GAME #8 FOOTBALL PREVIEW: Bears Look to Bounce Back at MIT

Matt O'Donnell
Matt O'Donnell

COAST GUARD (3-4, 2-2) AT MIT (1-6, 1-3)
OCT. 29TH -- NOON -- CAMBRIDGE, MASS.

ON THE AIR:
The game will be aired live on WXLM-980 AM. There also both an audio and video stream available and those links can be found at www.cgasports.com on the football schedule page.

THE SERIES: The series is tied 2-2.

LAST YEAR: Senior Mike Clancy ran for a career-high 134 yards and a touchdown while junior quarterback Derek Victory threw a touchdown pass and ran for another leading Coast Guard to a 28-13 win over MIT on Homecoming Weekend.

Clancy had 12 carries for 106 yards and his touchdown in the second half and the Coast Guard defense shutout MIT  in the second half.

The Bears, who ran for a season-high 204 yards on 40 carries, won their third straight for the first time since 2007.

MIT scored the opening possession of the game on a 32-yard field goal by junior Tucker Cheyne for a 3-0 lead with 10:16 left in the first quarter. Later in the first quarter, the Coast Guard defense came up big as senior Joe Rizzardi returned an interception 16 yards for a touchdown to give the Bears a 7-3 lead with 3:46 left.

Cheyne booted a 24-yard field on the next possession as the Engineers trimmed the lead to 7-6 with 14:04 left in the opening half.

Coast Guard would then march 81 yards in 14 plays with Victory scoring on a 1-yard run on 4th down to push the lead to 14-6 with 8:27 left in half. The key play on the drive was a 45-yard pass to sophomore tight end Cody Bain on 3rd and 10 to get the ball down to the 2-yard line.

MIT would answer by going 71 yards in nine plays with sophomore quarterback Jon King throwing a 10-yard touchdown to classmate Jared Hansen cutting the deficit to 14-13 with 4:42 left in the first half.

Coast Guard would have its only turnover of the game, at the MIT 24 on the next possession, but MIT was forced to punt and the Bears led 14-13 at halftime.

MIT freshman running back Adis Ojeda had 17 carries for 138 yards in the first half and finished the game with 27 carries for 208 yards.

The Bears extended their lead by going 77 yards in seven plays on the opening possession of the second half and Victory threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to junior Kyle Jackson to take a 21-13 lead with 12:49 left in the third quarter. The drive was aided by a roughing the kicker penalty which wiped out a 67-yard punt by Tyler Henning.

MIT would turn the ball over at their own 39 on the next possession as senior Mark Behne recovered the fumble for Coast Guard.

Henning knocked a punt out at the six-yard line and MIT would drive all the way to the Coast Guard 8-yard line before Rizzardi blocked a 25-yard field goal attempt to keep the score 21-13.

Following an exchange of punts to start the fourth quarter, Coast Guard got great field position when MIT had to punt from its own end zone after Henning knocked punt inside the 5-yard line.

The Bears started at the MIT 35 and five plays later Clancy scored on a 10-yard run to close the scoring giving the Bears a 28-13 lead with 11:09 left.

MIT looked to make it a one score game before senior linebacker Ed Lazowski intercepted King in the end zone with 2:49 left.

The Engineers finished with 509 yards of total offense, 269 rushing and 240 passing. King  was 23 of 41 for 240 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. Senior Seve Esparrago had four receptions for 36 yards to lead MIT, who had 11 different players with a reception.

Victory was 13 of 24 for 168 yards with a touchdown. Jackson led the way with four catches for 56 yards while Bain had three receptions for 66 yards in the win.

LAST WEEK: Freshman quarterback Chris Mullins threw a pair of touchdowns and ran for another in the first ten minutes of the game as Nichols jumped out to a 21-0 and the Bison held on for a 24-14 win over Coast Guard in a New England Football Conference (NEFC) game.

Mullins was 22 of 49 for 238 yards with two touchdowns and four interceptions in the win, a game which featured ten turnovers. The Bison turned the ball over six times in the win.

Nichols had 450 yards of total offense, 238 passing and 212 rushing while Coast Guard finished with 356 total yards, 329 passing and 27 rushing.

Derek Victory was 19 of 41 for 270 yards before leaving with an injury while Goldcamp finished 6 of 13 for 72  yards and a touchdown in relief. Darius Adams had another huge game with ten receptions for 152 yards and two touchdowns to improve his single-season record to 11 scores while junior tight end Cody Bain had six receptions for 126 yards.

Junior Ryan Robertson led the Coast Guard defense with 13 tackles while junior Matt O'Donnell had two of the Bears four interceptions in the game.

