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Mariners Escape With 23-19 Win Over Builders

Mariners Escape With 23-19 Win Over Builders

FINAL SCORE: U.S. Merchant Marine Academy 23, Apprentice School 19

RECORDS: USMMA 1-0, Apprentice School 0-1

LOCATION: Apprentice Field/Newport News, VA

IN BRIEF: The Apprentice School opened its 2014 season with a tough 23-19 loss to the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy on Saturday in front of over 900 fans at Apprentice Field.  Joseph Hodge and Brandon Jordan each ran for a touchdown, while Caleb Heath connected with Trevon Johnson on a 25-yard touchdown pass for the Builders.


  • After a series for each team, the Mariners took advantage of the first break in the game.  A botched punt snap gave the visitors the ball on the five-yard line of the Builders and they took advantage with Colin Hinchey scoring on a five-yard run.  The extra-point gave the guests a 7-0 lead with 8:41 left.
  • The Builders defense stiffened and forced USMMA to punt on its next two series before the offense found its stride.  They went on a 57-yard scoring five in eight plays as Hodge scored on a one-yard plunge with 11:31 left in the half.  The extra-point snap was mishandled and the Builders trailed 7-6.
  • The Mariners used a 41-yard kickoff return to start off in great field position and used a Sean McDonough 30-yard field goal to regain the lead 10-6 with 7:37 left in the first half.  They followed that with another touchdown as Matt McDaniels scored on a two-yard run to lead 17-6 with 2:59 left.
  • Apprentice School responded with a 62-yard scoring drive with the aid of a pair of 15-yard pass interference penalties on the Mariners.  Freshman Brandon Jordan covered the last eight yards to bring the Builders to a 17-12 margin with 1:32 left.
  • In the third quarter, the Builders took the lead on a 66-yard touchdown drive as Heath connected with Johnson on a 25-yard fade route in the front corner of the end zone.  This time the extra-point attempt was good to give the hosts a 19-17 lead with 2:14 left in the third.
  • The visitors scored a special teams touchdown with 6:29 left as they blocked a punt in the end zone and Dylan Crook recovered for the 23-19 lead.  A two-point conversion attempt failed on a run.
  • The Builders made one last drive, but were stopped as a pass from freshman Deon Lavender was intercepted in the end zone by Collin Putnam with just 1:01 left.


  • Apprentice School out-gained the USMMA Mariners 350-282 in total offense.
  • The Mariners, who averaged over 260 yards per game on the ground last year only ran for 189 yards on 49 carries.
  • The Builders used all three quarterbacks in the opener as Michael Roberts was 10-for-15 for 136 yards, Heath was 7-for-10 for 88 yards and a touchdown, while Lavender was 4-for-6 for 27 yards.
  • Johnson was the leading receiver for the Builders with five catches for 104 yards.
  • On the ground, Hodge ran 10 times for 54 yards, while Jordan carried eight times for 52 yards.
  • Defensively, Leland Hamilton was the leading tackler with nine and 1.5 for a loss.  Senior Erol Carter had six tackles, including 2.5 for a loss.


The Builders will host the annual Trades Day/Homecoming game with another first-time opponent when they face the Bluefield College Rams on September 13 at 1 pm.