GAME #9 FOOTBALL PREVIEW: Bears Play at WPI in Final Road Game of Season

Eugene Bizer
Eugene Bizer
COAST GUARD (5-3, 2-3) AT WPI (7-1, 4-1)
NOV. 9TH -- NOON -- WORCESTER, MASS.

ON THE AIR:
A live video stream will be at www.cgasports.com
 
THE SERIES: WPI leads 38-24-2
 
LAST YEAR:  Junior quarterback Ryan Jones threw a pair of touchdowns and ran for another leading Coast Guard to a 24-10 win over WPI.
 
Coast Guard had 374 yards of total offense and held WPI to just 200 total yards in the win. The Bears held a 23-12 advantage in first down and won time of possession 37:07 to 22:53.
 
The Bears, who led 9-3 at halftime, had 191 yards in the first half holding WPI to 61 yards while holding a 19:49 to 10:11 time of possession in the opening half.
 
Coast Guard had a prolonged drive to start the second half, venturing in 78 yards in 17 plays over 7:36, culminating in a Jones two-yard quarterback keeper for the touchdown. Cole Austin's PAT put the Bears ahead 16-3. WPI looked poised to score on an impressive drive of its own on its next possession but senior Luke Wilson forced a fumble that was recovered by junior R.J. Robiskie.
 
WPI used a long drive of their own to find the end zone when quarterback Julian Nyland connected with Nic Rossi on an 11-yard scoring strike in the front left corner of the end zone.  The scored finished a 17-play, 78-yard drive that ate up 7:59. Harrington added on the PAT to bring WPI within 16-10 with 9:34 remaining. 
 
It had appeared the ensuing Coast Guard drive had stalled at the WPI 37 yard line but senior Jake Behne took an inside handoff on a fake punt on a 4th-and-17 and rumbled 31 yards for the first down and Jones then found freshman Damaso Jaime with a touchdown on the very next play. It was the first career touchdown for Jaime, who made his first career start. Jones and Justin Moffatt hooked up on the two-point conversation to give the Bears a 24-10 advantage with 5:29 remaining.
 
Trailing by two scores, the Engineers were forced to go for it on fourth down deep in their own territory and did not make it.  Coast Guard took over on a short field but saw its 23-yard field goal attempt blocked by Brian Mahan. WPI's last drive was ended by fourth down sack by senior Titus Creamer and sophomore Eugene Bizer
 
Jones was outstanding for the Bears.  The junior signal caller completed a career-high 30 passes and was 30-for-37 for 251 yards and the two touchdowns.  Moffatt finished with eight catches for 82 yards, Jaime hauled in seven balls for 66 yards and Jon Wagner and Miguel Moroles both caught six passes, combining for 77 receiving yards.  Wagner led the rushing attack for CGA with 63 yards in 16 carries. 
 
Nyland finished 16-for-28 for 123 yards for WPI.  He added 21 yards on the ground. Brandon Winn paced the running attack 36 yards as Sean McAllen was limited to just five carries and 20 yards.  Eric Fyrer absorbed six targets for 54 yards and Clark Ewen caught five balls for 28 yards.
 
Behne led the way with 12 tackles for Bears while sophomore Colby Coco added three pass breakups to go along with six stops and junior Michael Goldsworthy chipped in with a pair of tackles-for-loss.
 
LAST WEEK: Coast Guard is coming off a bye after a 22-16 loss to MIT.
 
Mark Wright made a 41-yard field goal on the final play of regulation to force overtime and Keithen Shepard pulled down a 23-yard TD pass in the back of the end zone in the second extra session to lift MIT to a thrilling 28-22 home win over previously-undefeated WPI on Saturday afternoon.
 
The result denied WPI (7-1, 4-1 NEWMAC) the chance to match the undefeated 1983 team as the only one in the 130-year history of the program to start a season 8-0.
 
COACH GEORGE IS BEARS WINS LEADER: Coast Guard head coach Bill George, in his 21st season, has a record 75 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.
 
CLOSE SHAVES: For the first time in the 96 year history of Coast Guard football the Bears  played six straight games decided by 10 points or less, three of those decided on the last play of regulation or overtime, to open the season before the 33-8 win at Maine Maritime on Oct. 19th. 
 
The Bears have played a pair of overtime games in the same season for just the second time as the team also accomplished that feat in 1997 with wins over RPI (22-16) and Springfield (26-20) en route to winning a school record nine games, winning the Freedom Football Conference Championship and earning a berth to the NCAA playoffs.
 
