Noontime’s Coast Guard-USMMA Prediction

Jake Behne (left) and Hudson Dunaway (right) pose with the Secretaries’ Cup in November 2018. (PHOTO COURTESY: Coast Guard Academy Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com

The final NCAA D-III football game of 2020 will take place tomorrow between Coast Guard Academy and the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) with the winner claiming the Secretaries’ Cup.

Last season, the Mariners topped the Bears, 56-41, thanks to quarterback Krystian Abbott, who finished the game with 298 yards of total offense.

Coast Guard captured the 2018 meeting by a score of 26-12 to secure the Secretaries’ Cup for the first time since 2014.

Tomorrow’s matchup – the 49th meeting between these two academies – will be streamed on ESPN3 with kickoff scheduled for 12:05 p.m.

Below is our pregame preview, as well as our prediction – let us know if you agree or disagree by sending a tweet to @NoontimeSports. Enjoy the game, everyone!


Noontime’s Coast Guard-USMMA Preview: It’s been nearly a year since the Bears and Mariners tangled on the gridiron, but it seems as if both teams are eager and ready to play some football.

Coast Guard enters the contest with a great deal of experience on both sides of the ball. Quarterback John Barbera, who has appeared in five contests, including three last season, will start his first game for the Bears – expect the Glen Mills, Pennsylvania native to target Justin Moffatt, who led the NEWMAC last season with 66 receptions while posting a career-best in receiving yards (872) to go with five touchdowns.

Linebacker Eugene Bizer will be tasked with leading a Coast Guard defense that will need to slow down a Mariners squad that averaged 41.1 points per game last fall. Merchant Marine’s offense is very run-heavy and it is expected that the Mariners will lean heavily on halfback Matt Restifo, who finished last season with career-bests in rushing yards (389), yards per game (43.2), and touchdowns.

Eric Davidson and Colton Ray will be two players to watch on the Mariners defense tomorrow – this particular unit limited opposing foes to 112.7 rushing yards per game last season.

Noontime’s Prediction: This has the potential for a back-and-forth affair, but I think this contest will come down to whichever defense can slow down the opposing attack. I don’t anticipate a high-scoring affair like we witnessed last season, but instead both teams scoring at least three, maybe four touchdowns. PREDICTION: Coast Guard 30, USMMA 26

D3 Football: Week Eight Highlights

WEEK EIGHT HIGHLIGHTS

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

It wasn’t easy, but somehow MIT made a few more plays than Coast Guard Academy, especially on offense as the Engineers defeated the Bears, 13-0, in Cambridge to improve to 7-0 overall and 4-0 in the NEWMAC.

The win was highlighted by a pair of MIT touchdowns, including an early fourth quarter two-yard plunge by Cole Baker, which capped a 13 play, 90 yard drive.

Coast Guard attempted to answer on its next two series, but mustered just 10 total yards on nine plays. MIT’s defense also sacked quarterback Ethan Goldcamp on the Bears’ final two offensive plays of the contest.

Sam Gozelski highlighted the defensive effort for the Engineers with six total tackles, including a pair of sacks for a loss of 18 yards. John Robertson and Ashton Robinson powered MIT’s rushing attack by combining for 148 yards on 33 carries, while quarterback Udgam Goyal connected on 13 of 25 passes for 108 yards and one touchdown (his lone touchdown pass was to Eddy Garcia-Montes in the second quarter).

MIT will look to continue its current momentum next Saturday when they visit WPI.

Speaking of WPI, the Engineers saw their 24-0 lead erased by Merchant Marine comeback, which was capped by a late two-yard touchdown run by Krystian Abbott, as the Mariners picked-up an important conference win to keep their title hopes alive.

Abbott concluded the USMMA-WPI contest with a game-high 127 yards on 33 carries and one touchdown.

In Somerville, Tufts University scored a hard-fought 28-21 win over Williams College, thanks to a 13-yard touchdown pass from Dom Borelli to Jack Dolan. Borelli rushed for one touchdown, along with 31 yards on nine carries, while Ryan McDonald completed 17 passes for 187 yards and two touchdowns.

Greg Holt paced the Jumbos’ defense with 13 total tackles, including nine solo stops, two tackles for a loss of three yards and one fumble recovery.

Amherst College picked-up its sixth-straight win by scoring early and often against Wesleyan University. The Mammoths, who are now 6-0 overall, defeated the Cardinals, 33-3, thanks to two rushing touchdowns from Biafra Okoronkwo, who concluded the contest with 119 yards on 18 carries.

Despite falling to their Little Three rival, Wesleyan’s Brandon Morris finished his team’s sixth contest of the season with 11 total tackles, including five solo stops, one sack for a loss of 11 yards, one pass break-up and one forced fumble.

Springfield College picked-up an important road win our nation’s capital by defeating Catholic University, 23-11. Hunter Belzo tossed one touchdown, while rushing for another, while Skyler Bateman rushed for one touchdown late in the opening frame.

Endicott College and Western New England each scored conference wins, defeating Becker College and University of New England, respectively, while Husson University soared past Anna Maria, 54-14.

Framingham State kept its hopes of a MASCAC crown alive with a 27-2 win on the road at Westfield State.

Finally, Terrell Watts accounted for four touchdowns, including three through the air, as Dean College rolled past Gallaudet University, 53-21. Watts concluded his team’s contest with 372 yards of total offense, including 306 passing yards.


Our New England D3 Football week eight highlights were compiled by Matt Nooonan (@MattNoonan11) and Brian Willwerth (@BriWillwerth)