Bears Squander 19-Point Lead; Lose Shootout
BUZZARDS BAY, Mass.—Junior quarterback Mike Stanton set a school-record with 420 passing yards while throwing three touchdowns and junior Stefan Gustafson rushed for 216 yards including a 66-yard run with 9:43 left which gave Mass. Maritime the lead for good as the Buccaneers erased a 28-9 third quarter deficit and beat Coast Guard 42-38 in the New England Football Conference (NEFC) Bogan Division opener for both teams.
Coast Guard senior quarterback Jon Resch threw for 468 yards with three touchdowns, but he was intercepted four times. He broke his own school record for completions in a game with 35 breaking the mark of 34 and he fell one-yard short of his own school record of 469 passing yards. He finished with 493 yards of total offense and four touchdowns as he also ran for 25 yards and a score.
The Bears scored 35 or more points for the third straight week for the first time in the 89-year history of the football program.
The game featured 1,297 yards of total offense, 695 by Mass. Maritime and 602 by Coast Guard. The Bucs rushed for 275 and had 420 passing while Coast Guard had 134 rushing yards and 468 passing yards.
Senior Pat Meggers had six receptions for a career-high 182 yards, just six shy of the school-record of 188 yards set by Tom Wallin vs. Mass. Maritime in 1998. Sophomore Jake Wawrzyniak went over the 100-yard mark for the second straight week as he carried 23 times for 108 yards and a score while also catching eight passes for 62 yards.
Sophomore Collis Brown led the Bears with ten receptions for 95 yards and a touchdown.
The Bucs improve to 2-1 overall and 1-0 in the NEFC Bogan Division while the Bears drop to 1-2 overall and 0-1 in division play.
The game could not have started any better for the Bears as Mass. Maritime fumbled the opening kickoff and Coast Guard sophomore Victor Rizzardi recovered at the Bucs 6-yard line. However, the Maritime defense stopped sophomore Jake Wawrzyniak on a 4th and goal from the one to keep the game scoreless.
Following a Mass. Maritime punt, the Bucs defense came up big again in the red zone as the Bears converted a 4th and three with a 10-yard pass from senior quarterback Jon Resch to Wawrzyniak down to the 10-yard line, but the Bucs defense came up big again in the red zone and Coast Guard freshman Tyler Henning missed a 22-yard field goal.
Later in the first quarter, Mass. Maritime had great field position, starting at midfield, but senior linebacker Curt Barrett came up with an interception and returned it 17 yards to the Coast Guard 47-yard line.
The Bears got on the board on a 4-yard touchdown run by Wawrzyniak and Henning's extra point gave Coast Guard a 7-0 lead with 1:38 left in the first quarter. Resch came up big on 3rd and 15 finding senior Pat Meggers for 20 yards down to the 19-yard line to keep the drive alive.
Mass. Maritime got on the board on 26-yard field goal by junior Brandon Rodrigues as the Bucs marched 83 yards, from its own 8-yard line to cut the deficit to 7-3 with 13:38 left in the first half.
Coast Guard added to its lead on the next possession as Resch hit senior tight end Casey Paris with a 16-yard touchdown on 3rd and three with 9:29 left in the half for a 14-3 lead. Resch had another key third down conversion on the drive as he had a 15-yard scramble on 3rd and nine from the Bucs 37-yard line.
Following a Mass. Maritime punt, the Bucs defense got its first turnover of the day as senior Eddy Ramos picked off Resch in the red zone at the 10-yard line. The Mass. Maritime offense marched 86 yards in just 2:24 with senior Barry Reopell scoring from a yard out with 5:08 left in the half. The Bucs went for two points, but junior Evan Rothfeld sacked junior quarterback Mike Stanton to keep the score at 14-9.
Resch came up big once again on the next drive finding junior Alex Oswald for 15 yards on a 4th and 7, for his first career reception, and on the very next play he threw and 18-yard touchdown pass to sophomore Collis Brown as the Bears took a 21-9 lead with 50 seconds left in the half.
The Bucs looked to get a score before the half as Stanton hit junior Keith Caruso for 43 yards, but he was hit and fumbled at the 5-yard line and Rothfeld recovered the fumble for Coast Guard as the Bears took the 21-9 lead into the half.
The first half featured 611 yards of total offense. Mass. Maritime had 339 yards of offense in the first half, 209 passing while Coast Guard totaled 272 yards, 196 passing.
Resch was 18 of 34 for 196 yards in the opening half while Stanton was 13 of 20 for 209 yards, with two interceptions, as the Bucs turned the ball over four times in the first half.
Resch wasted little time in the second half as he scrambled and threw a 47-yard touchdown pass to Meggers on the opening drive of the second half to cap an 86-yard drive as Coast Guard increased the lead to 28-9 with 12:39 left in the third quarter.
Stanton responded by firing a 24-yard touchdown to Caruso and then threw the two-point conversion to Caruso to make the score 28-17 with 9:56 left in the third quarter.
Ramos came up with his second interception of the game to give the Bucs the ball at the Coast Guard 39-yard line and Stanton's 5-yard touchdown pass to sophomore E.J. Bennett and a two-point conversion pass to Caruso cut the deficit to 28-25 with 5:32 left in the third quarter. The key play in the drive was a 20-yard completion from Stanton to Caruso on 3rd and 15 down to the Bears' 24-yard line.
On the next possession, sophomore defensive end Zachary Ryan picked off Resch and Stanton hit a wide open Bennett, who raced 60 yards for the score as the Bucs took their first lead of the game, 32-28 lead with 3:26 left in the third quarter.
Coast Guard responded and again it was Resch coming up big on third down, this time it was a 56-yard pass to Meggers on 3rd and 20, down to the two-yard line and Resch's two-yard scamper and Henning's extra point gave the Bears a 35-32 lead with eight seconds left in the third quarter.
Senior Evan Sheridan returned the ensuing kickoff 55 yards to the Coast Guard 27-yard line, the Bears defense held and Rodrigues booted a 27-yard field goal with 12:38 left in the game to tie the score 35-35.
Henning booted a 44-yard field goal, the longest of his young career, with 10:40 left on the next possession as Coast Guard regained the lead 38-35.
Just 57 seconds later Gustafson's 66-yard touchdown run with 9:43 left gave Mass. Maritime a 42-38 lead.
Coast Guard drove down deep into Mass. Maritime territory looking to take the lead, but Sheridan picked off Resch at the 4-yard line with 5:16 left.