GAME #7 PREVIEW -- Bears Look to Remain Unbeaten in NEFC; Travel to Curry

GAME #7 PREVIEW -- Bears Look to Remain Unbeaten in NEFC; Travel to Curry

COAST GUARD (4-2, 3-0) at CURRY (2-4, 1-2)
OCTOBER 24, 2015 -- WALTER M. KATZ FIELD -- 1:00

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 on the football schedule page.

THE SERIES: Curry leads 5-1

LAST YEAR: Sophomore quarterback Derek Victory threw for 295 yards and a touchdown while senior Collis Brown had a season-high 11 receptions and became the Bears all-time receptions leader as Coast Guard shutout Curry 17-0 in a New England Football Conference (NEFC) game on Homecoming Weekend.

Coast Guard beat Curry for the first time after dropping the first five games in the series vs. the Colonels. It was the first time Curry was shutout in the regular season since 2000 when they lost to Nichols 33-0.

Brown entered the game tied with Sam England (2006-'09) atop the Bears all-time receptions list with 159. He also went over the 2,000 yard mark for career receiving yards in the win as he finished the game with 170 career receptions for 2,030 yards.

Curry turned the ball over on downs in Coast Guard territory on the opening drive of the game and the Bears marched 59 yards in eight plays capped on a trick play as senior wide receiver Blake Thompson was running a reverse and then a threw a 26-yard touchdown pass to sophomore Bryan Popp with 10:28 left in the first quarter and sophomore Chris Bell added the extra point for a 7-0 lead.

The Bears would extend the lead to 14-0 on a 9-yard touchdown pass from Victory to junior Jordan Groff with 4:25 left in the first half. That score capped a 13-play, 83 yard drive. The key play in the drive was a 27-pass from Victory to Thompson on 3rd-and-14 from the Curry 37.

Coast Guard had 216 yards in the first half, 172 passing and 44 rushing while Curry finished the first half with 137 yards, 136 of those passing. The Colonels had just one yard rushing on 15 carries in the opening half.

Both teams turned the ball over on downs on their opening drives of hte second half before Coast Guard missed a 35-yard field goal with 4:38 left in the third quarter.

The Coast Guard defense forced a punt on the next possession and the offense then drove deep into Curry territory and Bell kicked a 22-yard field goal for a 17-0 lead with 14:14 left in the game.

The Colonels drove down to the Coast Guard 13-yard line, but junior Joe Rizzardi had back-to-back pass breakups including one in the endzone on fourth down to keep the shutout intact.

Curry then blocked a punt at the Coast Guard 33-yard line, but again turned it over on downs at the 13-yard line on an incomplete pass on 4th-and-two with 5:56 left.

Victory was 29 of 48 for 295 yards with a touchdown and an interception while Groff finished with seven receptions for 66 yards and a touchdown.

Junior Mike Clancy had 21 carries for 49 yards to lead the Bears on the ground.

Freshman quarterback Spencer Tyler was 24 of 44 for 210 yards for Curry while sophomore running back Dave DiGiorgi led the way with ten receptions for 138 yards.  Senior Trae Weathers had nine carries for 33 yards to lead Curry on the ground.

Coast Guard finished with 369 yards, 321 passing while Curry had 250 total yards, just 18 of those rushing on 23 attempts.

Senior Victor Rizzardi led the Bears with 13 tackles, ten solo while freshman linebacker Devin Williams led Curry with 13 tackles, nine solo.

Junior linebacker Kyle Wood led the Bears with three sacks.

LAST WEEK: Senior Mike Clancy ran for a career-high 134 yards and a touchdown while junior quarterback Derek Victory threw a touchdown pass and ran for another leading Coast Guard to a 28-13 win over MIT in New England Football Conference (NEFC) game on Homecoming Weekend.

Clancy had 12 carries for 106 yards and his touchdown in the second half and the Coast Guard defense shutout MIT  in the second half.

The Bears, who ran for a season-high 204 yards on 40 carries, won their third straight for the first time since 2007.
Curry beat Nichols 20-13 at home as quarterback Riley Cote threw for 215 yards and three touchdowns while Jordan Shairs ran for 114 yards in the win.

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 and Catholic, 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 and Catholic is part of the ODAC. 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 was picked by the coaches in the Conference to repeat its NEFC title while Coast Guard has been picked sixth.

2015 POLL
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.

DEREK IS THE KEY TO VICTORY: Junior quarterback Derek Victory has been the key to the Bears winning three straight games for the first time in eight years as he not thrown an interception. In fact, Victory has just two interceptions on the season, both back in week two. He has attempted 145 passes since being intercepted in the fourth quarter at Merchant Marine. Last year, Victory was intercepted 21 times. The Bears lead the NEFC in turnover margin at at plus eight with 14 takeaways and just six turnovers.

