Player Perspective: Matt Long (Mass. Maritime Academy)
By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports
For the past three seasons, Matt Long has been tasked with carrying the ball for the Massachusetts Maritime Academy football team.
But against Maritime (N.Y.) last Friday evening, the Weymouth, Massachusetts native was asked to throw the ball, too, which is something he hasn’t done since he was a senior in high school.
Long completed 7 of 11 passes for 114 yards – his longest heave was a 52-yard pass to classmate Will Bennett – while adding 141 yards on 16 carries for three touchdowns as the Buccaneers defeated the Privateers, 31-14, to claim the Chowder Cup trophy for the first time since 2016.
The seven completions were the most Long has recorded as a quarterback for the Buccaneers – he did throw four passes last fall – while the three touchdowns were the most he has recorded in a single game since he was a senior in high school.
Noontime Sports spoke with Long about his team’s first win and what they must do this weekend against Maine Maritime Academy. Long was one of four Buccaneers named to our week two ‘team of the week.’
Your team captured the Chowder Cup for the first time since 2016. How does an opening day win like this help the team moving forward?
I think an opening day win (will) help us tremendously moving forward. (The victory) showed off the hard work we put in every week (throughout the preseason and practices), and if we continue our current (hard-working) mentality than we can be very successful in upcoming games.
You were very successful with rushing the football against Maritime (N.Y.). It sounds cliché, but what worked for you?
The offensive game plan (seemed to be) clicking. The offensive line did a great job in the run and pass game which created holes for the whoever had the ball. (The o-line) gave me plenty of time to throw the ball, too. The receivers worked hard to get open and give us a chance to move the ball downfield, which helped with opening up the run game even more.
When was the last time you scored three touchdowns in a game?
I haven’t scored three times in a game since my senior year at Weymouth High School (Mass.).
You were a halfback for the Buccaneers the past few seasons so was it a difficult transition going from running back to the quarterback position?
It was difficult getting used to (being a) quarterback again. I played quarterback in high school, and we ran a similar (style) offense (like we do with the Buccaneers) so it made it easier with re-learning the playbook.
I know it is early, but being one of 17 seniors on this squad, how do you hope this season plays out? I presume competing for a conference championship, right?
A championship is always the end goal but it’s important to us to keep the focus on our upcoming opponent. We need to continue to put the work into our daily practices so we can get the results we want on Saturdays.
Your team heads to Maine Maritime on Saturday for the Admiral’s Cup. What must your team do to be successful for a second-straight week?
We need to put in the effort and work, (both today and the rest of this week) to help us prepare for the game. We need to practice good habits and technique, transfer it over to our (gameplan) and keep (our current) momentum going.