Bears Rally to Beat Westfield 31-27

Bears Rally to Beat Westfield 31-27

WESTFIELD, Mass.—Senior quarterback Jon Resch threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to senior tight end Casey Paris with 2:40 left leading Coast Guard to a 31-27 win over Westfield State in a New England Football Conference (NEFC) Bogan Division game.

Resch was 24 of 42 for 210 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions while Paris, celebrated his birthday by leading the Bears with eight receptions for 106 yards and the touchdown.

Coast Guard evens its record at 3-3 overall and 2-2 in Bogan Division play while Westfield State drops to 2-5 overall and 1-3 in the Bogan Division.

Sophomore Jake Wawrzyniak, who was injured on the opening series last week, was cleared to play on Saturday morning and led the Bears with 32 carries for 108 yards and a pair of touchdown while also adding six receptions for 28 yards in the win.

Coast Guard finished with 381 yards of total offense, 238 passing while Westfield had 257 total yards, 166 passing.

Resch fumbled on the opening snap of the second half and senior Dan Dowling recovered at the Coast Guard 13-yard line and Buanno had a 13-yard touchdown run on the next play as the Owls opened a 21-10 lead just 19 seconds into the third quarter.

The Coast Guard defense got the Bears back in the game as following a punt, junior Evan Rothfeld returned an interception 44 yards to the Westfield 30-yard line and on the first play, Resch threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to junior wide receiver Nick Fredericksen with 10:08 left in the third quarter to cut the deficit to 21-17. It was Fredericksen's first career touchdown.

The Bears defense got the ball back again as sophomore Aaron Black forced a fumble and senior John Manganiello recovered at the Westfield 45-yard line.

Coast Guard used a trick play, a 28-yard pass from sophomore Collis Brown to Fredericksen and a late hit on the play gave the Bears a first-and-goal. Wawrzyniak capped the drive with a 3-yard touchdown as the Bears regained the lead 24-21 with 6:52 left in the third quarter.

Following an exchange of punts, Westfield appeared to take the lead on a touchdown run by freshman Josh Trainque, but a holding call negated the touchdown and three plays later senior Dante Adams intercepted Washburn in the end zone with 12:30 left as Coast Guard maintained the lead.

The Owl defense got the ball back however as junior Cam Willcox picked off Resch giving Westfield the ball at the Bear 21-yard line after a ten yard return.

Trainque's five-yard touchdown with 7:44 left in the game gave the Owls a 27-24 lead after senior Keenan Startzell's extra point was blocked ending his streak of 59 straight made extra points.

Resch then led the Bears on a 12-play, 72-yard drive capped on a 24-yard touchdown pass to senior tight end Casey Paris with 2:40 left. Resch converted three straight third downs including a third-and-nine on the eventual game winner to Paris.

The Bears defense got a stop, but Henning missed a 38 yard field goal giving the Owls one last chance. Westfield had the ball on its own 40 with one second left and a hail mary pass was caught by junior Jeff Winchell at the 25-yard line, but he fumbled to end the game.

Coast Guard had a great chance early when freshman Kyle Wood recovered the opening kickoff on the Westfield 28-yard line, but Resch was intercepted on the second play of the game.

Freshman Tyler Henning booted a 25-yard field goal with 6:39 left in the first quarter to give Coast Guard a 3-0 lead, the only points of the first quarter. Coast Guard had 100 yards of total offense, 70 passing in the first quarter while Westfield had just 35 total yards in the opening quarter.

Westfield took the lead 7-3 on 2-yard touchdown pass from freshman Erik Washburn to sophomore running back Michael Mercadante with 12:49 left in the first half.

The Owls got the ball when Justin Ehrhardt intercepted Resch and returned it 12 yards to the Westfield 48-yard line. Washburn's 49-yard completion to senior Kevin Parnell down to the 3-yard line set up the  touchdown.

Coast Guard took the lead late in the first half as Wawrzyniak scored on 4th-and-goal from the 1-yard line with 1:30 left in the half for a 10-7 lead. He also converted a 4th-and-one from the 7-yard line with a two-yard run earlier in the drive. Resch hit senior tight end Casey Paris with a 22-yard pass moving the ball into Owl territory on the first play of the drive.

Coast Guard then kicked off and were offsides, so Westfield had the Bears rekick and sophomore Andrew Buanno returned that kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown to give the Owls a 14-10 lead with 1:09 left in the first half.

The Bears had 214 yards of total offense, 118 passing, in the first half while the Owls had just 90 total yards, 59 passing. Resch was 13 of 22 for 118 yards in the opening half while Wawrzyniak had 18 carries for 60 yard at in the first half.

Coast Guard head coach Bill George's Post Game Comments

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