SALVE REGINA (2-0, 0-0 NEFC) AT COAST GUARD (1-2, 0-0 NEFC)
SEPTEMBER 26, 2015 - CADET MEMORIAL FIELD -- 1:30 P.M.
ON THE AIR: The game will be aired live on WXLM-980 AM. There also both an audio and video stream available and those links can be found at www.cgasports.com on the football schedule page.
THE SERIES: Salve Regina leads 4-0.
LAST YEAR: Senior quarterback Steven Wilken overcame four first half interceptions with three touchdown passes as Salve Regina scored 20 unanswered points for a 20-10 win over Coast Guard in a New England Football Conference (NEFC) game.
The Seahawks defense intercepted sophomore quarterback Derek Victory three times in the fourth quarter to seal the win.
Salve won its third straight to improve to 5-4 overall and 4-2 in conference play while Coast Guard dropped its third straight to drop to 3-6 overall and 2-4 in the NEFC.
Wilken was 25 of 37 for 253 yards with the three touchdowns and four interceptions.
Juniors James Rizzo and Eli Maurer each had first quarter interceptions for Coast Guard, but the quarter ended scoreless.
Coast Guard got on the board with 6:27 left in the first half when Victory threw a 5-yard pass to senior defensive end Aaron Black, who lined up as a tight end, his first collegiate touchdown and following the extra point led 7-0.
Junior Tyler Henning, who missed a 27-yard field goal in the first quarter, booted a 25-yard field goal on the Bears next possession for a 10-0 lead 2:43 left in the half. That drive was set up on an interception by senior Joe Rizzardi that he returned 74 yards to the Salve 20-yard line.
Maurer had his second interception of the half, on the first play of the next possession, but the Bears were forced to punt and Salve Regina finally got on the board on a 15-yard touchdown pass from Wilken to senior Matthew Trainor with 34 seconds left in the half, the extra point was blocked making the score 10-6 at the half.
The Seahawks took the lead as they marched 89 yards in 13 plays capped on a 9-yard touchdown pass from Wilken to senior Dan Buonocore with 46 seconds left in the quarter. Junior Jackie Hurley's extra point was good to make the score 13-10.
Coast Guard was driving to take the lead as they had the ball at the Salve 6-yard line before senior linebacker Matt Conroy intercepted Victory in the end zone and returned it 65 yards with 7:02 left in game.
On the next play, Wilken threw a 35-yard touchdown pass to Traynor as the Seahawks extended their lead to 20-10 with 6:55 left.
Victory was intercepted at the Salve 32-yard line by Conroy once again on the next possession and then the Bears turned it over on downs at the Seahawk 32-yard line with 1:26 left to seal the win.
Buonocore had 21 carries for 126 yard to lead the Salve ground game while junior wide receiver Alex Hulme had a game-high 12 receptions for 125 yards in the win.
The Seahawks finished with 380 yards of total offense, 253 passing and 127 rushing while Coast Guard had 288 yards, 258 of those passing.
Victory was 29 of 54 for 258 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions. Sophomore Bryan Popp led the Bears with eight receptions for 105 yards while Victory had 28 rushing yards on six carries to lead Coast Guard.
Rizzo led the Coast Guard defense with ten tackles and an interception while sophomore linebacker Ethan Gambale led Salve with nine tackles, eight solo.
LAST WEEK: T.J. Tutone threw for 339 yards and three touchdowns and Catholic outscored Coast Guard 26-3 in the second half en route to a 40-24 win over the Bears in a non-conference game.
It was a home game of sorts as Coast Guard had close to 1,000 fans on hand to cheer on the Bears in Washington, D.C., the site of Coast Guard headquarters.
Tutone was 35 of 58 while Coast Guard junior quarterback Derek Victory was 34 of 59 for 306 yards with one touchdown.
Sophomore tight end Cody Bain had career-highs with nine receptions for 135 yards along with his first career touchdown reception.
Catholic finished with 566 yards of total offense while Coast Guard had 333 yards. The Bears, who rushed for just 13 yards last week, were held to 27 yards on 24 carries.
Salve Regina is coming off a 32-14 win over Salve Regina in which junior running back Sam Pascale ran for 211 yards and a touchdown to earn NEFC Offensive Player of the Week honors.
LET THERE BE LIGHT: Coast Guard played the first home night game since 1996 to open the 2015 season beating Anna Maria 34-6. The Bears beat Mass. Maritime in that last home night game 42-21 on Sept. 21st of 1996. This year's season opener was also the first ever Thursday night opener for the Bears.
BEARS TO COMPETE IN NEWMAC IN FOOTBALL BEGINNING IN 2017: It was announced in April that the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) will begin sponsoring the sport of football starting in the 2017 season. Current conference members, Coast Guard, MIT, Springfield College and WPI will be joined by Maine Maritime Academy, Merchant Marine Academy and Norwich University, who enter the NEWMAC as associate members in 2017.
Springfield, WPI, and Merchant Marine have been participating in the Liberty League, while MIT, Coast Guard, and Maine Maritime are members of the New England Football Conference, and Norwich is a part of the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference. In addition to the connection Maine Maritime, Merchant Marine and Norwich have to Coast Guard, MIT, Springfield and WPI in football; they also have long-standing relationships with NEWMAC members in other sports.
