Resch, Coast Guard end season on high note

New London - The final home game of his freshman year, when Jon Resch threw a Coast Guard Academy record-setting six touchdowns in a 76-49 loss to Maine Maritime Academy, was a precursor of things to come, after all.

Because Saturday, on a sunny afternoon against Maine Maritime with Coast Guard ringing up a 42-13 victory to give the Bears a winning record for the first time since 2007, Resch, the 6-foot, 190-pound senior quarterback from Lititz, Pa., came full circle.

Resch obliterated nearly every passing record in the books in the victory, going 23-for-36 for 235 yards and another six touchdowns against the Mariners, giving him the single-season (23) and career (38) touchdown records even though he wasn't the Bears' starter at this time a year ago.

He also shook off a blow to the head in last week's loss to Framingham State, having to get cleared by the Coast Guard medical staff before he could finish his assault on the record books and leave the academy along side a senior class that had a string of seven straight losses in games decided by seven points or fewer before turning things around.

"It's a testament of how the team plays," Resch said of his record-setting day. "You can't get records without a good team. It's a nice thing to finish with a winning record. It was a blast, the most fun I've had this year. The records were a bonus."

Resch, who threw four touchdowns in the first half, also became the program's all-time leader in passing yards (4,569), eclipsing the mark set by Cory Anderson (4,459, 2002-05), and passed Bill Hucke's record for passing attempts in a season (358, 1983) by ending up with 360.

The touchdown records of 19 in a season and 37 in a career both belonged to Dan Warren (1994-97).

Coast Guard (5-4 overall, 4-3 New England Football Conference Bogan Division) finished with 439 yards offense against Maine Maritime, giving the Bears 3,661 yards for the season, breaking the mark of 3,549 set in 2007.

Resch was replaced by backup quarterback Aaron Corn with 8 minutes, 42 seconds to go in the game, embraced as he reached the sideline by former Bears' receiver and current coach Eric Gerken.

"He's a heck of a quarterback," Coast Guard coach Bill George said of Resch. "He's come a long way. He had good quarterbacks in front of him before this (Jarrod Owens was the Bears' starter a year ago)."

Resch has said all along he believes that his rapport with Owens last season helped both quarterbacks to become better.

Resch threw three touchdowns Saturday to senior tight end Casey Paris, as well as one to senior Pat Meggers, one to Ethan Baisden and one to senior Todd Stephens. The six touchdown passes went for 17, 3, 6, 1, 13 and 28 yards. The final pass of his career came on a 28-yard touchdown down the middle to Paris with 14:07 to play.

Meanwhile, George worried all week about Maine Maritime (0-9, 0-7). Although the Mariners were winless, the Bears still had to stop the triple-option.

"It's a different group," George said. "Even with the storm, even with academy things going on, these guys come out to practice. They came out today like it was a national championship game. This is a senior-dominated group."

Paris tied the single-game record with three touchdown catches and senior linebacker Parker Bateson finished with a career-high 16 tackles, four for a loss, one sack and a pair of fumble recoveries in his final game.

v.fulkerson@theday.com

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