BIDDEFORD — It didn’t take long for Coast Guard linebacker Eugene Bizer to make his presence felt in his college football debut.

The freshman also made the biggest play of the game Saturday, an interception return for a touchdown, late in the third quarter of a 27-17 win over the University of New England at Blue Storm Stadium.

“I think that definitely gave us a lot of energy,” Bizer said. “Being able to put it in, that was awesome. It got us back onto the field and slowed some of (UNE’s) momentum.”

Bizer finished with a game-high 10 tackles as Coast Guard did just enough to contain a UNE offense that finished with 324 yards. UNE junior quarterback Brian Peters completed 32 of 45 passes for 278 yards and a touchdown, but he was sacked seven times and threw two critical interceptions.

With the Nor’easters trailing 13-7 in the second quarter, Peters had UNE driving into Coast Guard territory after a 34-yard pass to Douglas Harrison and an 8-yard pass to Bret Miller. But the Bears’ defense pressured Peters into an awkward throw that was picked off by Patrick Crowley.

Coast Guard then churned out an eight-play, 65-yard drive, capped by Justin Moffat’s 11-yard run that made it 20-7.

The Nor’easters also gave up a touchdown on special teams, as Mark Wicke snapped a 7-7 tie with a 55-yard punt return early in the second quarter.

“We played a semi-complete football game today,” UNE Coach Mike Lichten said. “The mistakes we had were the difference in the game. If you’re going to win consistently, you have to do the right things consistently. We can’t give up big plays and we can’t make mistakes.”

Late in the third quarter, Coast Guard’s R.J. Robiskie tipped a pass from Peters, and Bizer intercepted it and scooted 15 yards for a touchdown that gave the Bears a 27-10 lead.

UNE made it 27-17 early in the fourth quarter when Devon Charles punched it in from the 1, completing an eight-play, 62-yard drive.

Peters put the Nor’easters ahead midway through the first quarter when he found Cobey Johnson for a 6-yard touchdown. Junior defensive back Joe Curit intercepted a pass by Coast Guard quarterback Ryan Jones to set up the opening score.

“I think Brian picked up where he left off (from last year),” Lichten said. “He found some guys he trusted with the football … The running backs also had sparks here and there, but we just need more consistency.”

Curit, a Biddeford High graduate, was happy to help set up a score in front of his hometown crowd. But he agreed with Lichten that the Nor’easters can’t afford many mistakes if they hope to enjoy a successful season.

“It was a great atmosphere and it was great to get that interception and get the game going,” Curit said. “But we just need to eliminate those mistakes.”

Coast Guard Coach Bill George said that the turnovers were a big factor.

“If you take away those turnovers, it’s a whole different ball game,” George said. “I think they’re a tremendous program that’s on the rise, and they’re extremely well coached.”

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