NEW LONDON, Conn. – The U.S. Coast Guard Academy scored a touchdown in every quarter and held MIT scoreless in the second half as the Bears scored a 28-13 win over the Engineers in a New England Football Conference (NEFC) game. Freshman Adis Ojeda (Springfield, Va.) continued his impressive first year at MIT, rushing for 208 yards, becoming the first player in MIT history to run for more than 200 yards in three straight games. Sophomore John King (Atlanta, Ga.) threw for 240 yards in his first career start.
Senior Mike Clancy ran for a career-high 134 yards and a touchdown for Coast Guard, with while junior quarterback Derek Victory threw a touchdown pass and ran for another to lead the Bears.
MIT (1-5, 1-3 NEFC) scored the opening possession of the game on a 32-yard field goal by junior Tucker Cheyne (Avon, Conn.) for a 3-0 lead with 10:16 left in the first quarter. Later in the first quarter, the Coast Guard (4-2, 3-0 NEFC) defense came up big as senior Joe Rizzardi returned an interception 16 yards for a touchdown to give the Bears a 7-3 lead with 3:46 left.
Cheyne booted a 24-yard field on the next possession as the Engineers trimmed the lead to 7-6 with 14:04 left in the opening half. Coast Guard would then march 81 yards in 14 plays with Victory scoring on a 1-yard run on 4th down to push the lead to 14-6 with 8:27 left in half. The key play on the drive was a 45-yard pass to sophomore tight end Cody Bain on 3rd and 10 to get the ball down to the 2-yard line.
MIT would answer by going 71 yards in nine plays with King throwing a 10-yard touchdown to sophomore Jared Hanson (Benicia, Calif.) to cut the deficit to 14-13 with 4:42 left in the first half. Coast Guard would have its only turnover of the game, at the MIT 24 on the next possession, but MIT was forced to punt and the Bears led 14-13 at halftime.
The Bears extended their lead by going 77 yards in seven plays on the opening possession of the second half, with Victory tossing a 25-yard touchdown pass to junior Kyle Jackson to take a 21-13 lead with 12:49 left in the third quarter. The drive was aided by a roughing the kicker penalty, which wiped out a 67-yard punt by Tyler Henning.
Near the end of the third quarter MIT took the ball from its own six and drove all the way to the Coast Guard 8-yard line before Rizzardi blocked a 25-yard field goal attempt to keep the score 21-13.
Following an exchange of punts to start the fourth quarter, Coast Guard got great field position when MIT had to punt from its own end zone, giving the Bears the ball at the MIT 35. Five plays later Clancy scored on a 10-yard run to close the scoring giving the Bears a 28-13 lead with 11:09 left. MIT had another drive turned away late when senior linebacker Ed Lazowski intercepted King in the end zone with 2:49 to play.
MIT finished with 509 yards of total offense to 372 for the Coast Guard, but three turnovers and 110 yards of penalties hurt the Engineers cause. King was 23 of 41 for 240 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. Senior Seve Esparrago (St. Louis, Mo.) had four receptions for 36 yards to lead MIT, which had 10 different players with a reception.
Victory was 13 of 24 for 168 yards with a touchdown. Jackson led the way with four catches for 56 yards while Bain had three receptions for 66 yards in the win.
Sophomore Justin Tunis (Hampstead, Md.) and freshman Ronald Dentinger III (El Paso, Texas) each had seven tackles to lead the MIT defense, with Dentinger also breaking up three passes. Lazowski led the Bears with eight tackles while seniors Eli Maurer, Kyle Wood, Rizzardi and sophomore Jacob Brown each had seven tackles.
MIT will be at home for just the second time this season next week, hosting Western New England University at 5:00 p.m. Coast Guard is back in action next Saturday at Curry with kickoff set for 1:00 p.m.
Coast Guard Sports Information contributed to this release