NEW LONDON, CONN.--(11/6/10)--Maine Maritime rushed for 619 yards led by 218 yards and four touchdowns by senior Jim Bower as the Mariners won their second straight New England Football Conference (NEFC) Bogan Division championship by beating Coast Guard in a shootout 63-47.
The game featured eight touchdowns in the fourth quarter, five by Coast Guard and 1,217 yards of total offense much like the game last season that was won by Maine Maritime 76-49 and had 1,230 yards of total offense.
The Mariners finished with 668 total yards, 619 rushing and 49 passing while Coast Guard finished with 549 total yards, 263 rushing and 286 passing, all three season highs for the Bears.
Maine Maritime improves to 8-1 overall and 6-1 in the Bogan Division and will host the NEFC Championship game next weekend. Coast Guard lost its fifth straight to finish 2-7 overall and 1-6 in the division.
Bower, who is third nationally with 164.5 rushing yards per game, moved into seventh place on the all-time Division III rushing list as he finished the game with 5,672 career rushing yards.
Junior quarterback Matt Rende carried 22 times for 185 yards and a score while junior Nick Bourassa had 11 carries for 125 yards and a touchdown. Rende was also 1 for 3 for nine yards with a touchdown and an interception.
Coast Guard freshman Tyler Hames, making his first career start, became the first Coast Guard player to run for over 100 yards this season. Hames carried ten times for 143 yards and scored the first two touchdowns of his career.
Junior Jarrod Owens, who made a few starts at running back this season, made his first career start at quarterback and completed 20 of 28 passes for a career-high 286 yards with his first two touchdown passes of the year. He also rushed for 65 yards and a score to finish with 351 yards of total offense.
Senior wide receiver Eric Hudson, playing football for the first time after four years of basketball, had season-highs with seven receptions, 123 yards and the first touchdown of his career.
Maine Martime jumped out to a 20-0 lead as backup quarterback freshman Ben Violette scored on a one-yard run and Bowers scored on a 30-yard run for a 14-0 first quarter lead. Rende threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to freshman Spencer Bowring for a 20-0 lead with 13:51 to go in the first half.
Hames scored on a 20-yard run with 10:22 left before Maine scored on its fourth straight possession, a 2-yard run by Bower for a 26-7 lead with 4:49 left to close the scoring in the first half.
Hames had a 64-yard touchdown run on the Bears first possession of the second half to make the score 26-14, but Bower added a pair of 1-yard runs in the third quarter to make the scoore 42-14 heading into the final frame.
The fourth quarter featured 54 points, 33 points by Coast Guard.
Sophomore Pat Meggers scored on a 1-yard run for Coast Guard before Bourassa had a 2-yard run for the Mariners.
Hudson caught a 56-yard touchdown pass from Owens and Meggers scored his second touchdown, a 5-yard run to make the score 49-34 with 7:21 left.
Junior Nate Duford got behind the secondary and caught a 40-yard touchdown from Violette (1 of 2, 40 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT) before Owens answered by with a 40-yard touchdown pass of his own to sophomore Stephen Spotts making the score 56-41 with 5:02 left.
Coast Guard got a rare stop on defense and Owens scored on a 1-yard run, but the extra point was missed and the Mariners still led by two possessions, 56-47 with 2:58 left.
Rende closed the scoring with a 53-yard touchdown run with 1:25 left in the game.
Senior Ben Barrett led the Coast Guard defense with 15 tackles, nine solo, in the final game of his career.