GAME #2 PREVIEW -- Bears Hit Road for Secretaries' Cup Battle

GAME #2 PREVIEW -- Bears Hit Road for Secretaries' Cup Battle




ON THE AIR: The game will be aired live on WXLM-980 AM. There is both and audio and video stream available for the season opener. Those links can be found at on the football schedule page.

THE SERIES: Merchant Marine leads 28-13.

LAST YEAR: Senior John-Leon Gosselin ran for 146 yards and three touchdowns as Merchant Marine won a shootout 43-37 over Coast Guard to retain the Secetaries' Cup for the second straight season.
The Mariners had 396 yards rushing on 74 carries and finished with 521 yards of total offense while Coast Guard had 410 total yards, 273 passing.
Gosselin, who ran for 210 yards in the Mariners 35-28 win over Coast Guard in 2011, scored on runs of 34, 1 and 5 yards.
In a first quarter which saw each team score 14 points, junior Connor Kennedy opened the scoring with a three-yard run for Merchant Marine before senior quarterback Jon Resch threw a 20-yard touchdown to sophomore Blake Thompson, it was Thompson's first career touchdown to tie the game 7-7.
Resch threw a 15-yard touchdown to sophomore Collis Brown to give the Bears a 14-7 lead before senior quarterback Alex Coviello's 14-yard run tied the game at 14-14.
Coast Guard had a bad snap on a punt that went out of the end zone to give the Mariners a 16-14 lead with 8:06 left in the first half and Gosselin's 34-yard touchdown run pushed the lead to 23-14 with 5:40 left in the half.
Resch threw his third touchdown pass of the half, a 24-yard strike to senior Pat Meggers to close the first half scoring as the Bears pulled to within 23-20 with 1:11 left in the half, the PAT was no good because of a bad snap.
Coast Guard freshman Tyler Henning made a 35-yard field goal on his first career field goal attempt to tie the game 23-23 with 9:27 left in the third quarter.

Merchant Marine junior Mario Colangelo's and Coast Guard sophomore Jake Wawrzyniak each scored on 2-yard runs and the game was again tied at 30-30 with 2:28 left in the third quarter.

Gosselin's 1-yard run with 39 seconds left in the third quarter gave the Mariners the lead for good 37-30. He then scored on a 5-yard run with four minutes left in the game and following a blocked extra point the Mariners led 43-30.
The Bears responded when Resch threw his fourth touchdown of the day, a 5-yard pass to Brown with 1:57 left in the game.
Coast Guard tried the onsides kick and it looked as if the Bears would the ball as senior Dante Adams recovered the ball in Merchant Marine territory, but Coast Guard had touched the ball before it went ten yards. Merchant took over and ran the clock out.
Resch was 26 of 49 for 273 yards and four touchdowns and he also ran for 47 yards to finish with 320 yards of total offense while Brown had a career-high nine receptions for 76 yards. Junior Tyler Hames led the Bears with 98 yards rushing on just 11 carries while also registering seven receptions for 59 yards. Coast Guard did not turn the ball over while Merchant Marine lost three fumbles in the game.
Coviello carried 17 times for 100 yards and a score before leaving with an injury early in the third quarter. He was 2 of 5 for 45 yards throwing the ball while his backup sophomore Luke Stidham was 2 of 3 for 80 yards including a 56-yard strike to Kennedy which set up Gosselin's 1-yard run in the final seconds of the third quarter.
Merchant Marine wore down the Coast Guard defense holding a huge edge in time of possession 38:24 to 21:36.

LAST WEEK:  Junior Michael Leffibine's 16-yard touchdown pass to sophomore Joseph Battaglia on 4th-and-six with just 1:21 left lifted St. Lawrence to a come-from-behind, season-opening 21-17 win over Coast Guard. St. Lawrence had not scored since 10:30 left in the first quarter before the game winning touchdown.

Coast Guard fell behind 14-0 in the first 4:30 of the game, yet rallied to take the lead 17-14 with 4:12 left on a 31-yard reverse by junior wide receiver Collis Brown, who made an acrobatic move to score the touchdown, before dropping the season opener. The Saints finished with 450 yards, 244 passing while Coast Guard ended with 276 total yards, 219 on the ground.

Coast Guard junior quarterback Blake Thompson making his first career start was 6 of 14 for 67 yards with two interceptions while he led the Bears on the ground with 94 yards on 15 carries while junior Jake Wawrzynkiak had 25 carries for 74 yards. Brown led the Bears with four receptions for 44 yards. Sophomore backup quarterback Drew Londo was  4 of 9 with one interception for -10 yards passing.

Merchant Marine's Matthew McDaniels made his first collegiate start at quarterback a memorable one, accounting for four touchdowns and over 300 yards of offense as the Mariners defeated Susquehanna, 35-28 at home in the season opener on Saturday.  The Crusaders scored 21 straight points to start the game before the Mariners rallied back.  It was the big plays that made the difference as USMMA posted three 65+ yard scoring plays in the victory including the final two touchdown runs of 88 and 66 yards by McDaniels, the final one, the 66-yarder with 6:12 left which proved to be the game winner.

THE SECRETARIES' CUP: Coast Guard and Merchant Marine meet for the Secretaries' Cup for the 33rd time this week. The Mariners have won 21 of the 33 games for the trophy. Merchant Marine has won 12 of the last 15 meetings between the two schools. The last four games have all been decided by seven points or less. Coast Guard last won the rivalry game with 10-8 in 2010. The Bears have lost eight straight games at Merchant Marine with the last win coming in 1996, a 23-13 win in the season finale. Nine of the last 14 games between the two schools have been decided by seven points or less.

