GAME #3 FOOTBALL PREVIEW: The Mug is On the Line in Battle of Unbeatens

GAME #3 FOOTBALL PREVIEW: The Mug is On the Line in Battle of Unbeatens
COAST GUARD (2-0, 0-0) AT NORWICH (2-0, 0-0)
SEPT. 21ST -- 2:00 -- NORTHFIELD, VT.
** BATTLE FOR THE MUG ** 
 
ON THE AIR: A live video stream will be at www.cgasports.com
 
THE SERIES: Coast Guard leads 40-32-1
 
LAST YEAR:  Junior quarterback Ryan Jones 3-yard touchdown run on fourth down with nine seconds left lifted Coast Guard to a dramatic 38-35 win over Norwich to capture The Mug on Parents' Weekend in the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) opener. The game featured three lead changes in fourth quarter.
 
Coast Guard beat the Cadets for the third straight time for The Mug. The 73 points in the game are the most combined points in the 73 meetings between the two schools.
 
The Cadets almost stunned the home crowd when junior Connor Bourque returned the ensuing kickoff after the game winning touchdown 60 yards to the Coast Guard 40 before senior kicker Cole Austin and freshman Adam Jibiril-Barnes took him down to set off the wild celebration on the home sideline.
 
Norwich took the lead 35-31 on a 28-yard touchdown pass from sophomore Matt Dunn (23 of 35 for 274 yards) to sophomore Manni Romero (7 receptions, 118 yards) with 4:01 left, the combo's fourth touchdown of the game, before the Bears marched 76 yard in 16 plays converting three fourth downs for the game winning score.
 
Jones would complete a 12-yard pass to sophomore Justin Moffatt on 4th and 6 from the Coast Guard 28, a 13-yard pass to Moffatt on 4th and 8 from the Norwich 19 before the game winner on fourth down.
 
Jones finished 21 of 34 for 257 yards with one touchdown and one interception while rushing seven times for 36 yards and the score.
 
Moffatt had 10 receptions for a career-high 178 yards and a score. It was the third game this season with over 100 yards.
 
Coast Guard finished with 488 yards of total offense (333 passing and 155 rushing) while Norwich had 449 yards (274 passing and 175 rushing).
 
Norwich opened the scoring on a 1-yard run by junior Aaron Conner with 10:46 left in the first quarter on the opening drive of the game.
 
Austin would miss a 23-yard field goal on the Bears first possession, but he would then convert three field goals in the second quarter from 21, 33 and 39 yards to give the Bears a 9-7 lead with 7:47 left in the first half.
 
Freshman Jay Griffin's first career touchdown, a 1-yard run with 3:51 left in the first half, gave Coast Guard a 16-7 lead, the Bears went into their bag of tricks on that drive as Moffatt threw a 76-yard pass to senior Chip Crowley to get the ball to the 1-yard line.
 
The Cadets would answer one minute later on a 51-yard touchdown pass from Dunn to Romero to make the score 16-14 at the half.
 
Coast Guard scored on the opening possession of the second half on sophomore Chris Gardner's 1-yard run with 13:13 left in the third to extend the lead to 23-14. The big play on that drive was a 59-yard pass from Jones to Moffatt on the first play of the half.
 
The Cadets would make it 23-21 on a 9-yard TD strike from Dunn to Romero with 3:37 left in the quarter.
 
Norwich took the lead 28-23 with 11:22 left in the game on a 15-yard pass from Dunn to Romero.
 
Coast Guard  answered right back going 56 yards in just five plays and a Jones to Moffatt 25-yard touchdown pass gave the Bears a 29-28 lead and those two would hook up again for the 2-point conversion pass extending the lead to 31-28 with 9:02 left.
 
The Bears forced a 13-yard punt and took over at the Norwich 28, but Jones was intercepted and Norwich would drive 77 yards in seven plays to take a 35-31 lead with 4:01 left.
 
Gardner led Coast Guard with 21 carries and a career-high 83 yards while Crowley had three receptions for a season-high 95 yards in the win.
 
Senior linebacker Jake Behne lead the Coast Guard defense with 13 tackles, seven solo and two for loss.
 
LAST WEEK: Jon Wagner scored on a 20 yard touchdown run and Pat Crowley added the extra point as Coast Guard held off Nichols 24-23 in overtime in a non-conference game. The Bears open the season 2-0 for the first time since 2005. Nichols had taken a 23-17 lead in overtime when Michael Pina threw a 19-yard touchdown pass to Dominic Coppola, but the extra point was missed.
 
Ryan Jones was 11 of 25 for 211 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions while also running for 34 yards. Damaso Jaime led the Bears with four receptions for 87 yards and two touchdowns. Coast Guard finished with 302 yards while Nichols has 289 yards, 249 of those in the air. Pina was 29 of 43 for 249 yards with three touchdowns in the loss.
 
Norwich improved to 2-0 for the first time since 2012 with a 30-24 win over St. Lawrence.
 
The teams combined for 815 passing yards on over 100 passing attempts. With his 34 passes completed for Norwich, Matt Dunn set a new standard for most passes completed in a game in program history, surpassing the previous high of 29 set by Ben Clark in 2002. Trevor Chase also made program history with 13 receptions in a single game which bested the previous mark of 11 set by Trystan Colaire in 2015.
 