RARE AIR:  Ryan Jones became the fourth player in Academy history to throw for over 4,000 yards as he threw for a career-high 353 yards and three touchdowns on Oct 19th at Maine Maritime. 
 
He now has 4,316 passing yards joining Derek Victory, (2013-'16) who is the all-time leader with 7,513 along with Jon Resch (2009-'12), who has 4,569 and Cory Anderson (2002-'05) with 4,459.
 
MOFFATT SURPASSES 2,000 YARD PLATEAU: Justin Moffatt became just the second receiver in Coast Guard program history to go over the 2,000 yard mark as he have game-highs of seven receptions for 116 yards against MIT to finish the game with 2,002 career receiving yards second to only Christian Lee ('93-'96), who has an Academy record 2,356 yards.
 
MR. OVERTIME: Jon Wagner's 12-yard touchdown run in double overtime was his second game winning touchdown in overtime this season. He had a 20-yard touchdown run in a 24-23 overtime win at Nichols on Sept. 13th.
 
SCOUTING COAST GUARD: The Bears play their final road game at the season.
 
Senior quarterback Ryan Jones is 140 of 248 for 1,553 yards with 10 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Junior Justin Moffatt has a NEWMAC-high 57 receptions and leads the team with 711 yards to go with four touchdowns while sophomore Damaso Jaime has 24 receptions for 375 yards and a team-high five touchdown receptions.
 
Juniors Jon Wagner and Chris Gardner are the Bears one-two punch in the backfield. Wagner leads the way with 410 yards (89 carries) and a team-high five rushing touchdowns while Gardner has 72 carries for 232 yards. Jones has 59 carries for 162 yards and a two touchdowns.
 
Coast Guard is averaging 20.6 points and 297.4 yards per game (102.4 rushing and 195 passing).
 
The Coast Guard defense is allowing just 16 points, second best in the NEWMAC, and 323 yards per game this season, 219.9 passing and 103.1 yards per game on the ground. The Bears are tied with WPI for the NEWMAC lead with 13 takeaways this season, eight interceptions and five fumbles. Coast Guard is plus five in turnovers this season.
The Bears pass rush has been outstanding registering a NEWMAC best 28 sacks this season. Junior defensive lineman Philip Orlando (57 tackles) leads conference with eight sacks and 13 tackles for loss. 
 
Senior linebacker R.J. Robiskie (38 tackles), who is second in the NEWMAC with 7.5 sacks and junior linebacker Zach Lukasik who has four sacks on the season, were both injured in the last game and are out for the season.
 
Junior linebacker Eugene Bizer leads the NEWMAC with 89 tackles. He has 8.5 tackles for loss, a sack with two interceptions and two fumble recoveries. Senior cornerback Patrick Crowley (54 tackles) leads the NEWMAC with four interceptions.
 
SCOUTING WPI: The Engineers, ranked third in New England, look to bounce back from their first loss of the season and still have hopes of an NCAA tournament berth needing to win the final two games and have Springfield beat MIT in the final game of the season.
 
Julian Nyland is 105 of 160 for 1,716 yards with 13 touchdowns and eight interceptions. 
 
Sean McAllen and Conner Field lead the WPI ground attack. McAllen leads the team with 121 carries for 728 yards go to with eight touchdowns while Field has 107 carries for 664 yards and a NEWMAC best 13 rushing touchdowns.
 
WPI is averaging 39.3 points and 451.9 yards per game (219.8 rushing and 232.1 passing).
 
Linebacker Nick Ostrowski leads the defense with 73 taclkes while defensive end Mike McGoff has a team-high five sacks.
 
The Engineers are allowing a NEWMAC low15.1 points and 306.3 yards per game, 114.8 of those rushing.
 
UP NEXT: Coast Guard closes out the season when they host Merchant Marine for the Secretaries' Cup on Nov. 16th at at noon on ESPN3.
 
 
LAST WEEK'S NEWMAC GAMES
SATURDAY, NOV. 2ND
Catholic 31, Norwich 27
MIT 28, WPI 22 (2 OT)
 
THIS WEEK'S NEWMAC GAMES
SATURDAY, NOV. 9TH
Springfield at Maine Maritime, noon
Coast Guard at WPI, noon
Catholic at Merchant Marine, noon
Norwich at MIT, noon 
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