Coast Guard Takes Advantage of MIT Miscues to Score 35-21 Victory

Sophomore Justin Wallace
Sophomore Justin Wallace

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Offense was the name of the game in the first-ever meeting between MIT and the U.S. Coast Guard Academy on the football field. The two teams combined for 768 yards of offense, with the Bears turning a pair MIT turnovers into points as they outscored the Engineers, 35-21. Sophomore Justin Wallace (Palatine, Ill.) ran for over 100 yards for the second time in as many games this season, finishing with 107 yards and one score.

Coast Guard (1-1, 1-0 NEFC) wasted no time in turning the first MIT (1-1, 0-1 NEFC) turnover into points when sophomore Peter Williams (Portland, Ore.) was intercepted on the first play from scrimmage by Coast Guard's Drew Russo who returned it seven yards to the MIT 39. Eight plays later the Bears were in the end zone when Jake Wawrzyniak took it in from the one.

MIT turned the tables on Coast Guard later in the quarter when sophomore Jose Smith (Miami, Fla.) intercepted B ear quarterback Jon Resch to put the ball in the Engineers' hands at their own 41. After picking up a first down, Wallace ran for 17 yards to the Coast Guard 30, before Williams broke free down the right side for the score on the next play.

Coast Guard came right back on its next possession when Resch hit Casey Paris for a three-yard TD toss to complete a 65-yard drive that took just 2:47, giving the Bears the 14-7 lead. MIT's defense stiffened on the Bears next drive, forcing a field goal attempt that was blocked by junior Derek Vaughn (Goodlettsville, Tenn.). The Engineers took the gained momentum and applied it on the ensuing drive. Williams started it off by hitting sophomore Brad Goldsberry (Elizabeth, Colo.) for 33 yards to put the ball in Coast Guard territory. Williams then completed the drive when freshman Karson Ota (Katy, Texas) made a spectacular leaping catch for a 21-yard TD reception that tied the game.

Resch led the Bears down the field on the opening drive of the second half, hitting all four of his pass attempts on the drive for 47 yards. Facing a third and five at the MIT 35, Resch was heavily pressured by the MIT pass rush, but scrambled around in the pocket until he found Blake Thompson open in the corner of the end zone for the score.

MIT answered on its next drive to tie the score for the third time on the afternoon.  Wallace accounted for half of the yardage on the 80-yard drive, finishing it off with a five-yard plunge that tied things up at 21-all. Coast Guard came right back on its ensuing drive, picking up a key 21-yard run by Wawrzyniak into the MIT end of the field. Junior Joel Santisteban (Lawrence, N.Y.) broke up a pass on a third-down play to force a fourth and six at the MIT 30. MIT was whistled for an offside offense on the next play, however, and the Bears took advantage and hit on an 11-yard pass  that set up a Wawrzyniak two-yard TD run three plays later that put Coast Guard up for good, 28-21, with 1:18 left in the quarter.

Early in the fourth quarter MIT seemed to have regained some momentum when the Engineers picked up a first down on a fourth-and-one sneak by Williams, but Wallace could not get the handle on the handoff on the next play, fumbling the ball at the MIT 31 where Kevin Postliglione pounced on it for Coast Guard. Five plays later Wawrzyniak was in the end zone again, this time from 11 yards out, to give the Bears their final points of the day. MIT could not get anything going on offense the rest of the day, totaling just 17 yards on its final two drives.  

Wawrzyniak finished with 143 yards on the ground for Coast Guard, which totaled 448 yards of offense. Resch completed 27-of-38 for 262 yards and a pair of scores for the Bears, with Paris leading the receivers with 75 yards on six catches. MIT totaled 320 yards, with Williams hitting on 13 of 26 attempts for 151 yards and the one score.

Junior Jake Laux (Dousman, Wis.) reached double figures in tackles for the second time in 2012, finishing by leading all players with 16 stops. Sophomore Cameron Wagar (West Richland, Wash.) made 10 tackles for the Engineers, with Parker Bateson leading Coast Guard with 13.

MIT will be on the road for the first time this season next week. The Engineers will play the first of two Friday games this season as they take on the Colonels at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 21. Coast Guard will stay on the road, playing at Massachusetts Maritime on Sept. 22 at Noon.