IT'S AN HONOR: Coast Guard sophomore strong safety Joe Rizzardi, making his first career start, led the team with 14 tackles, 10 solo, to earn a spot on the New England Football Conference (NEFC) Weekly honor roll.

GEORGE MOVES TOWARD THE TOP SPOT: Coast Guard head coach Bill George entered the 2013 season with 46 career wins as head coach at the Academy just two shy of John Merriman's 48 wins which are the most in program history. Merriman was the coach from (1930-1945) and the Gymnasium is named is his honor. Last season, 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.
BREAK 'EM UP: The New England Football Conference (NEFC) has a new look in the 2013 season as the 16-team, two division format from the past no longer exists. Eight teams left to form the MASCAC football conference while the eight remaining teams will make up the new NEFC. Those teams are Coast Guard and Maine Maritime from the old Bogan Division and Curry, Endicott, MIT, Nichols, Salve Regina and Western New England from the NEFC Boyd Division. There is no longer and NEFC Championship game as the winner of the regular season will earn the automatic berth to the NCAA Playoffs.

BEARS PICKED SIXTH IN NEFC: Coast Guard was picked sixth in the 2013 NEFC Preseason Coaches Poll. Endicott were picked first earning four of the eight first place votes and 59 of the possible 64 points. Salve Regina garnered the other three first place votes while MIT also received a first place vote.
1-Endicott College--59 points (4)
2-Salve Regina University--53 points (3)
3t-Curry College--43 points
3t-Western New England University--43 points
5-MIT--34 points (1)
6-COAST GUARD--28 points
7t-Maine Maritime Academy--14 points
7t-Nichols College--14 points

(first place votes in parenthesis)

A LOOK BACK ON THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF 1963 TEAM: In 1963 NFL Hall of Famer Otto Graham led the Coast Guard Bears to the only undefeated and untied regular season in school history and the team earned a berth in the Tangerine Bowl. They will be honored during next week's home opener.

Each week, we will look back at a game in the historical season. This week, we look back at the second game of the season, Cecil (Golden Toe) Allison kicked a 27-yard field goal with nine minutes left in game to give the Bears a 9-0 lead and Coast Guard held on to beat Norwich 9-7 in New London. Norwich scored with 1:15 left and recovered the onsides kick at the Coast Guard 43-yard line, but the Bears defense held and ran out the clock for the victory.

Bill Peterman scored on a 2-yard run on 4th-and-2, in the second quarter to give Coast Guard a 6-0 lead. Bill Thompson's fumble recovery set up the fourth quarter field goal which proved to be the difference.

SCOUTING COAST GUARD: The Bears look to win the Secretaries' Cup for the first time since 2010 and win on the road in the rivalry game for the first time since 1996.

Coast Guard is coming off its first winning season since 2007 as the Bears finished 5-4 overall and 4-3 in the New England Football Conference (NEFC) Bogan Division last season. The Bears must however replace a large graduating class that featured seven All-division selections. Coast Guard returns just seven starters, four on offense, three on defense along with sophomore All-division selection Tyler Henning, who will handle both the kicking and punting for the second straight season.

Last week, Coast Guard junior quarterback Blake Thompson making his first career start was 6 of 14 for 67 yards with two interceptions while he led the Bears on the ground with 94 yards on 15 carries while junior Jake Wawrzynkiak had 25 carries for 74 yards. Brown led the Bears with four receptions for 44 yards. Sophomore backup quarterback Drew Londo was 4 of 9 with one interception for -10 yards passing.

Coast Guard ran the ball well last week finishing with 219 rushing yards, but the Bears passed for just 57 yards and turned the ball over five times with three interceptions.

The Bears defense played well in the season opener. After St. Lawrence drove down the field on its first possession, the defense kept the Saints off the board until the game-winning score with 1:21 left.

Coast Guard blocked three field goals in the season opener keeping the Bears in the game. Senior free safety Evan Rothfeld had a key interception on the 2-yard line to once again keep St. Lawrence off the scoreboard. Rothfeld also returned one of those blocked field goals 58 yards to setup the Bears first touchdown of the season.

Sophomore strong safety Joe Rizzardi led Coast Guard with 14 tackles, ten solo while senior Nick Phillips registered 11 tackles.

SCOUTING MERCHANT MARINE: The Mariners look to retain the Secretaries' Cup for the third straight season and improve to 2-0 for the first time since 2009.

Sophomore Matthew McDaniels had quite the collegiate debut as starting quarterback on Saturday as he ran for 196 yards and three touchdowns while passing for 113 yards and a score.

The Mariners triple-option totaled 491 yards in the win, 378 rushing and 113 passing. Sophomore fullback Zachary Boucher had 16 carries for 84 yards on Saturday. McDaniels was 5 of 9 for 113 yards with a touchdown and no interceptions. Senior running back Connor Kennedy had two receptions for 76 yards including a 71-yard touchdown. The offense turned the ball over twice, with a pair of fumbles.

Merchant Marine allowed 372 yards in the season-opener, 288 passing and 84 rushing. Susquehanna did not turn the ball over to the Mariners last week.

Senior linebacker Scott Cokeley led the team with 12 tackles, seven solo with two tackles for loss.

UP NEXT: Coast Guard will take on Hampden-Sydney in the home opener when the Bears will honor the 1963 team that went unbeaten during the regular season by wearing throw back jerseys that that team work during its remarkable season. The kickoff is set for 1 p.m.

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