Shairs Leads Curry to Second-Straight Win, 27-24 Over Visiting Coast Guard
MILTON, Mass. — Junior fullback Jordan Shairs rushed for 161 yards and a score and also caught a touchdown pass leading Curry to a 27-24 win over Coast Guard in a New England Football Conference (NEFC) game Saturday afternoon in Milton. The Colonels (2-3, 2-1 NEFC) extended their win streak to two and handed Coast Guard (2-4, 2-1 NEFC) its first league loss.
Junior Jake Wawrzyniak's 2-yard touchdown run with 2:37 left pulled the Bears to within 27-24, but Curry recovered an onside kick, and senior Phil Bigelow (23 carries, 69 yards) converted a 4th and 1 with 2:10 left at the Bears 23-yard line to run out the clock.
Curry had 395 total yards while rushing for 275 yards and controlling the time of possession, as the Colonels had the ball for 37:18 of the game's 60 minutes.
Coast Guard finished with 273 total yards, just 38 rushing. Freshman quarterback Derek Victory was 28 of 50 for 235 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions.
Senior Nick Fredericksen had 10 receptions for 67 yards and a touchdown while junior Collis Brown had eight catches for 49 yards to lead the Bears. Wawrzyniak led the Bears on the ground with 11 carries for 43 yards and a touchdown.
Curry, which led 13-3 at halftime, tried to catch Coast Guard sleeping with an onside kick to start the second half, but the kick went out of bounds. The Bears offense took advantage of the short field and drove 48 yards as freshman quarterback Derek Victory threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to senior Nick Fredericksen with 11:58 left to cut the deficit to 13-10 with 11:58 left in the third quarter.
The Colonels responded as Shairs went 59 yards for a touchdown to cap a 90-yard drive to answer the Coast Guard touchdown and increase the lead to 20-10 with 7:17 left in the third quarter.
Senior Blake Thompson then caught his first touchdown of the season, an 8-yard touchdown pass from Victory, to cap a 70-yard drive as the Bears pulled to within 20-17 with 4:01 left in the third quarter.
Following an exchange of punts, Curry added to its lead, going 74 yards with Bigelow scoring on 4th and goal from the 2-yard line for a 27-17 lead with 8:07 left in the game. Earlier in the drive, Fruwirth converted a key 4th and 1 with a two-yard run to the Bears' 15-yard line to keep the drive alive.
Victory was intercepted on the next play, but the Bears defense got a stop and forced a punt. Coast Guard, aided by a roughing the passer call, which negated another interception, drove 65 yards and junior Jake Wawrzyiak's two-yard run on 4th and goal from the 2-yard line made the score 27-24 with 2:37 left.
Senior Kevin Fruwirth (15 of 24, 120 yards, 2 TD) threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to classmate Tyran Harrigan to cap a 13-play, 76-yard drive on the opening possession of the game. The extra point was no good and Curry led 6-0 with 7:50 left in the opening quarter.
The Bears defense came up big on the next possession as Curry had great field position after Coast Guard sophomore punter Tyler Henning was picking up a bad snap when his knee hit the ground giving Curry the ball at the Bears 37-yard line, but the defense got the ball back on downs.
Victory was intercepted on the next possession, then a roughing the passer call negated the turnover, but again the Bears were forced to punt.
Moments later, the Bears' special teams came up big as sophomore Mark Behne recovered a fumbled punt at the Curry 26-yard line and this time the Bears took advantage of the miscue as Henning booted a 26-yard field goal with 14:46 left in the second quarter to cut the deficit to 6-3.
Curry junior Tim Crowley missed a 31-yard field goal with 1:57 left, but the Colonels defense got the ball back and Fruwirth threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to Shairs with 11 seconds left to cap a short 46-yard drive. The Colonels led 13-3 following the extra point to close the first half scoring.
The Colonels dominated time of possession in the first half as they had the ball for 19:44 while the Bears had the ball for just 10:16. Curry had 216 yards of total offense in the first half, 121 of those on the ground while Coast Guard was held to just 106 yards in the first half, just eight yards rushing on nine carries.
Junior linebacker Stanley Sainterlien led the Colonels' defense with eight tackles (six solo). Freshman linebacker Ethan McCullough had six total tackles (5 solo), including a sack with an eight-yard loss. Senior Jeff Janoski and sophomore Curtis Davila each had an interception.
Junior defensive end Aaron Black and sophomore linebacker Cory Sonnega, making his first collegiate start, each had 10 tackles to lead the Bears' defense.
Curry resumes play on Friday, October 18, kicking off Homecoming Weekend by hosting Salve Regina at 7:00 p.m. Coast Guard returns home next Saturday to host Maine Maritime on its Homecoming Weekend with kickoff set for 1:30 p.m.