LEICESTER, MASS: The Anna Maria College Football Team fell to the Hawks of Becker College on Friday evening at Alumni Field on the campus of Becker College in Leicester.
September 6, 2019
Alumni Field, Leicester, Mass.
Score: Becker 33, Anna Maria 19
Records: The Hawks of Becker 1-0 | The AMCATS of Anna Maria 0-1
· Randy Morgan (Spring Hill, Fla.), in just his first collegiate game, was a workhorse, rushing for his 133 yards on 29 carries. Morgan also returned two kicks for 35 yards, giving him 168 all-purpose yards on the night.
· Anna Maria sophomore quarterback Alex Cohen (Plymouth, Mass. / Plymouth South) accounted for all but a handful of the AMCATS offense, with 139 passing yards and 32 yards on the ground.
· Becker junior running backs David Collins (Staten Island, N.Y. / Curtis) and Taizon Barrett (Westchester, N.Y. / Walter Panas) were both key parts of an aggressive Hawk rushing attack, with Collins rushing for 90 yards off 20 carries and Barrett going for 47 yards off ten handoffs. Both upper-classmen were also credited with a score.
· Anna Maria sophomore defensive back Tyshawn Anderson (Lynn, Mass. / Lynn English) led the AMCATS with 11 total tackles and a critical on-side recovery late in the game.
· Becker junior linebacker Jared Zieman (Bethel, Conn. / Bethel) had five tackles to lead the Hawks,
· The Hawks received the kickoff to open the game, who used a dedicated rushing attack to power the ball for 62 yards off seven rushes, ultimately scoring off a 20 yard rush from Morgan for their first touchdown of the season. After Anna Maria junior linebacker William Moreno (Boston, Mass. / Boston Community Leadership) blocked the extra point, Becker took a 6-0 lead.
· The AMCATs went 3-0 on their ensuing possession, and after a short punt, Becker took over with excellent field possession at the Anna Maria 40. This time, the AMCAT defense stuffed the Hawk rushing attack, forcing Becker's first punt of the day. Becker senior punter Robert Pellerin (Gorham, Maine / Gorham) placed a beautiful kick which the Hawks downed at the five, and once again Anna Maria was stranded deep in their own territory.
· After another Anna Maria punt, Becker picked up a huge play when the visitors were flagged for pass interference, giving the Hawks a first down at the AMCAT 15. Two plays later, Collins punched through a hole for a ten yard touchdown rush, putting Becker ahead 12-0 after a failed extra-point.
· On the ensuing drive, Anna Maria crossed into Becker territory on a 29 yard reception on third down, only for it to be called back on a block in the back penalty. The AMCATS would be forced to punt.
· The second quarter saw Becker driving deep into Anna Maria territory again, only for back-to-back penalties to set the Hawks back near midfield. Facing third-and-nine at the AMCAT 36, the Anna Maria defense stopped Collins after a four yard gain. Still out of field goal range, the Hawks went for it on fourth down, only for Anna Maria sophomore Nathaniel Slaughter (Beacon, N.Y. / Gateway) to make the tackle on Morgan two yards short of a first down as the AMCATs.
· Anna Maria finally crossed into Becker territory on their ensuing possession, with a long completion to sophomore wide receiver Hayden Braga (Foster, R.I. / Ponaganset) who made a diving grab at the Becker 47 yard line. From there, the AMCAT offense quickly stalled. Anna Maria went deep for one the few times on the night, but Becker sophomore defensive back Elijah Hill (Tampa, Fla. / Hillsborough) broke up the pass, nearly forcing an interception. The visitors were forced to punt once again.
· After the Hawks went three-and-out, Anna Maria took over at the Becker 31, and appeared to have cracked the scoring end zone on a daring 29 touchdown pass on fourth down. But once again, a critical penalty cost the AMCATS a big play, this time holding, and they were forced to punt. Braga punted a perfect ball that was downed at the Becker one, salvaging a tough break for Anna Maria.
