NEWTON, Mass. – An emotional day for the Mount Ida College football program included the honoring of 12 senior student-athletes, a special announcement by President Barry Brown and marquee plays by several of those graduating players as the Mustangs ended their 2016 season with a 54-20 defeat to Husson University on Saturday afternoon at Alumni Field.
Senior Matt Greenman (Portsmouth, R.I.) accounted for two long touchdowns, an 85 yard kickoff return in the second half and an 81 yard pass play late in the third quarter. Classmate Sean Chinova (Watertown, Conn.) notched the only scoring of the fourth quarter when he scooped up a fumble and ran 83 yards for a touchdown.
Chinova also blocked a kick in his final game as a Mustang, while senior Josh David (Sandown, N.H.) led the team with 16 total tackles and stripped the ball that Chinova eventually scored on.
Also honored before the game were seniors Faouzi Talabi (Brewster, Mass.), Blade Clonts (Powder Springs, Ga.), Devin Broadley (Hyannis, Mass.), Tyler Rogers (Bridgewater, Mass.), James Comer (Mansfield, Mass.), James Wolff (Yorktown, N.Y.), John Goolsby (Pasaaic, N.J.), Luke Bibber (Kennebunkport, Maine) and Gian Wilson (Cumberland, R.I.), as well as cheerleader Brianna Michaud-Santiago (Malden, Mass.).
The Mustangs also welcomed the family Mike Mazza (Oakhurst, N.J.), who the Mount Ida senior class lost tragically last year, and President Barry Brown announced the formation of a new scholarship and patio in his honor.
Once the game kicked off, sophomore quarterback Cory Brandon (Pembroke, Mass.) threw for 200 yards and five touchdowns, and the Eagles jumped out to a 34-0 lead in the first two quarters.
Brandon found Kyle Gaudet (Gilford, N.H.) with an 11 yard pass to start the scoring, then tossed back to back eight-yard touchdowns to junior tight end DJ Allen (Skowhegan, Maine), the first set up when Jean Gabriel (Lake Worth, Fla.) blocked a punt by Broadley, giving the Eagles possession deep in Mount Ida territory.
Junior running back John Smith (Fayetteville, Ga.), who rushed for 90 yards and two touchdowns, extended the lead with 5:19 to go in the first half and Tyler Bassett (Dracut, Mass.) caught a 42-yard score down the seam before Greenman took the ensuing kickoff 85 yards to put the Mustangs on the board with 2:39 to play before the break.
Husson wasn't done in the first half, as they went 68 yards in ten plays and ended the second quarter with a one yard pass to Deon Wiggins (Bridgeport, Conn.).
The Eagles outgained Mount Ida 425 to 90, and held the Mustangs to just two first downs while picking up 22 themselves. They also doubled up the Mustangs in time of possession, holding the ball for over forty minutes, and had three interceptions and five sacks of Mustang signal-caller Jack Sheehan (St. Petersburg, Fla.), who completed five passes for 115 yards.
Wiggins caught five balls for 51 yards and Allen had three catches for 43 yards to lead the Eagles.
Smith added a one-yard run in the third quarter, as did Obie Christmas (Boston, Mass.), who rushed 11 times for 39 yards, while Chuck Browne (Far Rockaway, N.Y.) picked up 41 yards on the ground. The Eagles led 54-7 before Sheehan found Greenman down the right sideline and the speedy receiver beat his man to the end zone after hauling in the pass.
Quan Soyini (Manchester, Conn.) paced the Husson defense with five tackles.
Husson, who had already clinched the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) title, capped off a perfect record in the league at 7-0 and an impressive 9-1 overall mark. The Eagles have earned the ECFC automatic bid into the NCAA tournament and will wait to see their opponent announced next week.
The Mustangs end their season with a 4-6 record and a 4-3 conference record, their seventh winning conference season in the last eight years.