NEW LONDON, Conn. – The Coast Guard defense held Springfield's potent triple-option attack to just one first down in the second half, but the Pride defense had a pair of interceptions in the final minutes as Springfield held off the Bears 20-14 in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) game.
Springfield improves to 3-3 overall and 2-1 in the NEWMAC while Coast Guard, playing is sixth straight game decided by 10 points or less to start the season, drops to 4-2 overall and 1-2 in conference play.
The Bears, who had not scored a point in the fourth quarter all season, got back in the game with its first points of the season in the fourth on a 7-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Jones to Damaso Jamie with 12:34 left cut the deficit to 20-14.
Both teams would exchange punts twice and Coast Guard took over at the Springfield 49 with 3:50 left.
The Bears drove to the Pride 25 before freshman DJ Brown intercepted Jones at the 17 with 2:07 left.
The Coast Guard defense stepped it up as it had the entire second half and forced a punt taking over at their own 42 with 1:36 left with a chance to win the game.
Sophomore CJ Lavery intercepted Jones at the Pride 32 with 1:24 to seal the win.
Springfield dominated the time of possession in the first half (22:11 to 7:49) and outgained the Bears 288-93 in the opening half. The Pride would manage just 43 yards and one first down, on a 4th and one from its own 34 in the third quarter.
The Pride finished with 331 yards, 277 rushing and 54 passing while Coast Guard had 255 yards, 203 passing and 52 rushing.
Springfield scored on its opening possession, a 22-yard field goal by Christian Hutra with 10:48 left in the first quarter.
The Pride added to its lead on a 32-yard touchdown pass from Chris Shade to Ian Porter with 4:43 left in the first quarter making the score 10-0.
The Bears would get on the board when Jones threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Justin Moffatt on 4th and 3 with 2:21 left in the first quarter to make the score 10-7.
The Pride would march 79 yard in 15 plays taking almost seven minutes off the clock and Hutra booted a 27-yard field goal to make the score 13-7 with 6:04 left in the half.
Springfield would get the ball back following a punt and Shade's 1-yard run would cap a 12 play, 61-yard drive giving the Pride a 20-7 lead with just 32 seconds left in the half.
Each team had the ball twice in the third quarter and punted as the Bears totaled 88 yards and Springfield just 31.
Shade had 28 carries for 117 yards and a touchdown and was 2 of 5 for 54 yards and a touchdown in the win.
Jones was 19 of 34 for 204 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Jon Wagner led the Bears with 14 carries for 60 yards and Justin Moffatt had eight receptions for a season-high 120 yards and a touchdown.
AJ Smith led the Pride with nine tackles while Patrick Crowley and Eugene Bizer each had 11 tackles to lead Coast Guard.
Coast Guard played its sixth straight game decided by 10 points or less to open the season for the first in the 96 year history of the program. The 1975 team had its first five games decided by 10 points or less.
The Bears are back in action on Saturday at Maine Maritime with kickoff set for noon.