MIT dropped its third straight losing to Salve Regina 35-22. Salve led 14-0 at halftime and later scored 21 straight second half points to remain unbeaten this season.

Salve Regina outgained the Engineers by a 397-250 margin in total offense, while the MIT defense forced three turnovers that included a pair of interceptions.

Freshman John Robertson led the MIT offense with 101 yards on the ground to go with his two touchdowns, the first 100 yard game of his career.

BEARS TO COMPETE IN NEWMAC IN FOOTBALL BEGINNING IN 2017: It was announced  in April of 2015 that the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) will begin sponsoring the sport of football starting in the 2017 season. Current conference members, Coast Guard, MIT, Springfield College and WPI will be joined by Maine Maritime Academy, Merchant Marine Academy and Norwich University and Catholic, who enter the NEWMAC as associate members in 2017.

Springfield, WPI, and Merchant Marine have been participating in the Liberty League, while MIT, Coast Guard, and Maine Maritime are members of the New England Football Conference, and Norwich is a part of the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference and Catholic is part of the ODAC. In addition to the connection Maine Maritime, Merchant Marine and Norwich have to Coast Guard, MIT, Springfield and WPI in football; they also have long-standing relationships with NEWMAC members in other sports.  

BEARS PICKED SIXTH IN THE NEFC PRESEASON POLL: Defending New England Football Conference Champion Western New England was picked by the coaches in the Conference to repeat its NEFC title while Coast Guard has been picked sixth.

2016 POLL
1. Western New England 59 (5 first place votes)
2. Salve Regina 56 (2 first place votes)
3. Endicott College 50 (1 first place vote)
T4. Curry College 31
T4. MIT 31
6. U.S. Coast Guard Academy 30
7. Maine Maritime Academy 20
8. Nichols College 12

*Points are awarded based on position selected in the poll. A first place vote is awarded one point, a second place vote is two points, etc.

VICTORY CONTINUES TO REWRITE THE RECORD BOOK: Senior quarterback Derek Victory set or tied seven school records in the 56-54 win on October 15th to earn NEFC Co-Offensive Player of the Week honors as well as the Gold Helmet from the New England Football Writers. He now has tied or holds 14 records in his magnificent career.

COAST GUARD ACADEMY RECORDS

INDIVIDUAL PASSING
Most Passing Yards in a Game: 525, vs. Curry (2016)
Most Passing Yards in a Career: 6,709

Most Passes Attempted in a Season, 409, 2014
Most Passes Attempted in a Career: 1,173

Most Passes Completed in a Game: 36, vs. WNE (2013)
Most Passes Completed in a Season: 220, 2014
Most Passes Completed in a Career: 656

Most TD Passes in Game: TIED with 6, vs Curry (2016)
Most TD Passes in a Career: 45

TOTAL OFFENSE
Most Yards in a Game: 547, vs. Curry (2016)
Most Yards in a Career: 6,949

TEAM PASSING
Most Passing Yards in a Game: 525

NEFC RECORDS

Most Passing Yards in Game vs. Curry (Individual): 525
Most Passing Yards in Game  vs. Curry (Team): 525

ADAMS CONTINUES TO SHINE: Junior Darius Adams, playing his first year of football at any level, had another big game on Saturday as he led the way with ten receptions for 152 yards and both Coast Guard touchdowns breaking the single-season record of nine with his 10th and 11th of the season. Adams has 37 receptions and leads NEFC with 798 yards, 11 touchdowns and 21.6 yards per reception this season. He has three games with 150 or more yards including two with over 200 receiving yards this season. Adams also has a pair of games in which he tied the single-season school record with three touchdown receptions. His 11 touchdown receptions rank him seventh nationally.

He is 185 yards shy of the single-season school record of 983 receiving yards set by Collis Brown in 2013.

BEARS TO WEAR THREE HELMET STICKERS THIS SEASON: This season the team is privileged to display helmet decals that will recognize and commemorate two very significant events in the history of the Academy. 2016 is the 50th anniversary of the first African American graduate of the Academy – CDR Merle Smith, CGA Class of '66 was an end on the football team and served with distinction including as a stint as a member of the academy's faculty. 

Additionally, 2016 is the 40th anniversary of the first class of women to matriculate to CGA. The women who first arrived at CGA in the summer of 1976 eventually became the academy's first female graduates in 1980.  At the Secretaries Cup football game vs. Merchant Marine on September 10 at Cadet Memorial Field, we will bring this recognition to life as CDR Smith and CAPT Sue Bibeau, CGA Class of '80 and the first women at any federal service academy to earn a varsity letter, will serve as Honorary Captains.  This commemoration represents a true, relevant recognition of the diversity that distinguishes CGA.

