Bears Fall in Season Finale
NEW LONDON, Conn.—Junior Justin Wallace carried 40 times for 215 yards and two touchdowns while junior quarterback Peter Williams threw for 293 yards and three touchdowns leading MIT to a 48-31 New England Football Conference (NEFC) win over Coast Guard in the final game of the season for both teams.
MIT dominated time of possession as they had the ball for 44 minutes and 45 seconds, ran 99 plays and totaled 577 yards of total offense (293 passing, 284 rushing) in the win to finish the season 6-3 overall and 4-3 in the conference. The Engineers were outstanding on third down converting 17 of 21 times to keep Coast Guard off the field.
Coast Guard (3-7, 3-4) had the ball for 15 minutes and 15 seconds running just 49 plays and finishing with 249 yards, 209 of those in the air.
The Bears led 24-7 as they forced MIT turnovers on three of the first four possessions and scored the first four times they had the ball.
Sophomore Tyler Henning tied the single-season school record with his 12th field goal of the season, a 42-yarder to give the Bears a 3-0 following an interception by senior Evan Rothfeld.
Williams fumbled on his own 6-yard line on the next possession and sophomore Joe Rizzardi recovered for the Bears. Freshman quarterback Derek Victory ran for a 6-yard touchdown on the next play for a 10-0 lead with 8:34 left in the first quarter.
MIT got on the board on a 7-yard touchdown pass from Williams to freshman Matt Lindsay with 2:35 left in the opening quarter to make the score 10-7.
Coast Guard responded quickly as Victory threw a 43-yard touchdown pass to senior Alex Oswald to make the score 17-7 with 1:34 left.
Junior Victor Rizzardi intercepted Williams and returned the ball 40 yards to the MIT 8-yard line on the final play of the first quarter. Sophomore Mike Clancy scored on an 8-yard run on the next play giving Coast Guard a 24-7 lead with 14:54 left in the half.
MIT would scored on seven of its next eight drives punting just once.
Williams scored on a 3-yard run with 10:18 left in the second. Coast Guard missed a 54-yard field goal with 3:13 left in the half and MIT took advantage as Williams threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to sophomore Nathan Varady with just 12 seconds left in the half to cut the deficit to 24-21 at the break.
MIT scored on all five possessions in the second half until it took a knee with 1:13 left to preserve the win.
The Engineers took the lead on a 15-yard touchdown pass from Williams to sophomore Seve Esparrago with 8:42 left in the third before freshman Tucker Cheyne booted a 35-yard field goal to push the lead to 31-24.
Coast Guard tied the game on a 1-yard run by junior Jake Wawrzyniak with 2:46 left in the third quarter.
Wallace's 6-yard touchdown with 13:05 left gave the Engineers a 38-31 lead. They converted a pair of third downs on the drive including a 3rd-and-12 from the Bears 27 with a 21 yard pass to sophomore Chris McPherson.
Cheyne added a 26-yard field goal after Coast Guard went three and out.
MIT put the game away on a 4-yard run by Wallace with 2:15 left.
Esparrago led MIT with six receptions for 108 yards while junior Brad Goldsberry had six catches for 72 yards in the win. Williams added 53 rushing yards on 17 carries.
Victory was 20 of 35 for 209 yards and a score while Oswald had a career-high 110 yards with six receptions in the final game of his career.
Junior Collis Brown had eight receptions for 82 yards to break the Bears single-season receiving yards record of 938 set by Christian Lee in 1996. Brown finished the season with 983 yards.
Junior Aaron Black, sophomore Mark Behne and sophomore Kyle Wood each had 15 tackles to lead the Coast Guard defense while Black had two of the Bears four sacks.
"MIT is an outstanding football team," said Coast Guard head coach Bill George. "The quarterback threaded some throws. We capitalized on some turnovers early on, but we couldn't get off the field on third down and Wallace was outstanding with a good line to run behind.
George added "They ran twice as many plays as us and that is the key. When you are 17 of 21 on third down, they are going moving the ball and score and that is what they did."