By Matt Noonan
One week after seeing their five-game winning streak snapped to Castleton University, Anna Maria College bounced back and scored a much-needed victory on Saturday against Gallaudet University.
The AMCATs erased an eight-point (21-13) deficit at the break to defeat the Bison, 37-21, and position themselves for a chance to win their first-ever Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) crown next Saturday, November 13 when they host SUNY-Maritime.
Gallaudet was eliminated from the conference crown mix with its second league setback and so was Castleton, which lost to Alfred State by a score of 35-24. But while Alfred State holds head-to-head wins over Castleton and Gallaudet, they did suffer a 28-17 setback last month to Anna Maria, which needs to beat SUNY-Maritime to win the conference.
Of course, things could change if Anna Maria and Alfred State both lose next week — the Pioneers will be at Dean College next Saturday and beat SUNY-Maritime earlier this season by a score of 35-20 — but we’ll make it easy by saying an AMCATs victory next weekend would allow them to represent the league in the upcoming NCAA Division III Tournament.
Alex Cohen accounted for four touchdowns this afternoon, including three through the air to Justin McMillian, who concluded the contest with 211 receiving yards on eight grabs. Cohen also rushed for 13 yards while Johnathan Gomez led the Anna Maria rushing attack with 46 yards on 10 carries and one score.
Gomez jumpstarted the AMCATs’ second-half rally with a touchdown in the third quarter, which brought the hosts within one point (21-20) of the Bison before Anna Maria tallied 17 unanswered points in the final session off two touchdowns and a 24-yard field goal by Ryan Kent with 8:45 remaining.
Alvin Martin led the Anna Maria defense with eight total tackles while Jude Sampson registered seven total tackles, including three solo stops and two sacks for a loss of 16 yards.