The team added a third helmet decal before third game of the season, a # 28, to honor the memory of U.S. Military Academy cadet-athlete Brandon T. Jackson, who died as a result of a car accident on Sept. 11th of this season.

This year marks the fourth consecutive season the team has elected to recognize and honor significant and historic people or events through commemorative helmet decals.

COACH GEORGE IS BEARS WINS LEADER: Coast Guard head coach Bill George, in his 18th season, has a record 60 career wins as head coach at the Academy as he passed John Merriman for the most in program history in the win over Maine Maritime on Oct. 19th, 2013.

Merriman was the coach from (1930-1945) and the Gymnasium is named is his honor. In 2012, George passed NFL Hall of Famer and former Director of Athletics and head football coach Otto Graham, who had 43 wins in his two stints as head coach (1959-'65 and 1974-'75). Coach George led the Bears to a pair of NEFC Bogan Division championships in 2006 and 2007.

A LOOK BACK AT THE 1996 NCAA PLAYOFF TEAM: It has been 20 years since the 1996 football team made the program's first NCAA Playoff appearance. That team coached by Bill Schmitz won a share of the Freedom Football Conference (FFC) and with an 8-2 record earned that NCAA berth where they lost a heartbreaker to The College of New Jersey 17-16.

Each week this season, we will take a look back at how that team did.

In the eighth game of the season, Al Thompson had 245 all-purpose yards and four touchdowns as Coast Guard won its fifth straight beating defending Freedom Football Conference (FFC) champion Plymouth State 35-28.

Thompson caught seven passes for 160 yards and tied the school record with three touchdown receptions while also returning a punt 74 yards for a score.

Dan Warren was 14 of 24 for 265 yards and three touchdowns in the win.

SCOUTING COAST GUARD: The Bears potent passing attack, led by record setting senior Derek Victory, is ranked ninth nationally with 341 yards per game.

Victory is 147 of 257 for 1,832 yards with 16 touchdowns and seven interceptions while sophomore Ethan Goldcamp is 42 of 84 for 568 yards with five touchdowns and two interceptions
 
The Bears are averaging 30.3 points per game, fourth best in the NEFC this season. Coast Guard has struggled to run the football with just 46.4 yards per game, last in the conference

Junior tight end Cody Bain leads the team with 45 receptions for 642 yards and three touchdowns. Junior Darius Adams has 37 receptions and leads NEFC with 798 yards, 11 touchdowns and 21.6 yards per reception this season. His single-season school record 11 touchdown receptions rank him seventh nationally.

The Coast Guard defense is allowing 32 points and an NEFC-high 483.6 yards per game, an NEFC-high 236.6 of those on the ground and 247 in the air. The Bears have forced an NEFC best 20 turnovers this season. Coast Guard has recovered the most fumbles (11) in the conference which ranks them seventh nationally. The Bears are second in the NEFC in turnover margin plus 1.14 per game.

Junior strong safety Ryan Robertson leads the team with 65 tackles while sophomore linebacker Jake Behne and junior free safety Matt O'Donnell, who had two interceptions, last week, each have 41 tackles. Sophomore linebacker Titus Creamer leads the team with six tackles for loss and a pair of sacks.

Sophomore Chip Crowley is averaging 35.2 yards per punt on the season and leads the NEFC with ten inside the 20. Crowley is also the team's leading kick returner with a 20.2 yard average on 14 returns.

SCOUTING MIT: The Engineers look to snap a three-game slide this week.

MIT, which has struggled to put points on the board, had 22 points against Salve Regina, the #2 team in New England on Saturday. The Engineers are last in the NEFC with 263.6 yards and 16.4 points per game. MIT is averaging 178.4 passing yards per game and 85.1 rushing yards per game.

Udgam Goyal is 116 of 228 for 1,249 yards wtih seven touchdowns and ten interceptions. His favorite target is Eddy Garcia-Montes, who has 36 receptions for 524 yards and three touchdowns.

NEFC Rookie of the Week John Robertson leads the MIT rushing attack with 130 carries, 465 yards and four touchdowns for 3.6 yards per carry.

The Engineer defense is allowing 27.3 points and 354.9 yards per game. They have the second best pass defense in the NEFC allowing just 158.3 yards, but are allowing 196.6 rushing yards per game.

MIT is tied for the NEFC lead with 11 interceptions on the season with Anthony Emberley (40 tackles) leading the way with three on the season.

Kodiak Brush leads the team with 57 tackles, four for loss.

Tucker Cheyne leads the NEFC with seven field goals (7-10) and is 10 for 10 on extra points. He also handes the punting duties and is averaging 33.5 yards per punt.

UP NEXT: Coast Guard plays its final home game of the season when the Bears host Endicott at noon on Nov. 5th as part of Celebrate New London Day at the Academy.

 

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