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Buzzards Bay, Mass. - Stefan Gustafson ran 66 yards for a touchdown with 9 minutes, 43 seconds remaining as Massachusetts Maritime Academy overcame a 28-9 second half deficit and beat Coast Guard Academy 42-38 on Saturday.
The teams combined for 1,297 total yards in the New England Football Conference Bogan Division opener for both schools, including a school record 695 by MMA.
The Buccaneers (2-1) trailed 28-9 only 2:21 into the third quarter when quarterback Mike Stanton led his team back. He threw three consecutive touchdown passes - the last two to E.J. Bennett (9 and 60 yards) - as MMA scored 23 straight points (they converted a pair of two point conversions) to take a 32-28 lead with 3:26 left in the third.
The game see-sawed after that.
Coast Guard quarterback Jon Resch turned around and led the Bears (1-2) on a 10-play, 79-yard drive, calling his own number from two yards out to give CGA a 35-32 lead with three seconds left in the quarter.
Brandon Rodrigues kicked a 27-yard field with 12:38 left to tie the game, but freshman Tyler Henning drilled a 44-yard field goal on the ensuing possesion to give Coast Guard the lead again, 38-35.
Gustafson would score his game-winner 57 seconds later.
Coast Guard had one last chance as Resch drove the Bears to the MMA 8 with just over five minutes remaining - converting a 3rd-and-22 to keep the drive alive, but he was intercepted by Kevin Stanton with 5:16 remaining and the Buccaneers were able to run out the clock.
Resch had a monster day for the Bears. He completed 35 of 65 passes for 468 yards and three touchdowns, a 16-yarder to Casey Paris in the second quarter, an 18-yarder to Collis Brown with 50 seconds left in the first half and a 52-yarder to Pat Meggers on CGA's opening possession of the second half.
Meggers finished with six catches for 182 yards, Brown had 10 for 95 and running back Jake Wawrzyniak, who scored Coast Guard's first touchdown on a 4-yard run late in the first quarter, rushed for 108 yards.
Stanton was the star for Mass Maritime, completing 26 of 36 passes for a school record 420 yards, while Gustafson finished with a career best 216 rushing yards on 22 carries.
Coast Guard returns home next Saturday for another NEFC Bogan Division game against Fitchburg State at 1:30 p.m.