NEW LONDON, Conn. - After scoring two fourth quarter touchdowns to rally from a 14-0 deficit, the Catholic University football team missed an opportunity to pick up its first win in the first overtime before falling to Coast Guard at Cadet Memorial Field Saturday, 20-14.
The Cardinals (0-5, 0-2 NEWMAC) suffered their second double overtime defeat of the season after falling to Kenyon at home in their season opener, 32-31.
Trailing 14-0 entering the fourth quarter, Catholic got on the board with 13:05 remaining when junior Brady Berger scored on a 22-yard run, capping a 12-play, 78-yard drive. However, the Cards missed the extra point after a high snap on the point after.
Catholic's defense forced the Bears (4-1, 1-1 NEWMAC) into a three-and-out on their next two posssesions before Berger and the offense took over at their own 44-yard line with 5:56 to play trailing 14-6.
The Cardinals converted a 3rd-and-1 from the Coast Guard 47-yard line and a 4th-and-1 from the Bears' 36-yard line to keep the drive alive before Berger connected with junior Trey Carson from six yards out with 1:13 left.
Catholic converted the two-point conversion to tie the game at 14-14 and junior Drew Thomas intercepted Ryan Jones in the end zone on the final play if regulation to send the game into overtime.
Coast Guard got possession to start overtime and Patrick Crowley's 35-yard field goal attempt was wide left, giving the Cardinals a chance to win the game with a field goal or touchdown.
Four-straight rushes by sophomore Bryan Melara carried the ball down to the Bears' two-yard line and following timeouts by both teams, Catholic set up for the game-winning field goal on fourth down.
However, the snap was high forcing a failed attempt and a second overtime.
The Cardinals set up for another field goal attempt to start the second extra period, but the 38-yard attempt by sophomore Fabrizio Reilly was blocked and Coast Guard took over with a chance to win the game with a field goal or touchdown.
After four-straight running plays, including a near turnover on first down, the Bears' Jon Wagner scored from 12 yards out to give Coast Guard its second-straight win against the Cards after Catholic had won the previous three.
Melara finished with a career-high 143 yards rushing while Berger completed 35-of-52 passes, both career highs, for 223 yards and one touchdown. A year ago, Berger was 33-of-50 for 315 yards and a score against the Bears.
Melara also led the team in receiving with 11 catches for 74 yards as he finished with 217 yards of total offense. As team, the Cardinals posted a season-high 403 yards in total offense.
Catholic has a bye week before returing home to face WPI on Saturday, Oct. 19. Kickoff is at noon.