Wright and Drumgole Connect on 3 Touchdowns as Privateers Dominate the Chowder Bowl 51-21
Throggs Neck, NY - The Maritime Privateers opened up Reinhart Field with a bang in the 2018 season as they dominated the Chowder Bowl against Massachusetts Maritime Academy 51-21 behind an explosive offensive performance from quarterback Thomas Wright (Wantagh, N.Y./Wantagh) and wide receiver Brandonn Drumgole (Mt. Sinai, N.Y./Mt. Sinai). The duo connected on three key touchdowns for the Privateers in the first, second, and third quarter. Maritime College received the ball to start the game and Nicholas Morman (Covington, La./Northlake Christian) gave the Privateers great field position with a 37-yard return to the Bucaneers 49-yard line. Following back-to-back carries from William Patsakos (Staten Island, N.Y./Susan E. Wagner) for a first down, the Maritime drive stalled at the 32-yard line and an aggressive decision to go for it on fourth-and-8 backfired as Massachusetts Maritime took possession. The Buccaneers took advantage of the turnover on downs immediately as quarterback Ty Ebdon threw a 67-yard bomb to Paul Sances to put them on the one-yard line. Two plays later, the Privateers found themselves trailing for the first time this season with 13:17 remaining in the first quarter. Maritime College remained calm and was able to methodically drive down the field behind strong plays from Wright and running back Kahlil Lewin (Brooklyn, N.Y./Erasmus Hall). However, it looked like the drive was going to stall yet again after a false start penalty pushed the Privateers back to 3rd and goal from the 12-yard line. Wright dropped back to pass, but heavy pressure from the Buccaneers forced him to escape the pocket and just before it looked like he was going to have to make a run for it, the Wantagh, NY native looked up and found fellow senior Drumgole alone in the back of the end zone for a touchdown. The Privateers defense came out fired up after allowing an opening drive touchdown and forced a three-and-out to give their offense the ball back with a chance to take the lead. A shanked punt from the Buccaneers gave Wright and the offense great field position at Massachusetts Maritime 43-yard line. "I think it's a testament to our guys and how hard they have worked so far this season that we were able to bounce right back from a shaky start," said head coach Vincent DiGaetano. "We showed a lot of mental toughness early in that first quarter and I was proud of the way the team reacted." Following a 10-yard run from Patsakos, Wright connected on an over-the-top throw to Curtis Smith (Brooklyn, N.Y./New Utrecht) for a 34-yard touchdown as the Privateers took command of the lead with 4:38 remaining in the quarter. The Buccaneers offense took the field hoping to regain some momentum before the end of the quarter, but a great read and interception from Justin Snuffer (Maple Shade, N.J./Maple Shade) quickly squashed any thoughts of an answering drive from Massachusetts Maritime. Despite a couple of negative plays from the Privateers on the ensuing drive, they were able to put the ball in field-goal range for Ian Ziemski (Bel Air, Md./C. Milton Wright), who was able to knock it through the uprights and make it a two-score game at 17-7 early in the second. Looking to keep the game within reach, the Buccaneers needed to put together a strong offensive drive after getting solid field position following the kickoff. However, on the first play of the drive, Steven Fehr (Patterson, N.Y./Carmel) made a fantastic individual effort and was able strip-sack Ebdon and recover the ball to make it two consecutive turnovers caused by the Privateers defense. Within striking distance, Maritime College was looking to extend the lead as they drove down to the Buccaneers two-yard line. However, a broken run play followed by a holding penalty pushed the Privateers back to the 15-yard line. Wright was unable to come up with more third down and long magic and Maritime College was forced to turn to Ziemski again for the field goal. Trailing 20-7, the Buccaneers were in desperate need of an offensive drive and appeared to be putting something together after an 11-yard carry on third-and-four. Once again, the defense stepped up and forced a third-consecutive turnover. This time it was Payton Campbell (Rockaway, N.J./Morris Knolls) forcing the fumble on a sack and Jabari Corsfield (Ozone Park, N.Y./Jamaica) picking it up and returning it 13 yards to the Massachusetts Maritime 43-yard line. "Our players were stepping up in critical situations and making plays," said DiGaetano. "We were taking it one play at a time and we came up with some big plays on both ends of the ball so I am really proud of what the team was able to accomplish today, especially in a rivalry game." The Privateers took control of the ball with 3:04 remaining in the half and the ball in visitor territory, but found themselves facing third and long right away. Wright decided to turn to Drumgole again and they connected for a 15-yard pass play to move the chains. Two plays later, Wright hung in the pocket and took a huge hit but found Drumgole streaking across the field and completed a 32-yard touchdown pass to extend the lead to 27-7 before halftime. Maritime College put up 27 unanswered points to end the half and enter the locker room in total control of the game. Ebdon and the Buccaneers offense came out firing as they completed a 22-yard pass on the first play of the half. However, the defense responded and a Deion Johnson (Bronx, N.Y./DeWitt Clinton) sack forced a Massachusetts Maritime punt. The special teams unit destroyed the offensive line and was all over the punt attempt as Cormac Quigley (Bellmore, N.Y./Mepham) came up with the block while Vincent Vollaro (Oceanside, N.Y./Oceanside) scooped up the rolling ball to give the Privateers great field position at the 23-yard line. Wright wasted no time getting the offense rolling and completed back-to-back passes to Christian Castle (Felton, Pa./Red Lion) to add another touchdown to his total on the day and put the Privateers up 34-7 early in the second half. The Buccaneers were finally able to end the scoring drought and drove down the field for a touchdown, but Wright and Drumgole weren't going to let Massachusetts Maritime mount any type of comeback. Following a personal foul penalty against the Buccaneers and a 19-yard run from Morman, Wright found Drumgole again, this time for a 37-yard touchdown pass, as the Privateers put the game out of reach in the third quarter at 41-14. The Privateers turned to the ground game in the fourth quarter to start running the clock and Patsakos put together multiple strong runs, capped off by a 32-yard dash to the one-yard line. Two plays later Lewin put the finishing touches on the drive and broke through the goal line to make it 48-21. Wright finished the day 17-for-22 with 231 yards and five touchdowns. Drumgole reeled in seven passes for 121 yards and three touchdowns while Patsakos controlled the rushing game for the Privateers with 10 carries for 89 yards. Defensively, Liam Bailey(Sayville, N.Y./Sayville) finished with a team-high 10 tackles. "It was great to get a big home-opening win, especially the way we did it," said DiGaetano. "The fans, students, and everybody that came out to the game was great and provided us with a great atmosphere to play in. We already can't wait to get back out there next Friday night." The Privateers take on USMMA on Friday, Sep. 14 at 7:00 p.m. on Reinhart Field.