Cambridge, Mass. - Sophomore Jake Wawrzyniak had 35 carries for 143 yards and three touchdowns in his first career start as the Coast Guard Academy football team defeated the Massachusetts Institute of Technology 35-21 on Saturday.
Coast Guard (1-1) was without head coach Bill George, who was ill. Offensive coordinator Ray LaForte filled in.
"Jake gives us another dimension of what we do on offense and you could see that on his high school film, a typical Ohio high school running back. He was outstanding and our offensive line played great," LaForte said in a press release.
Senior Drew Russo intercepted a pass on the first play of the game and Wawrzyniak scored on a 1-yard run with 12 minutes, 8 seconds to go in the quarter as Coast Guard took a 7-0 lead. Wawrzyniak also converted a key fourth-and-one on the drive. Wawrzyniak was starting in place of running back Tyler Hames, who was suspended for the first quarter for disciplinary reasons.
Coast Guard was coming off a 43-37 loss to Merchant Marine in Week 1, in which the Bears' defense gave up 521 yards.
Against MIT, Coast Guard finished with 448 yards, while MIT (1-1) had 320.
Coast Guard senior quarterback Jon Resch was 27-for-38 for 262 yards and two touchdowns, with Casey Paris (75 yards) and Collis Brown (41 yards) each making six catches. Blake Thompson (4 catches, 80 yards) and Paris each had touchdown catches.
The teams were tied at 14 heading into halftime and tied again, 21-21, with 5:13 to go in the third quarter.
Coast Guard took the lead for good with 1:18 to go in the third quarter, 28-21. On the drive, the Bears missed a 47-yard field goal try by Tyler Henning, but MIT was offsides. On the next play, a fourth-and-two, Resch lined up as a receiver, took a pitch from Thompson and threw a 12-yard completion to Brown for the first down. Wawrzyniak later scored on a 2-yard run.
In the fourth quarter, Coast Guard capitalized on an MIT fumble, as Wawrzyniak scored on an 11-yard run for a 35-21 lead with 7:47 to play. The fumble was recovered by Kevin Postiglione.
"That turnover the defense caused in the fourth quarter was the icing on the cake," LaForte said. "I was so excited that they came up with the turnover in a one-possession game; it was a momentum-changer and the offensive line just took over from there."
Parker Bateson, a linebacker, led the Bears' defense with 13 tackles, two for a loss, and Nolan Salyer had nine tackles, including a sack.
"We told the team before the day that we wanted to be just like MIT at the end of the day, 1-1. And we could call coach George and let him know we got a victory for him," LaForte said.