GAME #4 PREVIEW -- Bears Host Fitchburg St. for Homecoming

GAME #4 PREVIEW -- Bears Host Fitchburg St. for Homecoming

FITCHBURG STATE (2-2, 1-0) at COAST GUARD (1-2, 0-1)
SEPT. 29, 2012 -- 1:30 PM -- CADET MEMORIAL FIELD

ON THE AIR: The game will be aired live on WXLM-980 AM and there will be an audio stream and video stream link at on the football schedule page.

THE SERIES: The series is tied at 3-3.

LAST YEAR: For the second time in the season Coast Guard lost a road game on a touchdown pass in the final seconds. This time is was a 37-yard strike from Brian McDonald to Jeremy Kimber with 13 seconds left leading Fitchburg State to a 28-21 win.
The Bears, just as they had in the season opener, rallied to tie the game on a touchdown run by senior quarterback Jarrod Owens. This time, trailing 21-13, Owens scored on a two-yard scamper, and junior Eric Gerken caught the two-point conversion from Owens to tie the game with 2:48 left.
The Coast Guard defense, got a huge turnover, its only forced turnover in the game, a forced fumble by junior safety Dante Adams and fumble recovery by senior Steve Lozier on the Fitchburg 20-yard line with 4:04 left in the game to set up the game tying score.
The Bears shot themselves in the foot throughout the game as they turned the ball over three times, including the first two interceptions of the season, missed an extra point, missed a field goal and had a key late-hit penalty in the fourth quarter which extended a drive and led to a Falcons touchdown.
Gerken had another outstanding game for Coast Guard as he had ten or more receptions and over 100 receiving yards for the third straight week. He finished with ten catches for a career-high 150 yards and two touchdowns.
Coast Guard outgained Fitchburg State 347-285 and had more first downs (21-15). The Bears had 272 of those yards in the air.
Junior linebacker Curt Barrett led the Bears defense with ten tackles, 3.5 for loss while senior defensive lineman Paul Hahn-Rauch added nine tackles in the loss.
Fitchburg State had 285 yards of total offense, including 157 on the ground and 128 in the air. Kimber led all Falcon receivers with five catches, 91 yards and two scores.
Owens finished 23-of-37 for 272 yards with two touchdowns and 40 yards rushing. He also threw a pair of interceptions, his first two of the season.

LAST WEEK: Junior quarterback Mike Stanton set a school-record with 420 passing yards while throwing three touchdowns and junior Stefan Gustafson rushed for 216 yards including a 66-yard run with 9:43 left which gave Mass. Maritime the lead for good as the Buccaneers erased a 28-9 third quarter deficit and beat Coast Guard 42-38 in the New England Football Conference (NEFC) Bogan Division opener for both teams.

Coast Guard senior quarterback Jon Resch threw for 468 yards with three touchdowns, but he was intercepted four times. He broke his own school record for completions in a game with 35 breaking the mark of 34 and he fell one-yard short of his own school record of 469 passing  yards. He finished with 493 yards of total offense and four touchdowns as he also ran for 25 yards and a score.

The Bears scored 35 or more points for the third straight week for the first time in the 89-year history of the football program.

The game featured 1,297 yards of total offense, 695 by Mass. Maritime and 602 by Coast Guard. The Bucs rushed for 275 and had 420 passing while Coast Guard had 134 rushing yards and 468 passing yards.

Senior Pat Meggers had six receptions for a career-high 182 yards, just six shy of the school-record of 188 yards set by Tom Wallin vs. Mass. Maritime in 1998. Sophomore Jake Wawrzyniak went over the 100-yard mark for the second straight week as he carried 23 times for 108 yards and a score while also catching eight passes for 62 yards.

Sophomore Collis Brown led the Bears with ten receptions for 95 yards and a touchdown.

Sophomore Steph'fon Teague led a balance Fitchburg State attack, posting his third consecutive 100 yard game with 112 yards rushing and two touchdowns leading the host Falcons to a 34-14 win over Maine Maritime. Quarterback Christian Lopez was also solid behind center with 193 yards passing and two touchdowns, while junior Jordan Burris had a career-best seven receptions for 152 yards and one score.   

