By Matt Noonan
PAXTON, Mass. – It sounds cliché, but Coast Guard Academy senior quarterback Derek Victory was the key to the Bears’ initial win of the season.
Victory tossed a trio of touchdowns, including a pair in the opening half, while rushing for two more scores in the second half as Coast Guard captured its first game of the season, defeating Anna Maria College on Thursday evening by a score of 34-0.
The Bears, which led by two scores (13-0) at the break, pushed ahead for good midway through the third quarter when Victory capped an 11-play, 77 yard drive with a seven-yard plunge on critical fourth down.
“Yeah, that was definitely momentum,” said Victory of his team’s opening drive of the second half. “We came out in the second half saying if we scored right here, we (would) have them where we wanted them.”
Coast Guard’s next drive also ended with a touchdown as Victory connected on a beautifully thrown pass over the middle to junior wide-out Darius Adams, who leaped in-between two defenders to corral the pass.
Said Victory of his third touchdown, “I was worried that I overthrew him, but then I saw him jump up at the end. It was (a nice catch), but when I am able to take five steps and just sling it like that, that’s the guy’s up front too.”
Victory’s final touchdown came early in the fourth when he capped a six-play, 49-yard drive with a one-yard plunge to the right side. That was Victory’s final play of the evening as he concluded the game 28-of-44 for 354 yards.
As noted in the school’s press release following the game, Victory became the program’s first-ever quarterback to eclipse the 5,000 passing yard mark. Victory is also the Bears’ all-time leading passer in program history with 5,220 passing yards.
“Derek is about as spot on as he can be, but that’s what you hope for in a quarterback who is a senior,” Coast Guard head coach Bill George said of his team’s signal-caller.