GAME #6 FOOTBALL PREVIEW: Bears Host Springfield as part of Celebrate New London

Ryan Jones
Ryan Jones

SPRINGFIELD (5-0, 2-0) AT COAST GUARD (3-2, 1-1)
OCT. 7TH --1:30 -- NEW LONDON, CONN.
**CELEBRATE NEW LONDON**

ON THE AIR:
The game will be aired live on WXLM-980 AM. There also both an audio and video stream available and those links can be found at www.cgasports.com on the football schedule page.

THE SERIES: Springfield leads 12-4. The team's have not met since a 49-10 win by Springfield in 2003 when both teams were members of the Freedom Football Conference (FFC).

The last time the Bears beat the Pride was a 31-20 win at home in 1999, that was head coach Bill George's first win at the Academy. It was also Coast Guard's only win that year as the team finished 1-9.

LAST WEEK: Sophomore quarterback Alejandro Ros threw a pair of touchdown passes and the Cardinals defense had two fourth quarter interceptions leading Catholic to a 20-14 win over Coast Guard here on Saturday.

FOR GAME HIGHLIGHTS -- CLICK HERE

Coast Guard was playing without its starting quarterback junior Ethan Goldcamp. Sophomore Ryan Jones (14 of 31 for 152 yards), making his first collegiate start, ran for a score and threw for another.

Junior Chip Crowley led the Bears with four receptions and finished with 38 yards while senior Darius Adams had two catches for a team-high 62 yards in his first action of the season. Senior Cam Cecchini had 12 carries for 36 yards to lead the Bears on the ground.

Junior linebacker Jake Behne had a game-high 12 tackles, two of those for loss while senior free safety Matt O'Donnell recorded 10 tackles for Coast Guard.

Springfield, the No. 1 team in New England, scored 42 unanswered points and beat Norwich 42-3 to remain unbeaten. The Pride, who have the top rushing offense in the nation, ran for 360 yards on the ground en route to 448 yards of total offense.  Defensively, Springfield was dominant, holding the Cadets to just 70 offensive yards and 3-for-19 on third-down conversions.

Jordan Wilcox finished with a game-high 111 yards on 21 carries, while Chad Shade recorded 101 yards on 11 carries. Jedi Haynes caught a pair of touchdowns for 76 yards, and Wilcox added another score in the air late in the third quarter from Shade. 

Defensively, Nick Giorgio totaled a team-best nine tackles, including two sacks, a pair of pass break ups, and a forced fumble. 

NEWMAC FOOTBALL HAS BEGUN: The New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) began sponsoring the sport of football starting this season. Conference members, the United States Coast Guard Academy, MIT, Springfield College and WPI will be joined by Maine Maritime Academy, the United States Merchant Marine Academy, and Norwich University, who enter the NEWMAC as associate members in 2017. Football becomes the 20th conference championship and the league's ninth men's offering.

Springfield, WPI, and Merchant Marine have been participating in the Liberty League, while MIT, Coast Guard, and Maine Maritime were members of the New England Football Conference, and Norwich was a part of the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference. In addition to the connection Maine Maritime, Merchant Marine and Norwich have to Coast Guard, MIT, Springfield and WPI in football; they also have long-standing relationships with NEWMAC members in other sports.

COACH GEORGE IS BEARS WINS LEADER: Coast Guard head coach Bill George, in his 19th season, has a record 63 career wins as head coach at the Academy as he passed John Merriman for the most in program history in the win over Maine Maritime on Oct. 19th, 2013.

Merriman was the coach from (1930-1945) and the Gymnasium is named is his honor. In 2012, 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.

ESPN IS COMING TO NEW LONDON: Coast Guard will host Merchant Marine in the final game of the season this year as the team's battle for the Secetaries' Cup and the game will be carried live by the ESPN family of networks on Veterans Day, Nov. 11th at time to be announced.

Here is what the 2017 Coast Guard football captains have to say about the opportunity to play on ESPN

CODY BAIN
"We are ecstatic about opportunity ESPN has given us; we look forward to representing our nations' finest service academy in a classic rivalry against Merchant Marine. If you're watching Coast Guard football you aren't going to find any flashing lights or glamour. It's never been that way.  It never will.  What you will find is selflessness and college football in its purest form. There are no aspirations of playing at a higher level, only aspirations to one day be worthy of a commission as an officer in the U.S. Coast Guard, in the service of our country and humanity. In today's society, we are especially conscious of the sacrifices veterans and their families make. We are honored to be part of this nationwide celebration of America's heroes."

RYAN ROBERTSON
"I think this game will be a great opportunity for the team as well as for the Academy as a whole. It is a good way to get exposure on a popular network and educate people about the other two service Academies that can sometimes be forgotten.  I admire ESPN's commitment to honoring the members of the Armed Forces and I think the program is blessed to be able to play a long standing rivalry game on Veteran's Day weekend. I am personally excited for one of my last games of football here at the Academy to be as important and beneficial to the football program as this opportunity presents. Nonetheless, it will be a unique experience that I won't forget."

