KINGS POINT, N.Y. (Oct. 10, 2018) – On Tuesday, the NEWMAC Conference announced its weekly award winners for football and USMMA junior returner Joe Vitelli (Warrington, Pa.) was selected as the league's Special Teams Player of the Week. The honor comes after his performance in the Mariners' exciting 33-24 home conference victory over Norwich this past Saturday.
Vitelli had another strong return game for the Mariners, as the nationally-ranked returner brought four kickoffs back 78 yards (an average of 19.5 yards per return), including a long of 25 yards in the second quarter, which led to a drive where the Mariners tacked on three points on a field goal. He also contributed offensively with a key touchdown reception on a fourth-down play on Merchant Marine's game-tying drive in the fourth quarter. The junior finished the game with two catches for 18 yards.
For the complete release from the NEWMAC Conference, click here.
Vitelli is one of four Mariners that rank in the top-25 among all Division III football players in a statistical category, as his 491 combined kick return yards are good for seventh in the nation. Senior Trever Huss (Orange City, Iowa) is 11th in the country with two fumble recoveries, junior Luke Jamison (Tequesta, Fla.) ranks 12th with 23.83 yards per reception and classmate Gavin Gartner (Cedar Park, Texas) is 25th in DIII with 1.00 field goals per game.
As a team, the Mariners rank in the top-25 among all Division III teams in seven categories. They are listed below.
- Fifth in third-down conversion percentage defense (0.207)
- Eighth in blocked punts (two)
- Eighth in rushing defense (42.2 yards per game)
- 11th in passing yards per completion (16.94)
- 12th in rushing offense (287.0 yards per game)
- 20th in passes had intercepted (two)
- 24th in sacks allowed (1.0)
To view the Mariners' full NCAA ranking summary, follow this link.
The Mariners are back in action this Saturday, Oct. 13, when they travel up to Springfield, Mass. for a big NEWMAC showdown against Springfield College. Kickoff is slated for 2 p.m. at the Pride's Stagg Field. Live stats and a live video stream of the game will be available with links on the USMMA Football Schedule Page.
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