Football: Merchant Marine pulls away from Norwich late, 52-17

Bill Croney/Northfield News
Bill Croney/Northfield News

NORTHFIELD, VT. – The Norwich University football team saw a 17-17 game slip away when United States Merchant Marine Academy Mariners put up a 28-0 fourth quarter to pull away and finish off a 52-17 victory over the Cadets on Saturday afternoon in NEWMAC action.

Senior quarterback Brice Moore haunted the Norwich defense all day, running for 221 yards and a touchdown, as well as passing for 80 more yards and a touchdown to lead the Merchant Marine (3-2, 2-1 NEWMAC) offense in the victory. The Mariners rushed for 551 yards and had 631 yards of total offense.

Freshman kicker Clyde Tamburro (Elizabethtown, Pa.) got the Cadet's on the board in the second quarter by nailing a 30-yard field goal, bringing the score to 7-3 midway through the second quarter.

After Merchant Marine opened the second half with a field goal, the Cadets answered with a 16-yard touchdown reception from senior Nolan Aurelia (Stratford, Conn.) delivered by sophomore quarterback Matthew Chaffee (Middletown, N.Y.).

Chaffee found Aurelia all alone in the middle of the end zone and hit him with a perfect pass on the numbers after rolling out to his left.

After a Merchant Marine score, the Cadets once again rallied to tie the game at 17-17 with a 24-yard touchdown pass from Chaffee, this time caught by freshman wide receiver Tristan Weathers (Sewaren, N.J.) towards the end of the third quarter.

Once again Chaffee rolled out to his left, evaded a pair of Merchant Marine defenders and found Weathers for a diving catch just inside the end zone on the right side of the field to level the score with a successful PAT from Tamburro.

However, the fourth quarter saw the Mariners pull away with this contest as they scored four rushing touchdowns and sealed the game with a fumble recovery for a touchdown during the fourth quarter.

Defensively, senior Austin Roberts (East Bridgewater, Mass.) led the Cadets with an impressive 22 tackles on the day. Junior Bo Phillips (Chappaqua, N.Y.) had a great day as well with 11 tackles, a forced and recovered fumble, and an interception.

Norwich (0-6, 0-3 NEWMAC) will try to notch their first win of 2017 after their bye-week when they take on Maine Maritime on October 21st at Sabine Field. Kickoff is slated for 1:30 p.m.