AN OFFENSIVE OUTPUT FOR THE AGES: Coast Guard has scored 35 or more points in three straight games for the first time in the 89 year history of the football program. The Bears are averaging 486.7 yards per game, 19th best in Division III and second in the New England Football Conference (NEFC) while Coast Guard's 36.7 points per game is 38th nationally and second in the conference, tops in the Bogan Division.

COAST GUARD AIR ATTACK AMONG NATIONAL LEADERS: Senior quarterback Jon Resch is averaging 363.7 yards of total offense per game, which ranks him 4th in the nation and first in the New England Football Conference. Resch, who is 88 of 152 on the year with nine touchdowns and five interceptions has 1,003 passing yards and 88 rushing yards and a scored for 1,091 total yards in the first three games. Sophomore wide receiver Collis Brown is tied for ninth nationally with 8.33 receptions per game. Brown has 25 receptions for 212 yards and three touchdowns.

MR. 3,000: Senior quarterback Jon Resch went over the 3,000 yard mark for his career on Saturday becoming just the fifth Coast Guard quarterback in history to do so. Resch now has 3,058 career passing yards. The Coast Guard career-record is 4,459 held by Cory Anderson (2002-'05). Bill Hucke (1980-'83) is second all-time with 3,692 career passing yards, Dan Warren (1994-'97) is third with 3,644 passing yards and Pete Melnick (1992-'95) is fourth with 3,072 yards.

BEARS CONTINUE TO LOSE THE CLOSE ONES: Last season, the Bears had four games decided in the final minute and lost five games by seven points or less. This year, Coast Guard opened the 2012 season with a 43-37 loss to archrival Merchant Marine and lost 42-38 at Mass. Maritime last week. Coast Guard has dropped nine straight games that have been decided by seven points or less dating back to the 2010 season. The last time the Bears won a game that was decided by seven points or less was a 10-8 win over Merchant Marine in the 2010 season opener.

BEARS PICKED 7TH IN PRESEASON POLL: Coast Guard was picked to finish seventh in the Bogan Division in the New England Football Conference (NEFC) Pre-Season Coaches Poll.

The Bogan Division coaches voted both 2011 Division champion Framingham State University and Bridgewater State University as co-favorites to win the Division. Each institution received four first place votes, two second and two third place votes each. Each team garnered 58 of a possible 64 points. Westfield State University finished a distant third in the Bogan balloting with 41 points.

In the Boyd Division, defending NEFC champion Western New England also received 58 points with three first place picks, four seconds and a third. Right on the tail of the Golden Bears were Salve Regina University and Endicott College. Each totaled 54 points with Salve Regina taking three first place slots, and Endicott chosen for the top spot on two ballots.

The final NEFC Championship game, pitting the champions of the Bogan and Boyd Divisions, will be held on Saturday, November 10 at noon at the site of the Boyd Division Champion.

OUT WITH THE OLD ... IN WITH BLUE: Coast Guard has changed its helmet this season and for the first time the Bears are wearing blue helmets. The old helmets were orange with an interlocking CGA while the new helmets feature the newly designed orange bear head on the helmet.

BREAK 'EM UP: This will be the final season of the New England Football Conference's two-division format as eight teams will leave the conference. The eight remaining teams that will make up the new NEFC will be Coast Guard and Maine Maritime from the Bogan Division and Curry, Endicott, MIT, Nichols, Salve Regina and Western New England.

A LOOK BACK ON THE 15TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE 2ND NCAA PLAYOFF APPEARANCE: In 1997, the Coast Guard Bears won their second straight Freedom Football Conference (FFC) and made the program's second consecutive appearance in the NCAA playoffs. Each week, we will look back at a game or games in that magical season in which the team finished 9-2.

In week four, Dan Warren threw three touchdown passes, to break the Coast Guard career mark, and he ran for another as the Bears won the Mug, set a school-record with their 11th straight regular season win and beat Norwich 27-10.

