Bears Shutout by No. 19 Western New England

Joe Rizzardi
Joe Rizzardi
NEW LONDON, Conn. – Graduate quarterback Tyler Ward was 22 of 25 for 216 yards with a pair of touchdowns and Western New England, ranked 1st in New England and 19th nationally, scored touchdowns of six of its first eight possessions en route to a 51-0 win over Coast Guard in a New England Football Conference (NEFC) game.

The Golden Bears improved to 9-0 overall and 6-0 in conference play while Coast Guard drops to 5-4 overall and 4-2 in the NEFC. Western New England will host Salve Regina in the season finale next week with the NEFC Championship and automatic bid to the NCAA playoffs on the line.

Western New England finished with 586 yards, 348 of those on the ground. Coast Guard was held to a season-low 125 yards of total offense, 53 rushing.

Junior Nick Connell carried 17 times for 109 yards and a pair of scores while Ward carried 13 times for 50 yards in the win. Senior Kevin Degnan carried six times for 37 yards and a pair of scores including a 5-yard touchdown run on the opening drive for a 7-0 lead with 11:51 left in the first quarter.

Western New England would score touchdowns on its first three possessions in the first quarter to take a 21-0 lead with 3:48 left in the first quarters and the Golden Bears also scored on their final three possessions of the first half taking a 42-0 lead into halftime.

The Golden Bears had 349 yards of total offense in the first half, 184 rushing and 165 passing while Coast Guard was held to 35 first half yards.

Degnan had a 14-yard touchdown run for the only touchdown of the third quarter and the Golden Bears got a safety on a bad snap with 3:49 left in the game to close the scoring .

Coast Guard sophomore Adam Davis was 8 of 18 for 28 yards with one interception while freshman Ethan Goldcamp was 8 of 11 for 44 yards off the bench.

Junior Kyle Jackson and senior Jordan Groff each had four receptions to lead the Bears.

Senior Joe Rizzardi led the Coast Guard defense with 13 tackles and 11 solo and the Bears only interception of the game which appeared he would return for a touchdown, his third of the season before an inadvertent whistle blew the play dead.

Coast Guard will look to clinch just its second winning season in the last eight years when the Bears close out the season at Endicott on Saturday at noon.


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