Bears Drop Heartbreaker in Final Seconds
KINGS POINT, N.Y.--(9/10/11)--Sophomore wide receiver Chase Dunn caught his third touchdown pass of the afternoon, a 32-yard throw from junior quarterback Stephen Sasso with eight seconds remaining in regulation to lift Merchant Marine to a 35-28 triumph over archrival Coast Guard in the annual battle for the Secretaries' Cup in the 40th meeting between the two rivals.
The Mariners overcame a pair of sizeable deficits to pull off the win, 14-0 early in the second quarter and 21-10 in the third quarter to climax a wild game and an emotional day before a crowd of 2,500 at Tomb Field.
After dropping a 10-8 decision to the Bears last year, the Mariners won back the Secretaries Cup as they extended their lead in the competition, 20-11. Kings Point also leads the all-time series between the two rival academies, 27-13.
Junior running back Jon-Paul Gosselin ran for 210 yards on 32 carries, which included a 63-yard run that set up J.P. Bourquin's 22-yard field goal in the second quarter. The freshman added a 38-yarder with 14 seconds left in the third period.
Sasso came off the bench to complete five-of-10 passes for 196 yards, including an 80-yard TD to Dunn. All three of Dunn's receptions results in TDs, including a 67-yard caught for Merchant Marine's first score in the opening quarter.
The Mariners, who amassed 503 total yards, struck for three TDs in the third and fourth quarters.
They grabbed a 28-21 lead with Michael Mitchel's two-yard run and Matthew Bozich's two-point conversion with 10:28 remaining in the fourth period. But the Bears tied it on senior quarterback Jarrod Owens' three-yard run and senior Jacob Shackleford's extra point with 1:53 left.
Dunn outleaped three defenders for the game winning catch with eight seconds left.
The Mariners (1-1) faced an uphill battle early as a pair of senior Eric Gerken TD's – a fumble recovery in the end zone with 5:06 left in the first quarter and a 25-yard TD reception from Owens with 14:53 remaining in the second quarter – gave the Bears a 14-0 advantage.
Owens was 15 of 24 for 151 yards with two touchdowns while also rushing for 24 yards and a score.
Gerken led the Bears with seven receptions for 85 yards while senior Stephen Spotts had five catches for 39 yards.
Sophomore Tyler Hames led the Bears ground attack with 17 carries for 77 yards.
Coast Guard finished with 330 yards of total offense, 222 passing and 108 rushing.