GAME #3 PREVIEW -- Bears to Honor '63 Team in Home Opener
HAMPDEN-SYDNEY (1-1) at COAST GUARD (0-2)
SEPT. 21, 2013 -- 1:00 -- CADET MEMORIAL FIELD, NEW LONDON, CONN.
ON THE AIR: The game will be aired live on WXLM-980 AM. There is both and audio and video stream available and those inks can be found at www.cgasports.com on the football schedule page.
THE SERIES: Coast Guard won the only meeting between the two schools 38-22 in 1980.
LAST WEEK: Sophomore quarterback Matthew McDaniels carried 31 times for 245 yards and three touchdowns leading Merchant Marine to a 27-20 win over Coast Guard in the annual battle for the Secretaries' Cup. McDaniels final touchdown was a 10-yard run with 2:48 left, a fumbled snap on the PAT kept it a seven points game, 27-20.
Merchant Marine (2-0) finished with 394 yards, 368 on the ground in winning the Secretaries' Cup for the third straight season. The Bears (0-2) finished with 242 yards, 84 on the ground.
The Mariners led 14-0 before the Bears got on the board on a 1-yard run by junior quarterback Blake Thompson with 1:34 left in the first quarter to cap a 73-yard drive. Junior Collis Brown had a pair of key receptions for 38 and 37 yards during the drive. Coast Guard appeared to tie the game as sophomore James Rizzo returned a fumble 70 yards for a touchdown, but a penalty brought it back and the Bears offense took over, but had to punt it away.
The Bears defense came up big again when sophomore Blake Maurer delivered a big hit forcing a fumble and classmate Blake Bonifas recovered at the Mariner 18-yard line and the sophomore Tyler Henning booted a 45-yard field goal to make the score 14-10 with 10:46 left in the first half.
Coast Guard took the lead 17-14 on the opening possession of the second half on a 13-yard run by junior Jake Wawrzyniak with 11:46 left in the third quarter. Merchant Marine had an interception on the drive that was negated by a penalty. It was an 82-yard drive to start the half.
McDaniels and the Mariners responded quickly as the sophomore signal called scrambled 43 yards for a touchdown for a 21-17 lead with 9:38 left in the third quarter to cap a 77-yard drive.
Coast Guard senior linebacker Nick Phillips recovered a fumble for the Bears on the Mariners next possession at the MMA 19-yard line, but the offense couldn't move the ball and Henning's 34-yard field goal was blocked with 4:20 left in the third quarter.
Coast Guard sophomore linebacker Kyle Wood recovered a fumble at the Mariner 34-yard line and the Bears settled for a 40-yard field goal by Henning to cut the deficit to 21-20 with 10:58 left.
The teams exchanged punts then following a Merchant Marine punt, the Bears fumbled a snap on a punt on their next possession with 2:59 left setting the Mariners up at the Coast Guard 16-yard line which set up McDaniels final touchdown with 2:48 left.
Wawrzyniak led the Bears with 18 carries for 56 yards while Thompson had 15 carries for 45 yards. Thompson was 13 of 35 for 158 yards.
Coast Guard which turned the ball over five times, did not turn the ball over in the game this week while the Bears defense had four take aways, all fumbles.
Junior Joel Wyman led Coast Guard with 12 tackles while Phillips finished with 11 tackles.
Hampden-Sydney turned the ball over eight times and lost 17-7 to Christopher Newport. Junior quarterback Nash Nance was 45 of 72 for 364 yards but threw five interceptions. His 45 pass completions broke the Tigers single game record. Junior Holton Walker tied the Hampden-Sydney single game receptions record with 15 catches, a week after having 14, for 138 yards. Junior Joey Kernan added eight catches for 52 yards.
The Tigers defense limited Christopher Newport to just 272 total yards of offense while Hampden-Sydney racked up 408 on the day.
GEORGE MOVES TOWARD THE TOP SPOT: Coast Guard head coach Bill George entered the 2013 season with 46 career wins as head coach at the Academy just two shy of John Merriman's 48 wins which are the most in program history. Merriman was the coach from (1930-1945) and the Gymnasium is named is his honor. Last season, 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.
