NEW LONDON, Conn.—Freshman quarterback Derek Victory was 21 of 23 for 186 yards and two touchdowns as Coast Guard head coach Bill George won his 49th game, the most ever by a Bears head coach in a 40-0 win over Maine Maritime in a New England Football Conference (NEFC) game on Homecoming Weekend.
Coach George passed John Merriman (1930-'45) whose 48 wins had been the most in Coast Guard football history. The gym at the Academy is named after Merriman.
Coast Guard improves to 3-4 overall and 3-1 in the NEFC while Maine Maritime drops to 0-5 and 0-3 in conference play. With three games left the Bears control their own destiny in the chase for the NEFC championship, however their next two games are against Endicott and Salve Regina, the two teams that are unbeaten in conference play.
Victory was 13 of 15 for 119 yards in the first half throwing a 5-yard touchdown pass to junior running back Jake Wawrzyniak to open the scoring the 5:28 left in the first quarter, the extra point was blocked.
The Bears used a little razzle dazzle on its next possession as junior wide receiver Collis Brown threw an 80-yard touchdown pass to junior wide receiver Blake Thompson with 2:53 left in the first quarter for a 13-0 lead.
Victory threw a 32-yard touchdown pass to Brown with 4:27 left in the first half as the Bears led 20-0 at halftime.
Coast Guard had 240 total yards at halftime, 199 passing while the Mariners had 167 yards in the first half, 160 on the ground.
Sophomore quarterback Drew Londo came on in the second half and finished 6 of 9 for 109 yards. He had a 3-yard touchdown run on the opening possession of the second half to give the Bears a 27-0 lead with13:22 left.
Sophomore Mike Clancy's 3-yard touchdown run with 3:30 left in the third quarter increased the lead to 34-0 lead.
Sophomore Tyler Henning kicked a pair of field goals from 44 and 28 yards to close the scoring.
Coast Guard finished with a season-high 463 yards of total offense, 379 passing and 84 rushing while Maine Maritime, second in Division III in rushing, finished with 285 yards of total offense, 267 of those on the ground, over 100 yards below its average of 369.8 yards per game.
Brown led the Bears with six receptions for 97 yards and a touchdown while Thompson caught four passes for 97 yards and a score.
Maine Maritime sophomore quarterback Mike Fahey carried 18 times for 111 yards while senior fullback Billy Wetherbee had 21 carries for 68 yards.
The Mariners turned the ball over four times with three fumbles and an interception by Coast Guard's Joe Rizzardi that he returned 97 yards for a touchdown, only to see it called back because of an illegal block.
Junior linebacker Victor Rizzardi and junior defensive lineman Aaron Black led the Bears defense with 12 tackle each. Rizzardi had two sacks and also recovered a fumble while Black had a sack.
Coast Guard will travel to Endicott on Saturday with kickoff set for 1 p.m. in a pivotal NEFC game.
POST GAME COMMENTS FROM HEAD COACH BILL GEORGE