By Brian Willwerth
NEWTON, MA – Mount Ida kicker Bobby Hemmann knew he had it the moment the ball left his foot.
His 38-yard field goal as time expired gave the Mustangs a dramatic, 24-21 victory over Maritime College on Saturday afternoon, and set off a big-time celebration on the home team’s sideline.
“I felt like the first game that we did against UMass,” said Hemmann. “I was in the zone once again. The crowd’s going wild, [so] just wanted to get another one for my brothers.”
The drama began to unfold in the final minutes. With the game tied at 21, the Privateers had the momentum, were marching down the field, chewing up the clock, and in position for a game-winning score. But the Mustangs’ first big play came when Frank Greene intercepted Maritime quarterback Tyler Trodden in the back corner of the end zone with 49 seconds on the clock. It was the last of three picks on the day by the Mount Ida defense.
“They were killing us on the hitches the whole second half,” said quarterback Scott Drosendahl. “I told the DB’s to make a play. Frank looked at me and said ‘I got this’, and they went hitch-and-go. They were setting it up the whole second half, and Frank just got back on it and made a good play.”
But there was still work to be done. Drosendahl still had to lead his team down the field to get into field goal range.
“It was kind of like Norwich, “said Drosendahl, referring to his team’s last-second victory on Sept. 29.
On this day, he was up to the challenge once again. He moved the chains with a 12-yard completion to Dejhuan Williams. Then on 3rd and 9, Drosendahl threw an incomplete pass, but the Mustangs’ drive remained intact thanks to a personal foul and late hit penalty. Two plays later, he found Matt Valentini over the middle for 24 yards, which put his team in position for Hemmann’s heroics.
For the first 15 minutes, it didn’t look like there would be any need for such heroics. Mount Ida built a 21-0 lead on touchdown receptions by Williams and Jordan Hyman, and a 14-yard run by Kareem Cope. Drosendahl was 15-of-25 for 167 yards. Trodden had 188 yards passing for Maritime.
But from that point on, Maritime started to seize control, and worked its way back into the game. Gary Bigham scored three times on the ground for the Privateers, the final one coming early in the fourth quarter. The ensuing two-point conversion completed a comeback from a 21-point deficit.
But in the end, Mount Ida made the key plays down the stretch to pull out the win.
”This whole season has been a roller coaster, ups and downs,” said Hemmann. “I think we’ve been doing a great job coming back from having our backs against the wall.”
Mount Ida improves to 6-1 on the season. The six wins tie a school record. The Mustangs will play their final home game against Becker next Saturday. The Privateers fall to 3-4, and will host Husson next weekend.
Video courtesy of Greg Antonelli, who is the sports information director at Mount Ida College.