BREAK 'EM UP: The New England Football Conference (NEFC) has a new look in the 2013 season as the 16-team, two division format from the past no longer exists. Eight teams left to form the MASCAC football conference while the eight remaining teams will make up the new NEFC. Those teams are Coast Guard and Maine Maritime from the old Bogan Division and Curry, Endicott, MIT, Nichols, Salve Regina and Western New England from the NEFC Boyd Division. There is no longer and NEFC Championship game as the winner of the regular season will earn the automatic berth to the NCAA Playoffs.
BEARS PICKED SIXTH IN NEFC: Coast Guard was picked sixth in the 2013 NEFC Preseason Coaches Poll. Endicott was picked first earning four of the eight first place votes and 59 of the possible 64 points. Salve Regina garnered the other three first place votes while MIT also received a first place vote.
A LOOK BACK ON THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF 1963 TEAM: In 1963 NFL Hall of Famer Otto Graham led the Coast Guard Bears to the only undefeated and untied regular season in school history and the team earned a berth in the Tangerine Bowl.
Each week, we will look back at a game in the historical season. This week, we look back at the third game of the season, an 11-8 win over Wesleyan.
Cecil (Golden Toe) Allisons's 14-yard field goal gave the Bears a 3-0 lead in the quarter, but minutes later Wesleyan's touchdown and two-point conversion gave the Cardinals an 8-3 lead.
Quarterback Ed Barrett's 10-yard run early in the fourth quarter proved to be the game winner for Coast Guard. The Bears added a two-point conversion pass to Bill MacDonald for the 11-8 edge.
Wesleyan drove down to the Coast Guard 6-yard line, but turned it over on downs with six minutes left in the game.
Coast Guard won by three points or less for the third straight week and head coach Otto Graham said following the game "We like to make things close and keep the customers happy."
BEARS WELCOME 1963 TEAM TO HOME OPENER BY WEARING THROWBACK UNIFORMS: The 1963 team will be honored during this week's game as 33 members of the team will be on hand for the home opener. Those 1963 team members will serve as honorary captains and will join this year's captains Nick Phillips and Mike Vitrano for the coin toss. To honor the 1963 team, the Bears will wear throwback uniforms that are identical to those worn by the 1963 team.
SCOUTING COAST GUARD: The Bears will try to avoid starting 0-3 for the first time since 1983 with a victory this week.
Coast Guard has fallen behind 14-0 in each of its first two games, but both times took a 17-14 second half before coming up short.
Turnovers hurt the Bears in the season-opening 21-17 loss at St. Lawrence, as Coast Guard turned it over five times, but last week in the 27-20 loss at Merchant Marine, the offense did not turn the ball over.
Coast Guard is averaging 259 yards per game, 151.5 rushing and 107.5 through the air. Junior quarterback Blake Thompson is 18 of 48 for 188 yards with two interceptions. He leads the team with 139 rushing yards and a score on 30 carries while junior Jake Wawrzyniak is second on the team with 43 carries for 130 yards and two touchdowns.
Junior Collis Brown, who had four receptions for 122 yards last week, leads the team with six grabs for 171 yards. He now has 932 career receiving yards.
The Bears defense is allowing 422 yards per game, 287 on the ground and 135 in the air. Junior defensive lineman Joel Wyman and senior linebacker Nick Phillips each have 22 tackles to lead the team while sophomore strong safety Joe Rizzardi has 20 tackles on the season.
SCOUTING HAMPDEN-SYDNEY: The Tigers, the preseason favorite to win the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) are 1-1 on the season with a 42-12 season-opening win over Averett before falling to Christopher Newport 17-7 last week.
The Tigers like to throw the football with junior quarterback Nash Nance, a first-team All-conference selection last season, who is a transfer from the University of Tennessee. He is 69 of 100 for 739 yards with four touchdowns and five interceptions. He was 45 of 72 for 364 yards but threw five interceptions in the loss on Saturday. Nance is sixth in Division III with 411.5 yards of total offense per game, as he also leads the team with 87 yards rushing on 13 carries.
His favorite target is junior Holton Walker, who leads all of Division III with 14.5 receptions per game and 373 receiving yards to go with his two touchdowns.
Hampden-Sydney is averaging 498 yards per game, 368 passing and 130 rushing.
The Tigers defense is allowing only 200.5 yards per game, 100.5 rushing and 100 passing.
UP NEXT: Coast Guard will host Nichols on Sept. 28th in the New England Football Conference (NEFC) opener with kickoff set for 1:30 p.m.