VICTORY REWRITES THE RECORD BOOK: Junior quarterback Derek Victory, who has started the last 23 games for Coast Guard has set four career records this season. He has 5,055 yards of total offense breaking the mark of 4,883 yards held by Jon Resch (2009-12) and Victory has 4,854 career passing yards breaking the mark of 4,569 also set by Resch. Victory also set the Academy records for a career in pass attempts (911) and pass completions (506) earlier this season.

HENNING BOOTS HIS WAY INTO THE RECORD BOOK: Senior Tyler Henning broke the career record for extra points in the win over Maine Maritime on Oct. 3rd.  He now has 93 in his career breaking the mark of 87 set by David Lieberman (2004-07). Henning is also just two field goals shy of the school record of 28 held by Jacob Shackleford (2008-2011).

HENNING HONORED BY NEFC: Senior Tyler Henning was named the New England Football Conference (NEFC) Special Teams Player of the Week for the second time in the last three games.

Henning, who leads the NEFC and is 8th nationally averaging 42.4 yards per punt, was once again a huge weapon for the Bears in the field position battle as he punted six times knocking five of those inside the 20-yard line, while a 67-yard punt was wiped out following a roughing the kicker penalty.

MIT had to start at its own three, six and nine yard line in the second half following Henning punts while the Engineers twice started at their own 15-yard line in the first half. He averaged 38.3 yards per punt with a long of 51 yards in the win.

He won the award for the second time after being named NEFC Special Teams Player of the Week following the 21-20 win over Salve Regina on Sept. 26th when he kicked a game-winning 37-yard field goal with three seconds left.

Henning now leads the NEFC with eight punts of 50 yards or more and 15 of those inside the 20, the closest punters to him in those categories are three punts over 50 and ten inside the 20.

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 56 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, 2013.

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 are 4-2 overall and 3-0 in the conference tied for first with Western New England. They have won three straight for the first time since 2007 when the team won the final seven games of the regular season and captured the NEFC Bogan Division Championship before falling to Curry 10-7 in the NEFC Championship Game.

Junior quarterback Derek Victory is 104 of 189 for 1,107 yards with six touchdowns and two interceptions on the season. His favorite target has been senior Jordan Groff (29 receptions, 269 yards, 2 TD) while junior Kyle Jackson has 18 catches for 190 yards and a team-high three touchdown receptions.

Senior Mike Clancy leads the Bears with 67 carries for 304 yards and four touchdowns after rushing for a career-high 134 yards in the win over MIT on Saturday. Coast Guard ran for over 200 yards for the first time since rushing for 219 yards in the 2013 season opener vs. St. Lawrence.

Coast Guard is averaging 21.8 points and 273 yards of total offense per game, 184.5 passing and 88.5 on the ground.

The Bears defense is allowing just 17.8 points per game, second best in the NEFC along with 435.8 yards per game, 164.5 passing, also second best in the conference and 271.3 on the ground.

Senior strong safety Joe Rizzardi leads the Bears with 52 tackles on the season, 33 solo while senior linebacker Kyle Wood is second with 51 hits, 29 solo. Senior free safety Mark Behne is third with 45 tackles while leading the team with three interceptions, 3.5 tackles for loss and seven pass breakups.

Senior punter Tyler Henning, a first team All-conference and All-ECAC selection last season, leads the New England Football Conference (NEFC) and is 8th nationally with a 42.4 yard average this season and he also handles the kicking duties and is 5 of 8 on field goal attempts and 14 of 15 on extra points.

SCOUTING CURRY: The Colonels picked up their second win of the season behind freshman quarterback Riley Cote, who made his first career start on Saturday.

Core was 27 of 42 for 215 yards and three touchdowns in the 20-13 win over Nichols to earn NEFC Offensive Rookier of the Week honors.

Junior wide receiver Anthony Nastasi leads the NEFC wtih 56 reception on the year. He leads the Colonels with 424 receiving yards while junior wide receiver Jake Cawlina (24 receptions, 281 yards) leads the team with four touchdown catches.

Senior Jordan Shairs leads the ground attack with 54 carries for 222 yards.

Curry is averaging a 15 points and 255.3 yards per game, 62.3 on those on the ground, all of which are last in the NEFC. The Colonels throwing for 193 yards per game.

The Colonels defense is allowing 30.3 points and 362.2 yards per game, 191 rushing and 171.2 yards in the air.

Sophomore linebacker Devin Williams leads the team with 54 tackles, 38 solo and 5.5 for loss.

UP NEXT: Coast Guard will host Nichols on Halloween with kickoff set for 1 p.m.

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