CASTINE, Maine – Sophomore running back Tyler Hames (Milford, Conn.) piled up 219 total yards and a score, while senior Jarrod Owens (Monroe, Ga.) passed for 334 yards and four touchdowns, then ran in another to lead Coast Guard Academy to a 52-15 win over Maine Maritime Academy. The New England Football Conference Bogan Division win snapped a five-game losing streak for the Bears (2-7, 2-5 Bogan), while bringing the Mariners (4-5, 2-5 Bogan) season to a close with a fourth consecutive loss.
It was Coast Guard's first win over Maine Maritime since a 2007 win in New London.
Owens, who completed 33 of his 57 passes on the afternoon, notched all four of his touchdown tosses before Maine Maritime got on the scoreboard. The Bears had opened a 31-0 lead, scoring on five of their first six possessions, before the Mariners' Nick Bourassa (Jay, Maine) returned a kickoff 78 yards for his fourth career touchdown return to get MMA on the board.
Hames provided the big plays on the Bears first three scoring drives, only to see teammates put points on the board. On Coast Guard's second possession, the sophomore made one of his 13 receptions on the day, picking up 21 yards on a screen to get the Bears down to the Mariners three. Hames finished the game with 111 yards receiving, but it was Ryan Webster (Melrose, Mass.) on the receiving end of the first touchdown pass from Owens.
After the Mariners went three-and-out, Coast guard took over in MMA territory. Hames busted loose for a 23 of his 108 rushing yards on the day before a pass interference call set the Bears up with first and goal from the nine. Coast Guard settled for a field goal, making it 10-0. On their next possession, Hames provided runs of 14 and 13 yards to put Coast Guard into the red zone. Owens took it from there, hitting Collis Brown (Kingwood, Texas) from 17 yards out to make it 17-0.
Owens hit Erik Gerken (Tampa, Fla.) from nine yards out, and Casey Paris (Lake Tawakoni, Texas) for 46 yards on the next two possessions to put the game out of reach. Owens used eight different receivers on the afternoon. In addition to Hames' 13 catches, Gerken pulled in 10 passes for 84 yards, while Brown hauled in four for 72 yards. Gerken's first reception of the day tied the single season record for receptions at Coast Guard. He reset the bar at 70 catches.
Owens rushed for 44 yards on the afternoon, picking up the bulk of the yards on a 42-yard scamper in the first quarter. He plunged in from a yard out in just before halftime. That added up to Coast Guard piling up 496 yards and 30 first downs on the afternoon.
Meanwhile, the injury plagued Mariners were limited to 252 yards, mostly in the second half. Maine Maritime, which had 56 yards of offense in the first half, finally got some traction in the running game behind Ian Champeon (Dover-Foxcroft, Maine), Bourassa and Cameron Panciera (Bradford, R.I.). Champeon finished the day with 71 yards. Bourassa recorded 53 yards, while Panciera produced 47 yards.
Working in relief of Ben Violette (Waterville, Maine), Bradley Reed (Belfast, Maine) tossed his first career touchdown pass to Nate Duford (Claremont, N.H.) in the third quarter. Reed completed five of his 13 passes for 47 yards. He was picked off twice. He was sacked three times, while Violette was dumped once. The fourth sack resulted in a fumble recovery by Joe O'Loughlin (Lancaster, Mass.) who rumbled 30 yards to paydirt.
Linebacker Nick Peters (Floyds Knob, Ind.) paced the Coast Guard defense with nine tackles, including a pair for losses. Defensive back, Dante Adams (Chesapeake, Va.), wreaked havoc on the Mariners offense with seven tackles. Three of his stops were for losses, including two sacks. The second sack forced the fumble that was picked up by O'Laughlin. Adams broke up a pass and intercepted another.
Both teams seasons come to a close with the contest. The NEFC title game will not see Maine Maritime representing the Bogan Division for the first time in four years.