By Jared Prenda
The Catholic University football team completed their last game with their only win of the season as they triumphed over Maine Maritime 20-14 this past weekend. The team concludes the season with a 1-9 (1-6 NEWMAC) record following the November 14th victory at Cardinal Stadium. Seven of the team’s games were played against conference opponents in the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC).
The game was tightly contested, with the Mariners scoring on a 56-yard touchdown pass to take a 6-0 lead into the half. The Cardinals managed to bounce back quickly after halftime. Sophomore quarterback Brady Berger threw a 36-yard pass to freshman Mark Cheffers to take the lead 7-0. The two sides exchanged scores until the fourth quarter, with the game tied at 14-14. Neither team would score for the first four possessions of the quarter, with Catholic losing a fumble and freshman kicker Sean Gould missing his first field goal on the season on a 27-yard attempt.
The deadlock would stand until 1:20 remained on the clock when sophomore Chance LeGrand ran for a 13-yard touchdown to bring the score to 20-14. The Card’s defense stood stalwart as Maine Maritime had one more opportunity to score and forced 3 incompletions to win Catholic U its first game.
Berger had a standout performance as he went 20-30 in the air for 198 yards and two touchdowns. Berger was joined by LeGrand who picked up 134 all-purpose yards, 66 of which were on the ground. LeGrand also led the team in receiving with 4 catches for 49 yards and rushed for a score. Freshman Johnny Hecht caught a touchdown for a second straight game.
The entire Cardinal offense was clicking this game as 11 different receivers caught a pass, the most since a game against Washington and Lee in November of 2015. The offensive line stood strong and did not allow a single sack for the first time this season.
The defense also put out one of its best performances of the season, stopping Maine Maritime in their only red zone possession of the game, when freshman Liam Dearling recovered a fumble on CUA’s own 19-yard line. Dearling led the team in tackles with 9, including 2 for a loss and the fumble recovery. Senior Joe Nacci tied with Dearling as he had 9 tackles of his own, 1 for a loss and forced a fumble.
Trevor Moore, a junior defensive lineman said, “Football is a metaphor for life. It teaches young men the discipline, commitment, and teamwork needed to overcome adversity,” after the successful game.
As the team said goodbye to its nine seniors, they also look forward to a bright future as the long season provided experience to its young roster.