Bears Suffer Another Heartbreaking Loss
NEW LONDON, Conn.--(10/22/11)--For the second straight week, Coast Guard lost in heartbreaking fashion, this time a missed 43-yard field goal on the final play of the game was short, and Worcester State held to win a 31-30 shootout over Coast Guard in a New England Football Conference (NEFC) Bogan Division game, the final home game of the season for the Bears.
The Coast Guard defense came up big late in the fourth quarter for the second straight week. Junior Drew Russo intercepted senior quarterback Tony Tokarz in the end zone with 1:33 on fourth down to keep the deficit at 31-30.
Coast Guard took advantage of a pass interference call on fourth down and later a 23-yard pass from senior quarterback Jarrod Owens to senior Stephen Spotts moved the ball into Worcester State territory at the 44 yard line. Owens then hit Hames for 11 yards and Spotts again for seven yards with three seconds left setting up the 43-yard field goal on the final play of the game. The field goal was short and the Bears, who lost on a key fumble in the closing minutes last week, lost their fourth game of the season by single digits to drop to 1-6 overall and 1-4 in the NEFC Bogan Division. It is the first time since 1992 that the Bears have suffered four losses in a season by single digits, they lost five games like that in 1992.
Tokarz was 23 of 36 for 298 yards with four touchdowns including the eventual game winner, 49-yard strike to sophomore AJ Scerra on the first play of the fourth quarter.
Coast Guard opened the scoring on a whacky play. Worcester State tried a fake punt on its opening drive, but when there was no room to run, sophomore Alex Blakeslee then attempted an off balance punt which didn't go very far and ended up in the hands of senior Nick Peters, who returned it 55 yards for a touchdown.
The Lancers got on the board on a 28-yard touchdown pass from Tokarz to senior Kenny Russell with 12 seconds left in the first quarter, the extra point was missed and the Bears led 7-6.
Worcester State dominated the first quarter running 29 plays to the Bears six and outgaining them 160-2 in total yards, yet they trailed.
Senior Jacob Shackleford's 38-yard field goal with 12:31 left in the first half gave the Bears a 10-6 lead before senior Marcus Price had a 58-yard touchdown run to give Worcester State a 13-10 lead with 11:04 left in the half.
Owens threw a 44-yard touchdown pass to sophomore running back Tyler Hames with 9:16 left in the half as the Bears regained the lead 17-13.
The Bears defense forced a three-and-out and freshman Jake Wawrzyniak capped an 11 play, 64-yard drive with a four-yard run as the Bears extended their lead to 24-13 with 3:23 left in the opening half.
Worcester State responded with an 11 play drive of their own covering 60 yards as Tokarz found Scerra for a four-yard touchdown pass on the final play of the half, the Lancers went for two and the run was failed making the score 24-19 at halftime.
The Lancers took the lead with 5:01 left in the third quarter on a 10-yard touchdown pass from Tokarz to junior Justin DeAndrade, the two-point pass was failed and Worcester State led 25-24.
It took Coast Guard just over a minute to regain the lead as the speedy Hames scored on a 48-yard touchdown run, the Bears two-point pass failed and the score was 30-25 with 3:57 left in the third quarter.
Worcester State took the lead for good on its next possession as Tokarz hit Scerra for the 49-yard touchdown to cap the eight play, 76-yard drive.
The Lancers tried an onsides kick following the touchdown, they were called for illegal procedure and the Bears started with great field position at the Lancer s 42 yard line. On the second play, Owens was intercepted by senior Clifford Oratokhai in the end zone.
Worcester State took close to six minutes off the clock and drove the Coast Guard 14 before turning it over on downs, but Coast Guard went three-and-out and the Lancers took another five minutes off the clock before the Russo interception in the end zone.
The Lancers had 580 yards of total offense in the win, 298 passing and 282 rushing as Price led the way with 27 carries for 173 yards before leaving with an injury and freshman Kemani Jones had 16 carries for 82 yards replacing Price.
Russell led the Lancers with nine receptions for 119 yards and a score while Scerra had seven receptions for 110 yards and two touchdowns.
Coast Guard finished with 364 yards of total offense, 175 passing and 189 rushing. Owens was 15 of 27 for 175 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Hames led the way on the ground with eight carries for 98 yards. Hames also led the Bears with five receptions for 86 yards and a touchdown while senior Stephen Spotts had five catches for 58 yards.
Junior Eric Gerken, the leading receiver in the NEFC, was held to just two receptions for ten yards.
Freshman Victor Rizzardi, junior Curt Barrett and junior Parker Bateson each had ten tackles to lead the Coast Guard defense while freshman linebacker Teddy Ferreira led the Lancers with five tackles.
Worcester State, which snapped a two-game losing streak and improves to 6-2 overall and 3-2 in the Bogan Division, ran 85 plays to Coast Guard's 56 and dominated the time of possession 38:39 to 21:21.