· After a three-and-out, the AMCATs again took over with strong field position at the Becker 46. This time, the visitors would capitalize, as Cohen found sophomore wide receiver Marquis Roderiqe (Dorchester, Mass. / BCLA) in the end zone with 41 seconds left in the half for Anna Maria's first score of the season. After a missed extra point, the score was 12-6 in favor of Becker going into halftime.
· On the opening kickoff of the second half, Roderiqe broke two tackles to reach the Anna Maria 44 yard line. Just three plays into the drive, however, Becker freshman defensive lineman Carlos Roche (Boston, Mass. / West Roxbury Academy) stripped the Anna Maria running back of the ball and recovered it himself, as the Hawks took over at the AMCAT 48.
· On the ensuing drive, Becker again relied on a small ball approach, grinding into the Anna Maria defense. Forced to go for it on fourth down, junior quarterback Mac Kimball (Bow, N.H. / Bow) completed a 12 yard pass to junior wide receiver Timothy Williamson (Brooklyn, N.Y. / Southbridge) for a first down at the AMCAT 21 for his first completion on the day. Two plays later, Morgan broke through again for a 14 yard rushing touchdown. Collins punched through two two-point conversion as Becker went ahead, 20-6.
· Anna Maria would soon answer. Roderiqe returned the kickoff 37 yards to the Becker 42. A penalty against the Hawks gave the AMCATs even better position, all the way to the 27. Facing a fourth-and-one at the Becker 18, Cohen not only picked up the first down on the option but made it all the way to the end zone. The extra-point cut the lead to seven at 20-13.
· The Anna Maria defense had forced a Becker three-and-out when they were flagged for a roughing the kicker penalty against the punter, giving the Hawks a fresh set of downs at the AMCAT 45. But Anna Maria junior defensive back Swavaughn Smalls (Mattapan, Mass. / Leadership Academy) sacked Kimball on the very next snap, helping the visitors force another three-and-out.
· Still trailing, the AMCATs attempted to go to the air on the next series, only to get burned when Becker sophomore defensive back Emilio Muniz (Meriden, Conn. / Francis T. Maloney) picked off a pass, returning it to the Hawks' 39. It was the first interception of the year for the Hawks.
· On the ensuing drive, Becker turned again to the ground game, as Morgan, Collins and Barrett combined to pound the ball all the way to the Anna Maria 1. Kimball kept the ball on the quarterback sneak, then kicked the extra point to put the Hawks ahead 27-13 with 11:24 to go in the game.
· On their first snap of the next drive, Cohen was sacked by Becker senior defensive lineman Christian Perkins (Melrose, Mass. / Melrose). Forced to pass, the AMCATs would go three and out with Zieman credited with a quarterback hurry. Barrett would take the punt return to the Anna Maria 49, giving the Hawks' control with a two-touchdown lead with just 10:06 to go.
· Becker would again go to the ground on the ensuing drive to run down the clock, and with just five minutes left, it was the AMCATs who were flagged for a penalty, giving the Hawks the first down at the visitors' 16-yard line. With the clock continuing to run, Anna Maria was once again penalized for a defensive foul, with Becker gaining a first down at the six. Anna Maria was forced to start using their timeouts with 2:08 to go. Becker would finally finish the crucial drive with a handoff to Barrett for a three-yard rushing touchdown, putting the Hawks ahead 33-13 after a failed extra-point and just 1:55 to go.
· Anna Maria gamely went to the air, with Cohen going three-for-three and throwing for 50 yards in 45 seconds. Cohen found freshman wide receiver David Robinson (Boston, Mass. / Bloomfield) for a three-yard touchdown pass, cutting the lead to 33-19 with 59 seconds left after the failed extra point.
· On the ensuing on-side kick, Anderson recovered the kick, giving the AMCATs life with less than a minute left. Cohen found Robinson again for a big gain before a hit from Roche caused a fumble that was pounced on by Williamson, effectively ending the game.
Anna Maria will be back in action next Saturday the 14th of September against Union (NY) on AMCAT Field for the team's home opener. Kickoff is set for 1:00 PM.