New London – Most of the big things have gone well for the Coast Guard Academy football team, including the first career start of freshman quarterback Joe Armentrout, who threw for 291 yards and a touchdown , leading the Bears up and down the field all day Saturday.
But the little things were scary in the Coast Guard’s 21-7 loss to MIT.
Two field goal attempts blocked. Two escaped. Two snaps to Armentrout while he wasn’t looking. The Bears were 0-for-4 on the fourth down conversion opportunities. They’ve made it into the red zone – inside the 20-yard line – five times and have only scored once despite their tempting proximity.
“I think it was a case where we moved the ball between the 20s and all of a sudden we went down there and we just stalled,” said Coast Guard coach CC Grant. “Part was the execution. Part was… to be honest with you, I’m a little puzzled right now. I don’t know what the other part was.”
“I think it’s another one that we see as a loss, but we’re going to look back and say we should have won this game,” Coast Guard head catcher Damaso Jaime said. “Just timely little mistakes. We looked good today. We had a lot of good training days and we just came out and we didn’t perform on a few games and those few games are what make it that the game goes the other way. “
It was the Coast Guard’s fifth straight loss, 2-6 overall, 0-4 in the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference, including back-to-back breakouts against league favorites Springfield (60-0) and Catholic (30-7).
Against MIT, the defense has been accused of stopping a team of engineers who beat Norwich a week ago by a 48-37 margin, scoring the last 27 points of the game. MIT quarterback Oakley Dehning had 196 passing yards and four TDs in it and 64 rushing yards as he was named the Division II / III Gold Helmet recipient.
On Saturday, the Coast Guard limited Dehning to 7 for 15 passes for 67 yards and seven carries for 17 yards.
The Bears edged out MIT in the first quarter 112-7.
However, it was during the Coast Guard’s first practice of the game, fourth and first on the MIT 31-yard line, that the Bears first slammed the ball before Armentrout was ready. The ball ricocheted off his leg, the coast guard knocking the ball over on the bottom.
The next round resulted in the Coast Guard blocking a field goal after driving up to the engineers’ 10-meter line and on a third trip deep into MIT territory, the pass of Armentrout was incomplete on the fourth and the 7 of the 24. The Les ours then kicked twice in the fourth and in 1.
MIT finally scored the first with 20 seconds left in the half on a 40-yard touchdown pass from Dehning to Dennis Gastel and the Engineers scored again to start the second half on a 10-yard run. of Brady Klein, making it 14-0.
The Coast Guard responded, however, securing a 12-yard touchdown pass from Armentrout, who replaced junior Tafari Wall at quarterback this week after Wall started the first seven games of the season. Armentrout’s target was none other than the 6-foot-4 wall, who grabbed the left back corner of the end zone and celebrated all the way to the bench, provoking the Bears.
“If you were to tell me in August that Tafari would have a touchdown someday and I wouldn’t, I wouldn’t believe you,” said Jaime, who finished with three catches for 107 yards. “I’m happy for him. He put in more work than anyone else on the team. It’s great to see him take the right path and keep working and doing whatever he can to help the team succeed. . “
The defense held their own, keeping him within a point, linebacker Connor Healy and linemen Andrew Schad and Jonathan Rahmes hitting the Engineers for losses to force them to return the ball to the Bears one final time with 3: 08 to play.
However, the Coast Guard picked up the ball on their own 7 and fumbled on the second play with MIT taking over on the 5, leading to Klein’s second touchdown of the game.
“They played better than us in the fourth quarter and that’s probably the difference in the game,” Grant said.
Armentrout was 19 for 37 for 291 yards and ran 14 times for 36 yards. Jaime caught two deep throws on the first-year quarterback’s straight sideline and Jacob Wagner had five catches for 71 yards. Free safety Logan Morris led the defense with nine tackles.
MIT (4-3, 2-2) did not return the ball.