CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--Sophomore Jake Wawrzyniak made the most of his first career start by carrying 35 times for 143 yards and three touchdowns leading Coast Guard to a 35-21 win over MIT in a New England Football Conference (NEFC) crossover game.
Coast Guard (1-1) was without head coach Bill George, who was ill. Offensive Coordinator Ray LaForte served as the head coach in his absence.
"Jake give us another dimension of what we do on offense and you could see that on his high school film, a typical Ohio high school running back, he was outstanding and our offensive line played great," said LaForte.
Senior Drew Russo intercepted a pass on the first play of the game and Wawrzyniak scored on a 1-yard run with 12:08 left as Coast Guard took a 7-0 lead. Wawrzyniak converted a key fourth and one on the drive.
MIT (1-1) tied the game on a 30-yard run by sophomore quarterback Peter Williams with 6:14 left in the first quarter. The Engineers got the ball following an interception, the Bears first turnover of the season.
The Bears responded by going 65 yards in just six plays with senior quarterback Jon Resch throwing a 3-yard touchdown pass to senior tight end Casey Paris to give the Bears a 14-7 lead with 3:28 left in the first quarter. On the first play of the drive, Resch threw a 33-yard pass to sophomore Blake Thompson.
Coast Guard had 186 yards of offense in the first quarter, 132 of those in the air.
Freshman Tyler Henning had a 29-yard field goal blocked with 13:43 left in the second quarter to keep the score at 14-7.
Following the blocked field goal, the Engineers went 80 yards and Williams threw a 21-yard touchdown pass to Karson Ota on 4th and four to tie the game 14-14.
Henning missed a 41-yard field goal with 6:02 left in the half as the game remained heading into the half.
Coast Guard was held to 35 yards of offense in the second quarter finishing with 221 in the first half, 153 passing, while MIT had 213 total yards, 113 passing in the opening half.
The Bears scored on the opening drive of the second half as Resch made an outstanding play, under heavy pressure, he scrambled and threw a 35-yard touchdown pass to a wide open Thompson on third and five as the Bears took a 21-14 lead with 9:54 left in the third quarter. Wawrzyniak had another key fourth and one conversion with a two-yard run from the MIT 42-yard line to keep the drive alive.
MIT answered right away as sophomore Justin Wallace capped a 13 play, 80-yard drive with a 5-yard touchdown run to tie the game with 5:13 left in the third quarter.
The Bears took advantage of an MIT penalty on its next possession as Henning missed a 47-yard field goal, but MIT was offsides and on the next play a fourth-and-two, Resch, who lined up as a receiver took a pitch from Thompson and threw a 12-yard completion to sophomore Collis Brown to keep the drive alive. Wawrzyniak scored a on two-yard run with 1:18 left in the third quarter to give the Bears a 28-21 lead capping an 11 play, 71-yard drive.
Following an exchange of punts, MIT converted a fourth-and-one on its own 29-yard line, but on the very next play, Wallace fumbled the ball at the Coast Guard 31-yard line and sophomore Kevin Postiglione recovered. Wawrzyniak's 11-yard touchdown scamper, his third of the game, gave the Bears a 35-21 lead with 7:47 left.
"That turnover that the defense caused the fourth quarter was the icing on the cake," said LaForte. "I was so excited that they came up with the turnover in a one possession game it was a momentum changer and the offensive line just took over from there."
Resch finished the day 27 of 38 for 262 yards with a pair of touchdowns while Paris (75 yards) and Brown (41 yards) each had six catches to lead the team. Thompson had four receptions for a team-high 80 yards.
Coast Guard finished with 448 total yards, 262 passing and 186 rushing while MIT had 320 yards, 169 rushing and 151 passing.
Wallace led MIT with 26 carries for 107 yards while Williams was 13 of 26 for 151 yards with a touchdown.
"We told the team before the day, that we wanted to be just like MIT at the end of the day, 1-1 and we could call Coach George and let him know we got a victory for him. These kids love Coach George," said LaForte.