Coast Guard Hopes to End Losing Streak at Springfield
by Graham Knight
The Coast Guard Bears started conference play hoping to bounce back from a heartbreaking loss to Anna Maria in the annual "Mug" match-up against rivals the Norwich Cadets, the 75th time the two teams have met.
Bears' Head Coach C.C. Grant said to expect another physical match-up, and the Cadets were physical, forcing three Coast Guard turnovers, holding the ball for nearly 40 minutes, and running 93 offensive plays in a 24-21 win over the Bears.
"The defense just kept hanging in" Grant said, "and to be able to play 90 plays, as we did under those circumstances, and still only give up 24 points and got a defensive score."
The teams combined for eight punts in the first half, but an 80-yard pick-six by freshman linebacker Ethan Lasher gave the Bears a 7-3 lead at the half. It was the first of two interceptions on the day for Lasher.
Early in the second half, it was a big play, see-saw affair. Norwich scored on the first play of the second half on a 78-yard touchdown pass to receiver Trevor Chase to take a 10-7 lead. But then Coast Guard running back Jared Colletti burst through for an 84-yard touchdown on the next offensive play to give the Bears the lead again, 14-10.
Norwich would score twice more while the Bears offense, which struggled the entire game to stay on the field, could only muster one more scoring drive, capped off by a 2-yard touchdown run by Bears' quarterback Tafari Wall.
By the 4th quarter the Coast Guard defense was showing signs of fatigue, and after a Bears 3-and-out, Norwich held the ball for the final 6:02 to secure the win.
This was the second straight loss at home for the Bears. They are now 3-2 on the season and 0-1 in conference play.
The Bears will head back on the road on Saturday, October 9th and visit NEWMAC conference rivals the Springfield Pride. Springfield has won each of the last seven meetings against Coast Guard, and lead the all-time series between the two teams 15-4. The Pride was picked to win the NEWMAC in a pre-season coaches poll, but has struggled in the early part of their season, standing at 1-3 on the year.
Check out the full interview with Coach C.C. Grant right here:
edited for web by Joe Harman