NEW LONDON, Conn.--Senior quarterback Caleb Gelsomino threw a pair of touchdown passes and ran for another as Bridgewater State rushed for 306 yards and beat Coast Guard 44-21 in a New England Football Conference (NEFC) Bogan Division game.
Coast Guard, already without starting running back Tyler Hames, lost a pair of running backs to ankle injures in the opening minutes of the game and rushed for just 10 yards in the loss.
"I could not believe that we lost two running backs instantly and we were down to our fourth string back. I was pleased with Mike Clancy, a freshman back, who stepped up after the injuries," said head coach Bill George. "For a kid to step in and do that is unbelievable. He was running on the scout team last week."
Bridgewater improves to 5-1 overall and 2-1 in the division while Coast Guard drops to 2-3 overall and 1-2 in the Bogan Division.
"It is disappointing after last week, once you get on a roll you think you have a chance at the league championship, so when it doesn't happen it is very hard," said George.
Gelosomino was 9 of 15 for 153 yards with a pair of touchdown passes and an interception while also rushing for a score. Junior quarterback Mike McCarthy was 4 of 8 for 35 yards and a touchdown while also leading Bridgewater with 15 carries for 77 yards and a score. McCarthy and Gelosomino both saw action throughout the game under center. Bridgewater finished with 494 yards, 306 rushing and 188 passing.
Coast Guard finished the game with 300 total yards, 290 passing.
Junior Eddie Jewel intercepted Coast Guard quarterback Jon Resch on the first series of the game and sophomore Jared Diorio kicked a 40-yard field goal for a 3-0 lead with 11:39 left in the opening quarter.
Resch threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to senior Pat Meggers with 5:44 left in the first quarter to cap an eight play, 75-yard drive, as Coast Guard took its only lead of the game 7-3.
Bridgewater answered right back with Gelosomino scoring on a 1-yard run with 22 seconds left in the opening quarter for a 10-7 lead.
A turning point in the game came in the second quarter, Coast Guard was set up in great fieled postition when sophomore Joel Wyman recovered a fumble at the Bridgewater 16-yard line, but Resch was intercepted in the end zone by senior Brian Smith on the next play with 10:46 left in the half.
Bridgewater would score on its next two possessions as they went on a long 14 play, 80-yard drive taking 7:26 off the clock with McCarthy scoring on a 2-yard run for a 17-7 lead. Gelosomino then threw a 35-yard touchdown pass to junior Matt Green (5 receptions, 81 yards) for a 24-7 lead with 1:16 left in the opening half.
Bridgewater which wore down the Coast Guard defense with its running game, dominated time of possession 36:23 to 23:27 including 18:58 to 11:02 in the first half.
Coast Guard had just 83 yards of total offense in the first half while Bridgewater had 244 total yards, 135 rushing in the opening half.
"I thought the long touchdown drive and then the touchdown just before the half for Bridgewater hurt us," said George. "They dominated the game from that point on give them credit. They are always well coached and they have tremendous athletes."
McCarthy threw a 14-yard touchdown to senior Matt Monahan on the opening possession of the second half as Bridgwater took over seven minutes off the clock for a 31-7 lead.
Coast Guard's fourth-string running back Mike Clancy scored his first collegiate touchdown on a 1-yard run with 2:36 left in the quarter making the scored 31-14.
Just over two minutes later, Gelosomino threw a 34-yard touchdown pass to Monahan for a 38-14 lead with 15 seconds left in the third quarter.
Bridgewater's final touchdown came on a crazy play when sophomore running back Matt Lockwood ran 34 yards and fumbled but Green recovered and raced 15 yards for the score and a 44-14 lead with 8:38 left in the game.
Clancy caught a 22-yard touchdown from Resch with 4:56 left to close the scoring.
Resch was 29 of 45 for 290 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions. Meggers had 11 receptions for 99 yards and a score while Clancy had nine catches for 55 yards.
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