|Maine Maritime Academy||U.S. Coast Guard Academy|
NEW LONDON, Conn. – Junior Corey Creeger threw for a career-high 229 yards and three touchdowns and added another score on the ground to lead Maine Maritime Academy in a 36-30 loss to Coast Guard Academy Saturday.
The Bears got on the board first on a 35-yard touchdown pass from Derek Victory to Cody Bain. The extra point was blocked but never crossed the line of scrimmage and Coast Guard’s Mike McCaslin picked up the ball and walked into the end zone for the two-point conversion, giving the Bears the 8-0 lead with 5:10 left in the first quarter.
Maine Maritime ran 24 plays to Coast Guard’s four, dominated total yards (74-37) and time of possession 13:24 to 1:36 in the opening quarter but trailed 8-0.
The Mariners tied the game up less than a minute into the second quarter on one-yard run by Creeger, who also added the two-point conversion run making the score 8-8 with 14:08 left in the half.
Victory threw a 32-yard touchdown pass to Darius Adams giving the Bears a 15-8 lead following Cole Austin’s kick with 12:04 left.
The Mariners punted on their next drive and the Bears marched 82 yards down the field, capped off by a one-yard run by Victory to give the hosts a 22-8 lead with 5:28 left in the half.
Creeger completed a 72-yard touchdown pass to Derek Breunig, the longest of both of their careers, cutting the deficit to 22-16 after the two-point run failed.
Patrick Crowley gave the Bears momentum with an 88-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, giving Coast Guard a 29-16 lead at the half.
The Mariners had 248 yards (138 passing) in the first half, while Coast Guard had 164 yards (147 passing).
The Bears scored on their first possession of the second half when Camden Cecchini ran the ball in for a three-yard touchdown with 11:05 left giving Coast Guard their largest lead of the game, 36-16.
Maine Maritime answered as Creeger threw a 55-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Susi with 8:59 left in the third quarter and Jacob Doolan ran in the two-point conversion to cut the lead to 36-24.
The Mariners pulled to within a touchdown less than one minute into the fourth quarter when Creeger tossed a 19-yard touchdown pass to Susi, but the two-point rush failed and Coast Guard hung on to a 36-30 lead with14:16 left.
Both defenses took over for the rest of the game. Coast Guard punted on its next possession and the Mariners threatened by driving to the Coast Guard 28, but turned it over on downs when Crowley broke up a fourth down pass inside the 10-yard line with 7:20 left.
Coast Guard punted again, giving the Mariners one final chance to win the game starting at their own 40-yard line. Maine Maritime came up a yard short on 4th-and-10 with a nine yard completion, giving Coast Guard the ball back with 4:09 left on the Mariner-49 yard line.
Coast Guard’s Cody Bain had a catch in traffic and held on for a 15-yard gain on 3rd-and-nine which allowed the Bears to run out the clock.
The Mariners finished with 436 total yards, 207 rushing and 229 passing while Coast Guard had 339 yards, 290 of those in the air.
Doolan led the Mariners with 16 carries for 118 yards while Creeger was 7-of-15 for 229 yards and three touchdowns in the loss. Susi caught four passes totaling 136 yards and two touchdowns, while Breunig finished the afternoon with three receptions totaling 93 yards and a touchdown.
Adams led the Bears with eight receptions for 103 yards while Crowley had seven receptions for 54 yards and Bain added six catches for 92 yards in the win.