GAME #9 PREVIEW -- Bears Battle WPI For First Time Since 2005

GAME #9 PREVIEW -- Bears Battle WPI For First Time Since 2005

COAST GUARD (3-5, 1-4) AT WPI (6-2, 4-1)

There will be an audio and video stream available and that link can be found at on the football schedule page.

THE SERIES: WPI leads 37-33-2. The teams will meet for the first time since 2005 when WPI beat the Bears 23-13.

LAST WEEK: Coast Guard had a bye after a 30-21 loss to MIT.

Nick Ostrowski totaled 11 tackles, forced a fumble and returned an interception 55 yards for a touchdown as WPI went on the road Saturday and defeated MIT 24-21.

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 NEXT WEEK: Coast Guard will host Merchant Marine in the final game of the season this year as the team's battle for the Secetaries' Cup on Nov. 11th. The game will be will be streamed live from Cadet Memorial Field on ESPN3, beginning at noon.

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

"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."

"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 week nine, Coast Guard shutout WPI 44-0 registering back-to-back shutouts for the first time in 34 years to clinch a share of the FFC Championship.

Dan Warren threw for 168 yards and three touchdowns while Jamie Amon ran for a career-high 127 yards and two scores. The Bears led 30-0 at halftime.

SCOUTING COAST GUARD: The Bears look to snap a four-game skid as in the final road game of the season.

Coast Guard debuted a new run oriented offense and ran for more yards than they passed for this season for the first time finished with 319 total yards, 187 rushing and 132 passing against MIT in its last game.

Sophomore Ryan Jones makes his fifth career start. He is 57 of 121 for 553 yards with three touchdowns and 11 interceptions.

Senior Cam Cecchini leads the Bears with 108 carries, 379 yards and three touchdowns on the ground. He also leads Coast Guard with 28 receptions (174 yards).

Senior Cody Bain is second on the team with 26 receptions for 262 yards while freshman Justin Moffatt had 22 receptions for 262 yards and a team-high three touchdowns. Sophomore tight end Liam Middleton has 22 receptions for 234 yards.

Coast Guard is averaging 16.4 points and 277.9 yards of total offense per game, 188.6 in the air and 89.3 on the ground.

The Bears are allowing 20.8 points per game. Coast Guard is allowing 330.1 yards per game, 144.1 passing and 186 rushing.

Junior linebacker Jake Behne leads the team with 56 tackles and has four for loss. Sophomore cornerback Patrick Crowley is second with 53 tackles and leads the team with 38 solo and two interceptions. Junior defensive tackle Tommy Jones (36 tackles) leads the way with 7.5 tackles for loss.

Junior punter Chip Crowley is having a great season as he is averaging 40.1 yards per punt this season, second best in the NEWMAC, with 13 punts inside the 20 and eight of those over 50 yards with a long of 68 yards.

Junior placekicker Cole Austin has been outstanding making 6 of 7 on field goal attempts and 15-of-16 PAT's this season.

SCOUTING WPI: The Engineers are riding a four-game win streak into this week's game.

Senior quarterback Blake Rice leads the NEWMAC with 15 touchdown passes. He is 124 of 232 for 1,520 yards with 10 interceptions.

Senior Corey Coogan wide receiver leads the team with 23 receptions for 292 yards and four touchdowns while sophomore running back Sean McAllen (17 receptions, 204 yards) and junior wide receiver Erik Fryer (16 catches, 266 yards, 3 TD) are other top targets for Rice.

McAllen leads the ground attack with 169 carries, 1,038 yards and nine touchdowns.

WPI is averaging 31.4 points and 413.2 yards per game, 220.1 rushing and 193.1 passing yards per game.

Sophomore Sam Casey leads the team with 50 tackles, 38 solo while junior Sam Malafronte has 49 tackles, 33 solo with two sacks. Junior Brian Mahan leads the team with four interceptions.

The Engineers are allowing 15 points and 285.9 yards per game, 142.5 rushing and 143.4 passing.

Junior Spencer Herrington handles both the kicking and punting duties for WPI. He is a perfect 30 for 30 on PAT's and has made 9 of 11 field goals. He is averaging 34.3 yards per punt on the season with a long of 49 yards.

UP NEXT: Coast Guard hosts Merchant Marine to close out the season in the annual battle for the Secretaries' Cup on Nov.11th at noon.

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