Bears Win OT Thriller at Worcester State
WORCESTER, Mass.—Freshman Tyler Henning kicked a 27-yard field goal in overtime as Coast Guard beat Worcester State 31-28 in a New England Football Conference (NEFC) Bogan Division thriller.
Worcester State junior Derek Muccini missed a 35-yard field goal on the Lancers overtime possession before Henning's winning kick.
It was Coast Guard's first win in overtime since 1997 when the Bears won a pair of overtime games beating RPI 22-16 and Springfield 26-20. The Bears were 0-4 in OT since then with two losses in OT and two more in double overtime.
The Bears, who had a streak of seven straight losses in games decided by seven points or less, dating back to last season, have now won a pair of close games in back-to-back weeks.
Coast Guard senior quarterback Jon Resch ran for three touchdowns including a 5-yard run with 33 seconds left in regulation to tie the game 28-28. Resch was 17 of 35 for 306 yards while also throwing for a touchdown as the Bears improved to 4-3 overall and 3-2 in division play. Worcester State saw its NEFC Bogan Division title hopes dashed as it dropped to 5-3 and 3-2 in Bogan play.
Resch set the single-season school records for yards (2,200) and completions (185) in the win. He also eclipsed the 4,000 yard mark for his career and now has 4,255 passing yards.
Senior Pat Meggers led the Bears with six receptions for 135 yards and a touchdown as Coast Guard finished with 405 total yards.
Worcester State senior quarterback Corey Spencer was 37 of 59 for 416 yards with three touchdowns and a pair of interceptions while junior AJ Scerra was outstanding with a school-record 17 receptions for 184 yards and a touchdown as the Lancers finished with 524 yards.
Coast Guard led 21-14 entering the fourth quarter. Spencer threw a 4-yard touchdown to Scerra on 4th-and-four with 7:12 left in regulation, but junior Derek Muccini's extra point was wide left and the Bears maintained a 21-20 lead.
Freshman DaShawn Taylor scored on a 1-yard run with 2:34 left and Spencer threw the 2-point conversion to Scerra as the Lancers took a 28-21 lead.
The Bears tied the game by going 81 yards in just 1:55 as Resch scored a 5-yard touchdown run, his third rushing touchdown of the game, to tie the game 28-28 with 33 seconds left. Resch hit senior tight end Casey Paris with a 27-yard pass down to the 5-yard line to set up the tying touchdown.
Coast Guard freshman James Rizzo returned the opening kickoff of the second half 42 yards to the Bear 48-yard line, but the Bears were forced to punt. Worcester State junior Derek Muccini missed a 42-yard field goal with 9:37 left in the third quarter and Coast Guard held on to its 14-7 lead.
The Lancers got the ball in Coast Guard territory at the 45-yard line following a 20-yard punt, but the Bears defense came up big with seniors Parker Bateson and Curt Barrett coming up with back-to-back sacks to give the Bears the ball back.
Worcester State tied the game following a Coast Guard punt going 70 yards in just five plays as senior quarterback Corey Spencer threw a 5-yard touchdown to junior Richie Dube with 4:08 left in the third quarter to tie the game 14-14. Spencer threw a 44-yard pass to sophomore Jack Sprague on the first play of the drive.
The Bears quickly responded going 80 yards in five plays with senior quarterback Jon Resch scoring on a 1-yard touchdown run with 45 seconds left in the third quarter for a 21-14 lead. The big play of the drive was a 54-yard pass from Resch to sophomore Collis Brown before Resch threw an 18-yard pass to senior tight end Casey Paris down to the one.
In the first half, Coast Guard got on the board as Worcester State turned the ball over on downs in its own territory at the 45-yard line. Resch, on 3rd-and-10, threw a 45-yard touchdown pass to senior Pat Meggers with 6:23 left in the opening quarter and following freshman Tyler Henning's kick the Bears led 7-0.
The Coast Guard defense came up with another stop of the Lancers, this time at the Bear 19-yard line on its next possession. Resch capped an 11 play, 81-yard drive with a 4-yard touchdown run for a 14-0 lead with 12:32 left in the opening half. Resch and Meggers had a huge play in the drive a 30-yard pass down to the 10-yard line.
Coast Guard senior defensive back Drew Russo intercepted senior quarterback Corey Spencer on the first play from scrimmage, giving Coast Guard the ball at the Worcester 48-yard line, but the Lancers defense force the Bears to punt.
Following an exchange of punts, the Lancers got on the board marching 57 yards in eight plays as Spencer threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Dube on a 4th-and-four with 2:49 left in the half to cut the deficit to 14-7.
A bad snap on a punt that Henning chased back into the end zone and barely got off gave the Lancers the ball at the Coast Guard 34-yard line with 1:54 remaining in the half with a great opportunity for more points. However, Russo came up with his second interception of the game to keep the score 14-7 at halftime.
Worcester State had 230 total yards in the first half, 186 passing while Coast Guard had 209 total yards a halftime, 143 passing. The Bears had just six first downs in the first half while Worcester State had 11.
Coast Guard head coach Bill George won his 45th game at Coast Guard tying Nels Nitchman (1946-'58) for second all-time at the Academy.
Head Coach Bill George's Post Game Comments
Senior QB Jon Resch's Post Game Comments