NEW LONDON, Conn.--Senior John-Leon Gosselin ran for 146 yards and three touchdowns as Merchant Marine won a shootout 43-37 over Coast Guard to retain the Secetaries' Cup for the second straight season.
The Mariners had 396 yards rushing on 74 carries and finished with 521 yards of total offense while Coast Guard had 410 total yards, 273 passing.
Gosselin, who ran for 210 yards in the Mariners 35-28 win over Coast Guard last season, scored on runs of 34, 1 and 5 yards as Merchant Marine improved to 1-1 on the season.
In a first quarter which saw each team score 14 points, junior Connor Kennedy opened the scoring with a three-yard run for Merchant Merchant before senior quarterback Jon Resch threw a 20-yard touchdown to sophomore Blake Thompson, it was Thompson's first career touchdown to tie the game 7-7.
Resch threw a 15-yard touchdown to sophomore Collis Brown to give the Bears a 14-7 lead before senior quarterback Alex Coviello's 14-yard run tied the game at 14-14.
Coast Guard had a bad snap on a punt that went out of the endzone to give the Mariners a 16-14 lead with 8:06 left in the first half and Gosselin's 34-yard touchdown run pushed the lead to 23-14 with 5:40 left in the half.
Resch threw his third touchdown pass of the half, a 24-yard strike to senior Pat Meggers to close the first half scoring as the Bears pulled to within 23-20 with 1:11 left in the half, the PAT was no good because of a bad snap.
Coast Guard freshman Tyler Henning made a 35-yard field goal on his first career field goal attempt to tie the game 23-23 with 9:27 left in the third quarter.
Merchant Marine junior Mario Colangelo's and Coast Guard sophomore Jake Wawrzyniak each scored on 2-yard runs and the game was again tied at 30-30 with 2:28 left in the third quarter.
Gosselin's 1-yard run with 39 seconds left in the third quarter gave the Mariners the lead for good 37-30. He then scored on a 5-yard run with four minutes left in the game and following a blocked extra point the Mariners led 43-30.
The Bears responded when Resch threw his fourth touchdown of the day, a 5-yard pass to Brown with 1:57 left in the game.
Coast Guard tried the onsides kick and it looked as if the Bears would the ball as senior Dante Adams recovered the ball in Merchant Marine territory, but Coast Guard had touched the ball before it went ten yards. Merchant took over and ran the clock out.
Resch was 26 of 49 for 273 yards and four touchdowns and he also ran for 47 yards to finish with 320 yards of total offense while Brown had a career-high nine receptions for 76 yards. Junior Tyler Hames led the Bears wtih 98 yards rushing on just 11 carries while also registering seven receptions for 59 yards. Coast Guard did not turn the ball over while Merchant Marine lost three fumbles in the game.
Coviello carried 17 times for 100 yards and a score before leaving with an injury early in the third quarter. He was 2 of 5 for 45 yards throwing the ball while his backup sophomore Luke Stidham was 2 of 3 for 80 yards including a 56-yard strike to Kennedy which set up Gosselin's 1-yard run in the final seconds of the third quarter.
Merchant Marine wore down the Coast Guard defense holding a huge edge in time of possession 38:24 to 21:36.
Head Coach Bill George's Post Game Comments