GAME #4 FOOTBALL PREVIEW: Bears Host Norwich for The Mug in NEWMAC Opener

GAME #4 FOOTBALL PREVIEW: Bears Host Norwich for The Mug in NEWMAC Opener
NORWICH (1-2, 0-0 NEWMAC) AT COAST GUARD (2-1, 0-0)
SEPT. 22ND -- 1:30 -- NEW LONDON, CONN.
PARENTS' WEEKEND  

ON THE AIR: A live video stream will be at www.cgasports.com
 
THE SERIES: Coast Guard leads 39-32-1
LAST YEAR: Senior Cam Cecchini took a screen pass from junior Ethan Goldcamp and scampered 73 yards for a touchdown leading Coast Guard to 13-9 victory over Norwich to win The Mug in the inaugural New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) game for both teams.
 
It was the first meeting between the teams since the 2005 season. 
 
Cecchini caught a screen pass from Goldcamp on 3rd-and-five with Norwich blitzing and went 73 yards for a touchdown breaking a 6-6 tie with 12:23 left and following the extra point the Bears took their first lead of the game 13-6.
 
Coast Guard freshman Ryan Jones came in at quarterback on the Bears next possession and was intercepted on a tipped ball at the Bears 28 yard line by Joseph Torchia. Norwich kicked a 32-yard field goal with 5:34 left cutting the deficit to 13-9. Norwich had a 1st and goal from the 7, but the Bears defense had back-to-back tackles for loss to keep them from finding the end zone.
 
Coast Guard finished with 275 yards of total offense, 203 passing while Norwich had 330 total yards, 178 of those on the ground.
 
Goldcamp left in the fourth quarter with dizziness. He was 16 of 33 for 203 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. Sophomore tight end Liam Middleton led the Bears with six receptions for 64 yards.
 
Freshman Chris Gardner in his real action of the season led the Bears with 46 yards rushing on ten carries while Cecchini had 15 carries for 32 yards.
 
Sophomore safety Mike Goldsworthy had 12 tackles, seven solo to lead the Bears while junior linebacker Jake Behne and sophomore linebacker Mark Wicke each finished with 11 tackles.
 
Norwich had 190 total yards in the first half holding the Bears to just 52 total first half yards and just two first downs.
 
LAST WEEK:  Sophomore Chris Gardner's 18 yard touchdown run with 10:31 left in the game gave Coast Guard the lead for good as the Bears overcame a 10-point second half deficit and scored the final 17 points of the game to beat Nichols 27-20 in a non-conference game.
 
Nichols took a 20-10 lead with 7:20 left in the third quarter before the Coast Guard defense dominated the rest of the game holding the Bison to just 24 yards and a pair of first downs the rest of the way.
 
Junior quarterback Ryan Jones carried 17 times for a career-high 108 yards and Gardner had 19 carries for 78 yards as Coast Guard rushed for 229 yards and had 301 yards of total offense. Jones was 4 of 13 for 72 yards with an interception in the air.
 
Nichols had 362 yards of total offense, 173 passing and 189 rushing.
 
The Bears defense forced four straight three-and-outs after falling behind 20-10 and allowed just three yards on those 12 plays over those four possessions allowing the Bears to regain the lead.
 
The defense would force a fifth straight punt, but the Bears fumbled it away with 3:08 left giving the Bison life at their own 45 yard line. Nichols would turn it over on downs at the Bears 42 yard line with 1:31 left.
 
Behne led the Coast Guard defense with 12 tackles, seven solo in the win.
 
Norwich reclaimed the Maple Sap Bucket trophy with a 40-0 victory over in-state rival Castleton University behind a breakout performance by the offensive unit and a dominating defensive effort. 
 
Sophomore quarterback Matt Dunn broke out in a big way in his first start, going 11-20 for 254 yards and two touchdowns with only one interception. Freshman wide receiver Lavontae Decius had five receptions for 148 yards and two touchdowns. Junior Aaron Conner ran for 80 yards and a score, and junior Connor Bourque put up 117 yards on the ground in the win.
 
The defense put up the first shutout since October of 2012, when Norwich blanked Husson 56-0.
 
COACH GEORGE IS BEARS WINS LEADER: Coast Guard head coach Bill George, in his 20th season, has a record 65 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.
 
BEARS PICKED SIXTH IN NEWMAC PRESEASON POLL:  Coast Guard has been picked to finish sixth in the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) preseason poll. Coast Guard was 3-7 overall and 1-6 in conference play. Every conference school has voted for defending champion Springfield to repeat as NEWMAC champion getting a first place vote from all seven schools, while the Pride, which can't vote for itself, voted for WPI.
 