Dunn was 34-for-49 through the air for 399 yards and two touchdowns against one interception to help drive the host offense. Three Cadet receivers posted 100-yard days with Chase registering 135 yards, Manni Romero adding 129 yards on eight catches while Tristan Johnson totaled 107 yards on eight receptions. Aaron Conner rushed for 65 yards on 19 carries to power the running game.
 
COACH GEORGE IS BEARS WINS LEADER: Coast Guard head coach Bill George, in his 21st season, has a record 72 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.
 
BEARS PICKED 5TH IN NEWMAC PRESEASON POLL: Coast Guard has been picked to finish fifth in the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) preseason poll. Coast Guard was 7-3 overall and 5-2 in conference play. 
 
2019 NEWMAC FOOTBALL PRESEASON COACHES' POLL
1.   Springfield (6) 
2.   MIT (2) 
T3. WPI 
T3. Merchant Marine
5.   Coast Guard
6.   Norwich 
7.   Catholic 
8.   Maine Maritime
FAST OUT OF THE GATE: Coast Guard is off to a 2-0 start for the first time since 2005. In the 2005 season, Coast Guard opened with wins over Mass. Maritime (27-0) and Norwich (30-12), but finished the season 2-7. This is the third time the Bears have opened the season 2-0 since 1997.
 
ROAD WARRIORS: The Bears will hit the road for the third straight week to open the 2019 season. The Bears will then play three striaght home game starting with the home opener against Curry on Sept. 28th.
 
SCOUTING COAST GUARD: Coast Guard looks to retain the Mug and open the season 3-0 for the first time since 1997 in the 2019 New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) opener.
 
Senior quarterback Ryan Jones is 22 of 46 for 274 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions. Junior Justin Moffatt had six receptions for 23 yards in the opener did not play last week and the Bears hope to have him back this week. Sophomore Damaso Jaime is second on the team with five receptions for a team-high 92 yards and both touchdowns.
 
Juniors Jon Wagner and Chris Gardner are the Bears one-two punch in the backfield. Wagner leads the way with 94 yards (18 carries) and two touchdowns while Gardner has 26 carries for 92 yards. Jones has 20 carries for 67 yards.
 
The Bears have scored 37 points in the first half and just seven in the third and fourth quarters combined this season. Coast Guard is averaging 25.5 points and 268 yards per game (131 rushing and 137 passing).
 
The Coast Guard defense is allowing 20 points and 306.5 yards per game this season, 263.5 passing and just 43 yards per game on the ground.
 
The Bears pass rush as been outstanding registering 12 sacks in the first two games led by junior Philip Orlando's 3.5 sacks. Junior linebacker Eugene Bizer leads the team with 17 tackles, two for loss and a sack while senior linebacker R.J. Robiskie and senior cornerback Patrick Crowley each have 15 tackles.
 
SCOUTING NORWICH : The Cadets look to win back the Mug and open 3-0 for the first time since 2012 as the campus holds a Bicentennial Celebration along with Homecoming Weekend.
 
Junior quarterback Matthew Dunn leads the Norwich offense. He is 57 of 89 for 714 yards with five touchdowns and three interceptions.
 
The Cadets have a trio of dangerous wide receivers led by junior Manni Romero, who has 14 receptions for a team-high 299 yards and three touchdowns. Freshmen Trevor Chase leads the way with 18 receptions for 167 yards and two touchdowns while freshman Tristan Johnson has 11 receptions for 145 yards on the season.
 
Senior Aaron Conner leads the Cadets with 32 carries for 85 yards.
 
Norwich is averaging 26 points and 389 yards per game, 357 of those in the air.
 
The Cadet defense is allowing 21.5 points and 386 yards (261.5 passing and 124.5 rushing).
 
Senior safety Austen Greene leads the team with 16 tackles while a trio of players senior safety Tavares Ward, senior linebacker Chris Ryan and sophomore linebacker Isaiah Williams all have 15 tackles.
 
UP NEXT: Coast Guard hosts Curry in the home opener on Sept. 28th at 1:30.
 
LAST NEWMAC WEEK'S GAMES

FRIDAY, SEPT. 13TH
Coast Guard 24, Nichols 23 (OT)
 
SATURDAY, SEPT. 14TH
Norwich 30, St. Lawrence 24
Georgetown 69, Catholic 0
Springfield 21, Kean 14
Plymouth State 48, Maine Maritime 6
WPI 6, RPI 3
 
THIS WEEK'S NEWMAC GAMES
FRIDAY, SEPT. 20TH
MIT at Becker, 7:00
 
SATURDAY, SEPT. 21ST
Mass. Maritime at Maine Maritime, noon
Springfield at Union, 1:00
WPI at Husson, 1:00
Catholic at Methodist, 1:00
Maritime at Merchant Marine, 1:00
Coast Guard at Norwich, 2:00
 
 
 
Bears Drop Road Finale
November 9, 2019 Bears Drop Road Finale
Defense Leads Bears Past Curry
September 28, 2019 Defense Leads Bears Past Curry
2019 Football Preview
August 26, 2019 2019 Football Preview