Tom Wallin had a big game as he caught six passes for 156 yards and a touchdown while Al Thompson had a pair of touchdown receptions in the win.

Chris Raia earned Freedom Football Conference (FFC) Defensive Player of the Week honors for the second straight week as he had six tackles, three solo, two for loss and three sacks as Coast Guard started 4-0 for the first time in 26 years.

HONORABLE PERFORMANCES: Coast Guard senior quarterback Jon Resch was 35 of 65 for 468 yards with three touchdowns and four interceptions while rushing for 25 yards and as score to finish with 493 yards of total offense to earn a spot on the New England Football Conference (NEFC) weekly honor roll. Resch broke his own school-record with the 35 completions and was one-yard short of his own school record of 469 yards passing, which he against Maine Maritime as a freshman, when he came off the bench and also threw a school-record six touchdown passes.

BEARS HONOR THE CLASS OF '62: This Homecoming the Class of '62 celebrates its 50th Anniversary and 11 members of that team will take part in the coin toss. The members of the team that will be on the field for the coin toss will be; Bill Borchers, Dave Boyle, Herb Hurst, Fred Kelley, Jim Lightner, Neal Mahan, Jack McCann, Bob McDonough, Jack Schmidtman, Skip Watkins and Tom Whipple.

SCOUTING COAST GUARD: The Bears return home for Homecoming looking to even their record in division play.

Coast Guard, which tied an NEFC record by running 95 offensive plays last week, leads the conference in passing yards per game (334.5) and the Bears are second in total offense per game (486.7 yards) after gaining 602 yards last week. Coast Guard is averaging 36.7 points per game, second best in the conference and tops in the Bogan Division

Senior quarterback Jon Resch, who is fourth nationally with 363.7 yards of total offense per game, leads the NEFC with 334.4 passing yards per game. Resch is 88 of 152 for 1,003 yards with nine touchdowns and five interceptions.

Sophomore Collis Brown is second in the NEFC with 9.33 receptions per game as he leads the team with 25 catches for 212 yards and three touchdowns while senior tight end co-captain Casey Paris has 17 receptions for 224 yards and two touchdowns.

Sophomore Jake Wawrzyniak, who had a career-high 143 yards and three touchdowns in his first collegiate start two weeks ago, leads the team with 61 carries, 264 yards and five touchdowns on the season. He also had 13 receptions for 85 yards. Coast Guard is averaging 161.5 rushing yards per game.

The Coast Guard defense is allowing a Bogan Division-high 420.5 yards and 32 points per game. The Bears are allowing 282.5 yards rushing, the most in the NEFC and 152.3 yards passing per game.

Senior strong safety Dante Adams and senior linebacker Parker Bateson each have 28 tackles to lead the defense while classmate Max Walker has 24 tackles. Sophomore backup linebacker Nolan Salyer has two of the Bears three sacks this season.

Coast Guard leads the Bogan Division in turnover margin at a plus five as the team has ten takeaways, seven fumbles, and three interceptions while turning the ball over five times. The Bears are the only team in the NEFC that has not lost a fumble this season.

SCOUTING FITCHBURG STATE: The Falcons, who have one of the top defenses in the NEFC, look to remain unbeaten in Bogan Division play.

Fitchburg State has the top pass defense in the NEFC, allowing just 97.8 yards per game. The Falcons are allowing just 278.2 yards of total offense, third best in the conference. The team is allowing just 17 points per game, fourth best in the NEFC.

On the offensive side of the ball, Fitchburg is averaging 15.2 points while averaging a league-low 267 yards per game, 151.5 rushing and 115.5 passing.

Sophomore Steph'fon Teague leads the team with 68 carries for 355 yards on the ground. Junior quarterback Christian Lopez is 32 of 76 for 462 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions.

Sophomore Ty Spencer leads the Falcons with 13 receptions for 169 yards and two touchdowns while junior Jordan Burris has 12 receptions for a team-high 226 yards and a score.

UP NEXT: Coast Guard will host Bridgewater State to celebrate Parents' Weekend on Oct. 6th with kickoff set for 1:30 p.m.

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