead of the night at 28-25.

The Privateers drove 59 yards for the go-ahead touchdown with 1:33 to play, and after regaining possession on an interception at midfield, SUNY-Maritime allowed a safety with six seconds to go before kicking off and running out the clock to post its triumph. Trudel amassed 273 yards of total offense, including 190 yards through the air and 83 more on the gound, in the setback for Massachusetts Maritime, which also received a combined 11 receptions and 114 yards from Bobby Rosano and junior Shane Haggerty (Cohasset, Mass./Cohasset). Richard Ford paced the Buccaneers defensively with 13 total tackles, including 11 solo stops.

THE SERIES: Massachusetts Maritime and SUNY-Maritime are meeting for the eighth time this evening, and Manhattan has had the upper hand over New England in all things Chowder, with the Privateers having won six of the first seven match-ups with the Buccaneers dating back to the 2007 season. The two schools first met in the inaugural Chowder Bowl on August 31, 2007 at Clean Harbors Stadium, as SUNY-Maritime prevailed in that contest by a 10-6 margin. The lone Massachusetts Maritime series triumph came on September 12, 2013 at Clean Harbors Stadium, as the Buccaneers rallied from a 10-point third quarter deficit to notch a 24-20 win. The only year the Chowder Bowl was not played was during the 2011 campaign, as SUNY-Maritime has won the last two contests in The Bronx in the final 113 seconds combined. The Privateers also prevailed in the 2009 Chowder Bowl contest played on the Cape by a 31-14 final.

THE BUCCANEERS: Sophomore Kenny Pierce (Beverly, Mass./Beverly), a three-time Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference Rookie of the Week selection last fall, led Massachusetts Maritime in rushing with last season with 534 yards and four touchdowns, while senior co-captain Brad Skeffington (Salem, Mass./Salem) attempted just three passes while spending most of the season as both a running back and defensive back. Shane Haggerty is the top returning receiver with 14 catches for 102 yards a year ago, while senior Mike Williams (Marshfield, Mass./Marshfield) is the top returning tackler for the Buccaneers, as he made 39 total stops (31 solo) in 2014.

THE PRIVATEERS: Junior Brett McKinney leads SUNY-Maritime in rushing with 111 yards and a pair of touchdowns, while senior Zack Chilcott has completed
10-of-22 passing attempts for 137 yards and a score. Sophomore Matt Ward has hauled in three receptions for 57 yards and a touchdown, while sophomore Kendal Parker paces the Privateers defensively with 10 tackles (five solo).

HEAD COACH JEREMY CAMERON: Jeremy Cameron begins his 11th season as Head Football Coach at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy this evening. A 1997 graduate of Springfield, Cameron has amassed an overall mark of 33-63 (.344) during his tenure while guiding the Buccaneers to four winning campaigns in the last five seasons for the first time since the late 1980’s. The 2009 New England Football Conference Bogan Division Coach of the Year, Cameron has led Massachusetts Maritime to 24 victories over the last five seasons of play, and he is assisted by Mike Rainnie, Mike Kelley, Sean Clifford, Ed Borden, Andrae Murphy, Mike Rodman, Henry Quinlan, Chase Gallagher and Max Dowd. Cameron is 1-6 during his career against SUNY-Maritime.

HEAD COACH CLAYTON KENDRICK-HOLMES: Clayton Kendrick-Holmes is in his ninth season as Head Football Coach at the State University of New York-Maritime College. A 1992 graduate of the United States Naval Academy, Kendrick-Holmes has guided the Privateers to an overall mark of 43-37 (.538) during his tenure, and he is assisted by Mike Stroud, Saj Thakkar, Anthony Pedrotti, Thomas Broschardt, Tom Schaller, William Martino, Ernie Ricco, Chris Bright, Andrew Lalama and Gerard Tully. Kendrick-Holmes is 6-1 during his career against Massachusetts Maritime.

BRAD TO THE BONE: Senior co-captain Brad Skeffington (Salem, Mass./Salem) has been a versatile performer throughout his Buccaneer career, having played at quarterback, defensive back and running back over that time. Skeffington scored four touchdowns a year ago, including a pair in the October 25th 46-41 victory at UMass Dartmouth, and he recorded an interception on defense in the 27-7 triumph at Plymouth State last November 8th.

PIERCE CERTAINLY ABOVE AVERAGE: Sophomore Kenny Pierce (Beverly, Mass./Beverly) averaged seven yards per carry during his inaugural collegiate
campaign, as he led Massachusetts Maritime with 534 rushing yards on just 76 attempts. A three-time MASCAC Rookie of the Week honoree, Pierce averaged 20.7 yards per attempt in amassing a career-high 186 yards on just nine carries in the Buccaneers’ 46-41 victory at UMass Dartmouth last October 25th, and he amassed 149 yards on 19 attempts in last November 8th’s 27-7 triumph at Plymouth State.

AYE, AYE CAPTAINS: Seniors Brad Skeffington (Salem, Mass./Salem), David Yerxa (Milford, Conn./Foran), Grady McCarthy (Madison, Conn./Daniel Hand) and Ash Ergle (Modoc, S.C./Fox Creek) will serve as Massachusetts Maritime’s captains for the 2015 season. Skeffington has been a versatile performer for the Buccaneers throughout his career, as he rushed for 206 yards on 61 carries and scored a pair of touchdowns as a running back a year ago while also hauling in seven catches for 66 yards and two more scores as a receiver. On the defensive side, Brad added made seven total tackles (five solo) and recorded an interception. Yerxa rushed for a career-best 126 yards on 45 carries and scored a pair of touchdowns in 2014 and makes the move to linebacker this fall, while McCarthy amassed a career-high 21 total tackles (14 solo) to go with a pass break-up and a forced fumble in the defensive backfield. Ergle chipped in with 20 total stops (13 solo) on the defensive line for the Buccaneers, as he lends experience up front with 13 career appearances.

— Story provided by Massachusetts Maritime Academy Director of Sports Information Jim Seavey. Edited by Capecod.com Sports Editor Sean Walsh. His email is seanwalsh@ccb-media.com. Follow him on Twitter @coachwalshccbm

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