BEARS PICKED SIXTH IN THE NEFC PRESEASON POLL: Defending New England Football Conference Champion MIT has been picked by the coaches in the Conference to repeat its NEFC title while Coast Guard has been picked sixth.
1. MIT 61 (6 first place votes)
2. Western New England 56 (2 first place votes)
3. Salve Regina University 41
Endicott College 41
5. Curry College 30
6. U.S. Coast Guard Academy 25
7. Maine Maritime Academy 23
8. Nichols College 11
*Points are awarded based on position selected in the poll. A first place vote is awarded one point, a second place vote is two points, etc.
VICTORY SETS COMPLETIONS RECORD CLOSES IN ON MORE CAREER MARKS: Junior quarterback Derek Victory, who has started the last 19 games for Coast Guard, set the career completions record on Saturdays is closing in on all of the major career quarterback records at the Coast Guard Academy. He is 463 of 830 for 4,350 yards with 25 touchdowns in his career. He broke the completion record of 425 held by Cory Anderson (2002-'05). He is 19 attempts, 219 yards and 13 touchdowns shy of the school records.
Anderson also holds the school record with 849 attempts while the record of 4,569 passing yards and 38 touchdowns is held by Jon Resch (2009-12).
BEARS TO HONOR BOB FLYNN IN 2015: The Coast Guard football team will pay tribute to a very special former cadet-athlete and great friend of the academy - Mr. Bob Flynn, CGA Class of 1974. Bob served as the Chairman of the Board of the Coast Guard Foundation starting in 2008 until his tragic and sudden death in February of this year. The Bears will wear a special decal on their helmets this season in his memory, featuring Bob's initials and a ribbon depicting his very favorite symbol – the Coast Guard Tartan print. We will always remember Bob, and honored his service to and relentless advocacy on behalf of the academy at halftime of the home opener against Anna Maria. Members of his family served as honorary captains during the pre-game coin toss.-
COACH GEORGE IS BEARS WINS LEADER: Coast Guard head coach Bill George, in his 17th season, has a record 53 career wins as head coach at the Academy as he passed John Merriman for the most in program history in the win over Maine Maritime on Oct. 19th of last season.
Merriman was the coach from (1930-1945) and the Gymnasium is named is his honor. In 2012, George passed NFL Hall of Famer and former Director of Athletics and head football coach Otto Graham, who had 43 wins in his two stints as head coach (1959-'65 and 1974-'75). Coach George led the Bears to a pair of NEFC Bogan Division championships in 2006 and 2007.
BEARS TO HONOR COAST GUARD'S ANNIVERSARY: The United States Coast Guard celebrates its 225th anniversary and the Coast Guard football team will wear a 225 sticker with the Coast Guard racing stripe on the back of their blue helmet and will wear a larger sticker on the side of their white helmet with the traditional Bear head on the other side. The team will wear these helmet stickers for the rest of the season.
SCOUTING COAST GUARD: The Bears return home following a pair of road losses and look to snap the skid in front of a Parents' Weekend crowd in the New England Football Conference (NEFC) opener for both teams.
Junior quarterback Derek Victory is 61 of 108 for 603 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions on the season. His favorite target has been senior Jordan Groff (16 receptions, 133 yards) while senior Carter Provost has 11 catches for a team-high 182 yards. Sophomore tight end Cody Bain, who had a career-high nine receptions for 135 yards on Saturday, gives Victory another weapon.
Senior Mike Clancy leads the Bears with 32 carries for 130 yards and two touchdowns. Coast Guard had been held to 40 rushing yards combined in the back-to-back losses.
Coast Guard is averaging 265.7 yards of total offense per game, 201 passing and 64.7 on the ground.
The Bears defense is allowing 20 points per game, second best in the NEFC along with 413 yards per game, 172.3 passing and 240.7 on the ground.
Senior strong safety Joe Rizzardi, who led the way with 17 tackles last week, leads the Bears with 29 on the season, 17 solo while senior free safety Mark Behne and senior linebacker Kyle Wood each had 19 tackles.
Senior punter Tyler Henning, a first team All-conference and All-ECAC selection last season, leads the New England Football Conference (NEFC) with a 44 yard average this season.
SCOUTING SALVE REGINA: The Seahawks, who are ranked 5th in New England, are 2-0 on the season and lead the NEFC in scoring (36.5), pass offense (289 per game), total offense (557) and their defense is allowing a league-low 90 yards per game this season. Salve Regina has won seven straight after winning the final five games of the 2014 season including a 48-21 win over Norwich in the ECAC Northeast Bowl.
Junior running back Sam Pascale, the reigning NEFC Offensive Player of the Week, leads the conference with 57 carries and 387 rushing yards, 193.5 yards per game. He ran for a career-high 211 yards and a touchdown in the win over Castleton State on Saturday.
Junior quarterback Brandan Basil is 37 of 67 for 578 yard with eight touchdowns and just one interception in the two games this season. His favorite target is senior wide receiver Alex Hulme, who leads the team with 12 receptions for 225 yards and four touchdowns.
Senior linebacker Danny Ives leads the Salve defense with 26 tackles, 17 solo
UP NEXT: Coast Guard hit the road for the final long trip of the season. The Bears travel to Castine, Maine to take on Maine Maritime on Oct. 3rd with kickoff set for noon.