By Jared Prenda
The Catholic University of America football team is still in the hunt for their first win on the season as they fell 44-10 to the Merchant Marine Academy at Cardinal Stadium this past Saturday. The loss brings the team’s record to 0-8 (0-6 NEWMAC) as the team’s offensive woes continue for the year.
Freshman receiver Johnny Hecht was the one of the few bright spots for the Catholic University Cardinals as he posted careers highs in both catches and yards with five receptions for 120 yards. Hecht is only the second Cardinal to break the 100 yards receiving mark this year as sophomore Trey Carson recorded 109 yards on 10 receptions when the team played Utica.
Catholic U got off to a hot start as they played the 7-1 Mariners, who sit second in the NEWMAC standings. The team recorded 105 yards of total offense in the first quarter including an 86-yard touchdown pass from sophomore Nick Gonzalez to Hecht with 17 seconds remaining to bring the game to 10-7 at the end of the first quarter. The completion is the longest pass completion since October, 2008 and the longest touchdown since September, 2006.
The game was Gonzalez’s first start of the season, and the Miami, Florida native went 12-23 for 162 yards and a touchdown and a pick before being replaced by freshman Michael Nicosia who went 5-13 for 68 yards.
Despite this promising start, the team soon faltered, and only gained 89 yards of total offense for the remainder of the game. The Catholic team soon surrendered three straight touchdowns in the second quarter, including a fumble in their own endzone to expand the deficit to 31-7 at the half. Merchant Marine, who is ranked eighth in the East, wasted no time in the third quarter as they scored another touchdown less than five minutes into the half.
Catholic University would not find the scoreboard until there was only 2:48 on the clock in the third quarter when kicker Sean Gould remained perfect on field goals for the year and sent a 33-yarder through the uprights to make the score 37-10. The freshman is 4-4 on the season in field goal attempts, and 3-3 on attempts between 30-39 yards. The USMMA would score one more touchdown half way through the fourth to bring the game to its final score of 44-10.
Catholic will return to action for the final time this Saturday, November 10 as they square off against Maine Maritime at Cardinal Stadium. The matchup will be one of pride as the Mariners are also 0-8 on the season, and both teams will be fighting for at least one win on their record before the season comes to a close.