Union at Coast Guard football preview capsule
When: Saturday, 1:30 p.m.
Where: Cadet Memorial Field, New London.
Records: Union 1-0 overall; Coast Guard 1-0 overall.
Players to watch: Union, QB Will Bellamy (19-for-29, 370 yards, 3 TDs), WR Griffin Beal (8 catches, 115 yards, 2 TDs), WR Andre Ross Jr. (2 catches, 102 yards, 1 TD), LB George Reed (10 tackles, 1 tackle for a loss), LB Jack Reilly (9 tackles, 4 tackles for a loss, 2 sacks), LB Evan Gilland (6 tackles, 1 INT).
Coast Guard, QB Ryan Jones (23-for-39, 336 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT; 16 carries, 75 yards, 1 TDs), RB Jon Wagner (7 carries, 44 yards; 5 catches, 51 yards), WR Justin Moffatt (9 catches, 157 yards), WR Liam Middleton (3 catches, 68 yards), LB Titus Creamer (6 tackles, 2 tackles for a loss, 2 sacks), DB Patrick Crowley (8 tackles), DB Colby Coco (3 tackles, 1 INT), P Chip Crowley (37.7 yards per kick), K Cole Austin (3-for-4 PATs, 2-for-2 FGs).
Analysis: Last week's opponent was somewhat of an unknown for the Coast Guard Academy football staff, as the Bears' coaches had no game film on the University of New England, a first-year varsity program. “I'm going off a (high school) state championship film from two years ago,” Coast Guard head coach Bill George said. “… A lot of that work we did, it could have went the other way.” This week, Coast Guard, a 33-7 winner over U. New England, knows exactly what it's facing in Union. The Dutchmen opened their season last week by beating Husson — which has appeared in the last two NCAA tournaments and finished as the third-ranked team in New England last season — 30-7. Union's defense, led by linebackers Reed and Reilly (a first team all-star last year in the Liberty League) held Husson to 237 yards of offense. Other than Husson's opening possession, on which it returned the kickoff 78 yards, it crossed the 50-yard-line only twice for the remainder of the game. “On paper, that's as good of a team that's on our schedule,” George said of Union. “No. 7 (Reilly) is a great technician. How are we going to move their nose guard (290-pound Bobby Law)? ...This is the next level, a next-level-up football game, mentally and physically. We have to improve in every avenue, Game 1 to Game 2, plus going against a team like Union; there's no room for error.” … Coast Guard brings a great deal of momentum into the game, as well, after its Week 1 victory, with quarterback Jones leading the way with 411 yards of total offense and three touchdowns (one rushing, two receiving). Moffatt was Jones' favorite target, with nine catches for 157 yards. The Bears, who snapped a six-game losing streak, also ran the ball well behind sophomores Wagner and Chris Gardner, finishing with 34 carries for 173 yards. They will need to continue that trend, as they were held to minus-4 yards on 18 carries last season against Union in a 28-13 loss in the nonconference game, with then-quarterback Ethan Goldcamp sacked four times. … Both teams have new quarterbacks for this year's game, with Union starting Bellamy, a sophomore. Bellamy was the Liberty League's Offensive Performer of the Week following the opening-day win, his first collegiate start, and Ross Jr., a freshman, was named Rookie of the Week. Reilly was named to the D3Football.com Team of the Week. … Coast Guard will next travel to Nichols next Friday before opening play in the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference on Sept. 22 at home against Norwich.
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