2018 NEWMAC Football Preseason Poll
Rank (First Place Votes)
1.   Springfield (7)
2.   WPI (1)
T3. MIT
T3. Merchant Marine
5.   Catholic
6.   Coast Guard
7.   Norwich
8.   Maine Maritime 
 
THE MEN BEHIND THE MICROPHONES: Coast Guard football will have a new broadcast team this year for the five home webcasts as Keith O'Brien (The Sports Doctor) will handle play-by-play duties while Dan Zumpano will be the color commentator for the 2018 season. O'Brien, who did several road football and some home basketball games last season for the Bears, takes over the the play-by-play duties while Zampano, a newcomer to Coast Guard football joins him in the booth.
 
DE JA VU ALL OVER AGAIN: Coast Guard is off to a 2-1 start and the Bears will try to go 3-1 for the second straight season, with a win over Norwich this week, and just the fifth time since 1991.
 
AUSTIN NAMED NEWMAC SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF WEEK: Senior kicker Cole Austin was named the NEWMAC Special Teams Athlete of the Week.
 
Austin made both of his field goal attempts from 36 and 38 yards and all three PAT's in Coast Guard's come-from-behind 27-20 win at Nichols on Friday night. 
 
He kicked a 36-yard field goal in the 2nd quarter to give the Bears a 10-7 lead and made a 38-yard field goal with 5:15 left to close the scoring.
 
SCOUTING COAST GUARD: The Bears will return home to a packed house on Parents' Weekend for the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) opener.
 
Junior quarterback Ryan Jones is 46 of 85 for 623 yards with two touchdowns and five interceptions this season, he is second in the NEWMAC with 207.7 passing yards pre game.
 
Jones also leads the team with 185 rushing yards on 43 carries after his career-high 108 rushing yards last week. He is averaging 269.3 yards of total offense per game.
 
Sophomore wide receiver Justin Moffatt, who registered back-to-back 100 yard games to open the season, was did not make a catch in the week three win. He is tied for the NEWMAC lead with 20 receptions and is second with 263 yards.
 
Coast Guard is both averaging and allowing exactly 364.3 yards per game this season. The Bears are averaging 155.7 rushing yards and 208.7 passing yards per game.
 
Junior strong safety Mark Wicke leads the Bears with 22 tackles (13 solo, three for loss) while senior linebacker Jake Behne and junior cornerback Patrick Crowley each have 21 tackles this season. Junior linebacker linebacker R.J. Robiskie has a team-high five tackles for loss.
 
The Bears are allowing 364.3 yards per game, 260 yards passing and 104.3 yards rushing.
 
Senior Chip Crowley is averaging 41.3 yards per punt to lead the NEWMAC this season while classmate Cole Austin is a perfect 5 for 5 on field goals to also lead the conference and he has made 7 of 8 extra points.
 
SCOUTING NORWICH: The Cadets snapped a two-game slide with a 40-0 win last week, its first shutout since 2012. Norwich had scored just 20 total points in the first two games before doubling that last week.
 
Sophomore quarterback Matt Dunn will make his second career start this week. He is 20 of 40 for 361 yards with two touchdowns and four interceptions.
 
Junior Aaron Conner leads the ground attack with 45 carries for 190 yards and two touchdowns while classmate Connor Bourque has 34 carries for 170 yards. 
 
Freshman LaVontae Decius leads the team with 11 receptions and leads the NEWMAC with 269 yards to go with two touchdowns. Freshman Taj-Calvin Johnson also has 11 receptions for 96 yards.
 
Norwich is averaging 297.3 yards per game, 171.7 passing yards and 122 yards on the ground.
 
The Cadet defense is allowing 457 yards per game, 313.7 passing and 143.3 rushing yards this season.
 
Sophomore defensive back Brasean Stewart leads the team with 19 tackles, 15 solo while senior defensive back Bo Phillips has 17 tackles, 14 solo with an interception.
 
UP NEXT: The Bears travel to Washington, D.C. to play Catholic on Sept. 29th at 1:00.
 
THIS WEEK'S NEWMAC GAMES
SATURDAY, SEPT. 22ND
Catholic at MIT, noon
Springfield at WPI, noon
Maine Maritime at Merchant Marine, 1:00
Norwich at COAST GUARD, 1:30
 
 
 
 
 
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