GAME #2 FOOTBALL PREVIEW: Bears Renew Rivlary With Union on Saturday

Ethan Goldcamp
Ethan Goldcamp

SEPT. 9TH -- 1:00 -- SCHENECTADY, N.Y.

The game will be aired live on WXLM-980 AM. There also both an audio (FREE Coast Guard broadcast) and video stream available (fee applies, Union broadcast) and those links can be found at on the football schedule page.

THE SERIES: Union leads 18-4. This will be the first meeting since the Dutchmen beat Coast Guard 7-0 in 2005 when the team's competed in the Liberty League together.

LAST WEEK: Coast Guard scored touchdowns on its first three possessions of the game jumping out to an early 21-0 lead and cruised to a season opening 34-7 win over Alfred State.

Senior Cam Cecchini (11 carries, 71 yards) scored a pair of touchdowns while junior quarterback Ethan Goldcamp threw for 240 yards and a touchdown in his first career start to lead the Bears offense.

The Bears finished with 346 yards of total offense (240 passing, 106 rushing) while the Coast Guard defense held Alfred State to just 208 total yards, just 23 on the ground.

Union dropped the season opener 20-7 to Husson.

The Dutchmen were led by junior wide receiver Packy Brown, who had 88 yards on four catches and Griffin Beal, who had eight catches for 74 yards.

Quarterback Nick Cascione had 14 completions in 23 attempts for 191 yards and a TD with an interception. Connor Kinzelmann rushed for 84 yards on 27 carries. Jake Lombardo's 12 tackles were a game best for Union.

NEWMAC FOOTBALL BEGINS IN 2017: The New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) will begin 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.

NEWMAC play begins on the weekend of Sept. 23rd. Coast Guard's NEWMAC opener will be at Norwich as the team's meet for the first time since 2005. These team's play for The Mug in football. Coast Guard holds The Mug from its 30-12 win in 2005.

COACH GEORGE IS BEARS WINS LEADER: Coast Guard head coach Bill George, in his 19th season, has a record 61 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

"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 two, Coast Guard held off Mass. Maritime 13-8 as Matt Bournonville intercepted two passes in the final three minutes to preserve the win.

Jamie Amon had 96 yards rushing and a touchdown while the defense held the Buccaneers to just 100 yards of total offense.

Amon had an 8-yard touchdown run in the first quarter and quarterback Dan Warren's 1-yard run with five seconds left in the first gave the Bears a 13-6 halftime lead.

Bournonville and Matt Hammond was named Freedom Football Conference Defensive Player of the Week while Matt Hammond, who blocked a punt in the third quarter which gave the Bears the field position edge the rest of the game, was named the FFC Special Teams Player of the Week.

Coast Guard climbed from fourth to first in the second weekly ECAC Division III New England poll.

SCOUTING COAST GUARD: Coast Guard opened the season with a victory for the third straight time. In all three wins, the Bears scored 34 points.

The Bears look to start the season 2-0 for the first time since 2005 when the team won the first two games before dropping the final seven.
Junior quarterback Ethan Goldcamp was 20 of 32 for 240 yards with one touchdown and one interception in his first collegiate start.

Senior Cam Cecchini carried 11 times for a team-high 71 yards and two touchdowns while junior Jeff Porter had six carries for 39 yards and a score.

Senior wide receiver Cody Bain was one of nine different receivers to catch a pass in the win. Bain led the way with four receptions while freshman Justin Moffatt had two receptions for a team-high 55 yards and a touchdown.

Coast Guard had 346 yards of total offense, 240 in the air and 106 on the ground.

The Bears defense held Alfred State to just 208 total yards, 185 passing and just 23 on the ground on 24 attempts.

Senior strong safety Ryan Robertson led the way with 11 tackles, six solo, a forced fumble and fumble recovery while sophomore cornerback Patrick Crowley finished with ten tackles and an interception.

Junior Cole Austin had a perfect season debut as he made all four extra points and connected on a pair of field goals from 27 and 31 yards.

SCOUTING UNION: The Dutchmen have one of the youngest teams in program history with just 12 seniors and 31 freshmen on the roster. Union dropped it's season opener 20-7 to Husson.

Junior Nick Cascione was 14 of 23 for 191 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions last week.

Senior running back Connor Kinzelmann is the top returner on the offensive side of the ball. He was a first team league all star and earned ECAC honors after a season that produced 950 yards and nine touchdowns. He had 27 carries and 88 yards in the season opener.

Senior Alex Kaplanovich is the top returning reciever for the Dutchmen. Last year, he led the team in receptions (31), yards (496), average per catch (16.0) and touchdowns (four). Kaplanovich accounted for 62% percent of the team's receiving yards a year ago. He had two catches for 60 yards vs. Husson in the opener.

Sophomore Griffin Beal had a team-high eight receptions for 74 yards last week while junior Packy Brown had four receptions for team-high 88 yards last week.

Union finished with 315 yards of total offense (232 passing and 83 rushing) in the opener.

On defense, two of the team's top three tacklers return. Senior linebacker Jake Lombardo had 104 tackles and 46 solos, becoming a Liberty League all star and one of only three players in the league to record 100+ tackles for the season, ranking third. Junior linebacker Hunter Ordukhanyan had 79 tackles and led the squad with three fumble recoveries.

Union allowed 257 yards last week, 136 on the ground and 121 in the air and Lombardo led the way with 12 tackles.

The Dutchmen also return a pair of talented special teams performers. Senior Tyler Barnes is one of the top punters in the Liberty League and has league all-star honors on his career resume. The senior averaged 40.6 yards in 54 attempts last season, with 16 inside the 20, four of 50+ yards
and a 63 yarder. Senior Jonathan Schaible was perfect in field goals and made 16 of 17 PATs last season while leading Union with 54 points.

UP NEXT: Coast Guard will host Nichols on Saturday, Sept. 16th at 1:30 in the final non-conference game of the season.

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