• Graham Knight

Anna Maria, Penalties Too Much For Coast Guard Bears

by Graham Knight

For the Bears in week four, it was a matter of making the right play. But their penalties may have cost them the game, and the Anna Maria AMCATS were able to take advantage of these mistakes and edge out the Bears 29-24.

Anna Maria jumped out to a 14-3 lead in the first quarter, thanks in part to a 60-yard Donavin Johnson scoop and score on a blocked field goal attempt. It was the second attempt at the field goal for the Bears after Finnegan Hall's first attempt was called back because of a Coast Guard false start.

The Bears came back in the 2nd half and went ahead on a Tafari Wall-to-Demaso Jaime 67-yard touchdown pass to take a 24-17 lead. It was Wall's second big strike of the day. He ended with 272 yards passing, with 2 touchdowns and one interception.

But, it was big plays by the AMCATS and critical penalties by the Bears that led to the Coast Guard loss. Anna Maria scored late in the 3rd quarter on a 63-yard touchdown that cut the score to 24-23, Coast Guard. Then, in the 4th, the Bears appeared to make a first down at mid-field that should have allowed them to run out the clock. But a block-in-the back penalty forced Coast Guard to punt, giving the AMCATS the ball at their own 25 with 1:36 left in the game.

On the first play for Anna Maria, a pass interference penalty on Coast Guard moved the ball to the 40. Just a few plays later, AMCATS quarterback Alex Cohen found De'Andre Wallace for a 27-yard touchdown to take the lead with 21 seconds left to win 29-24.

"We made too many mistakes," Bears Head Coach C.C. Grant said, "and just didn't make the plays and they did, coming down the stretch. So that's basically what it turned into."

In our weekly zoom conversation with Coach Grant, I asked him if Anna Maria beat the Bears, or if the Bears beat themselves.

"I think it probably is a little bit of both," he answered. "You can certainly look and say: 'Hey, they made some plays.' But you can also say: 'Look, we also cost ourselves a little bit with the mistakes that we made."

Jared Colletti again led the Bears in rushing with 111 yards on 28 carries and two touchdowns: one running, one receiving.

The Bears have their 2nd of two homecoming games and first conference game this coming week against rivals the Norwich Cadets, and Coach Grant says they are likely to be the most physical team the Bears have played this year.

edited for web by Joe Harman