A LOOK BACK AT THE 1997 NCAA PLAYOFF TEAM: It has been 20 years since the 1997 football team made the program's second straight NCAA Playoff appearance. That team coached by Chuck Mills won the Freedom Football Conference (FFC) with a perfect 6-0 record and finished the regular season 9-1, the third best regular season football record recorded at the Academy. The Bears lost to Rowan 43-0 in the NCAA playoffs to finish 9-2. The nine wins is tied with the 1988 team for the most wins in a season.

Each week this season, we will take a look back at how that team did.

In the sixth game of the season on a soggy wet day, Coast Guard overcame a 13-7 fourth quarter deficit and beat Western Connecticut 14-13.

Damon Maldonado intercepted a pass and set up the go ahead touchdown, a 3-yard pass from Dan Warren to tight end Bob Compher with 10:04 left.

Chris Raia and Ed Hernaez had back-to-back sacks late in the fourth quarter to secure the win for the Bears.

NEWMAC'S TOP PASSER, GOLDCAMP, OUT AGAIN THIS WEEK: Coast Guard junior quarterback Ethan Goldcamp, who leads the NEWMAC with 956 passing yards, 239 passing yards per game and 22 completions per game, will not play this week for the second straight week.

Goldcamp is 88 of 159 for 956 yards with five touchdowns on the year.

SCOUTING COAST GUARD: Coast Guard hosts Springfield as part of the fifth annual Celebrate New London Day at the Academy.

The Bears will be without starting quarterback Ethan Goldcamp once again this week. Sophomore Ryan Jones will get the start for the second straight week. He was 14 of 31 for 152 yards, he ran for a touchdown, threw another, but was intercepted three times.

Senior wide receiver Cody Bain leads the team with 20 receptions for 200 yards while freshman Justin Moffatt has 19 receptions for a team-high 209 yards, each had two touchdown receptions.

Senior Darius Adams saw his first action of the season last week. Adams had a remarkable rookie campaign last year when he set or tied three school records finishing with single-season school records of 1,054 receiving yards and 13 touchdown receptions while also tying the single-game record of three touchdown receptions twice this season. He was second on the team with 47 receptions in his first year of football at any level.

Senior running back Cam Cecchini leads the Bears with 68 carries for 238 rushing yards and two touchdowns. He also has 17 receptions for 141 yards and two scores.

Coast Guard is averaging  17.4 points and 304.2 yards of total offense per game, 221.6 in the air and 82.6 on the ground.

The Bears have the second best defense in the NEWMAC allowing just 12.8 points per game, which is 22nd nationally in Division III. Coast Guard is allowing 269.4 yards per game which is second best in the NEWMAC and ranks the Bears 30th nationally. The Bears also have the second best rushing defense in the NEWMAC allowing just 108.6 yards per game.

Junior linebacker Jake Behne leads the team with 39 tackles while sophomore cornerback Patrick Crowley is second with 36 tackles, a team leading 25 solo and two interceptions.

Junior punter Chip Crowley is averaging 39.6 per punt this season, second best in the NEWMAC, with eight punts inside the 20 and five of those over 50 yards with a long of 68 yards.

Junior placekicker Cole Austin has been outstanding making six-of-seven field goal attempts and nine-of-ten PAT's this season.

SCOUTING SPRINGFIELD: The Pride, the #1 team in New England, is a perfect 5-0, feature the top rushing offense in Division III, are averaging 42.6 points per game and allowing a league-low 12.4 points per game. Springfield has scored 42 points in each of its first two NEWMAC games.

Springfield's potent triple-option attack is led by senior fullback Jordan Wilcox's 673 yards and eight touchdowns. The Pride run the ball 93 percent of time, having run the ball 334 of the team's 360 offensive plays this season.

Sophomore halfback Hunter Belzo (42 carries, 387 yards, 4 TD) and senior quarterback Jake Eglintine (69 carries, 371 yards, 7 TD) are the other two major threats on the Pride offense.

Eglintine is 8 of 21 for 144 yards and three touchdowns with one interception this season.

Junior wide receiver Jedi Haynes is the top receiver with four receptions for 110 yards and two touchdowns.

The Pride defense is allowing a league-low 242.6 yards per game, and only a league-low 97.4 rushing yards per game. They have allowed just 13 points in the first two conference games of the season.

Senior linebacker Dom Traversa leads the team with 29 tackles, 14 solo and has 5.5 for loss while junior linebacker Josh Corporan (26 tackles) has six tackles for loss. Junior defensive end Nick Giorgio (23 tackles) leads the Pride with 7.5 tackles for loss and five sacks. Junior free safety Marlowe Scott has a team-high three interceptions.

UP NEXT: Coast Guard travels to Maine Maritime on Oct. 14th for a NEWMAC game with kickoff set for noon.

Bears Fall at Maine Maritime
October 14, 2017 Bears Fall at Maine Maritime