BY Ryan Hathaway // OCT. 24, 2015 //
The Colonels improved to 3-4 Saturday afternoon grounding visiting Coast Guard into submission in a 42-14 blowout. The Bears entered the game unbeaten in league play before succumbing to a nearly flawless all-around execution by Curry.
Head Coach Skip Bandini was beaming after the win. “We’ve been telling our team all year if we play to our capabilities we will be a very good football team.” Bandini said specifically he saw his offense perform better than it has all season. “We have a pretty good defense. Today our offense came together and you can see the result.”
“We played a complete game today. We played like we can play. We are a young team… We will continue to get better.” – Head Coach Skip Bandini
The result was 351 passing yards by freshman quarterback Riley Cote in just his second start of the season, a season-high 156 receiving yards for junior Jake Cawlina, as well as a season-high 131 rushing yards for senior captain Jordan Shairs.
“The O-line opened up holes,” Shairs said nonchalantly after the game of his impressive performance. “When you have holes it really becomes a lot easier.” Shairs added that he was proud of the whole team, and called the win huge for the team.
Bandini gave him a little more credit. “Jordan Shairs is a stud,” he said.
Cote continued to impress since taking over as the team’s starting quarterback accounting for all six of the team’s touchdowns with four passing scores and two on the ground. He showed a diverse skill set, whether he was connecting with Cawlina on a deep pass or making plays with his legs while running the read option offense.
Freshman Riley Cote coming up HUGE. 35-0 Curry 4 minutes into second half https://t.co/AgGfRmPAlV
— Ryan Hathaway (@RyanHathaway617) October 24, 2015
“Riley’s grown up quick,” Shairs said. “He takes hits and doesn’t get fazed. I’d take the field with him any day.”
Bandini continued to utilize the spread offense with an emphasis on bubble screens and for the second week in a row junior receiver Anthony Nastasi feasted, with 10 grabs for 76 yards and two touchdowns. The shifty Nastasi has a knack for making defenders miss and picking up yards after the catch.
The Colonels defense was similarly outstanding, holding the Bears to less than 200 total yards. The defense brought heavy pressure on Coast Guard quarterback Adam Davis, with junior Joe Zairello notching two sacks and three tackles for loss, and freshman Luc Zikianda using his 6’4″ frame to wreak havoc against the left tackle.
Linebackers Curtis Davila (senior) and Devin Williams (sophomore) also turned in strong efforts, with the former accounting for three tackles for loss and a pass breakup while the latter tallied six total tackles, one for a loss.
Defensive backs Tyler Koning (senior), Dylan Spence (senior) and Christian Vellante (junior) wrought havoc against the Bears receivers, unleashing fierce hits all over the field. The three combined for 14 tackles.
Bandini raved about his team’s performance. “We played a complete game today. We played like we can play,” he said. “We are a young team,” he added. “We will continue to get better.”
Taking Shots Downfield: Despite seemingly being able to move the ball at will with the run game and short passes, the Colonels took more than a few chances with deep passes. Cote’s only interception of the day came on a 29-yard pass to the end zone that had enough loft for Bears defender Joe Rizzardi to make a play on. But despite a few miscues, Cote ultimately completed five passes for more than 25-yards, including two for touchdowns. Two of the five were caught by Cawlina for 120 yards.
Getting Them Off, And Keeping Them Off: The Colonels won the possession battle by a whopping fifteen-minute margin, thanks to an ability to compile long drives. Four of the Colonels drives lasted at least four minutes, while the Bears only had one such drive thanks to a less than 30% conversion percentage on third and fourth down. Coast Guard only managed 14 first downs, a substantial deficit from Curry’s 25.
Up Next: The Colonels have another conference game scheduled for next Saturday. The team will be traveling to Maine Maritime for a noon kickoff, against a Mariners team that has yet to win a conference matchup and has just one win on the season. Curry will have a good chance to extend their winning streak to three games if they can continue to play the way they have the last two weeks.