Published November 10. 2013 4:00AM
Middletown, R.I. - Linebacker Erik Klein returned an interception 92 yards for a touchdown early in the fourth quarter as Salve Regina defeated Coast Guard Academy 25-14 in a New England Football Conference game on Saturday.
Salve (7-2, 6-0), the top defensive team in the NEFC, forced five turnovers to hold off the Bears (3-6, 3-3), who finish their season next Saturday at home against MIT at 1 p.m. The Seahawks will play at Endicott for the NEFC title and an autmatic bid into the NCAA Division III playoffs.
Coast Guard trailed early 13-7 early in the fourth quarter and was poised to take the lead when runs of 19 and 8 yards by Jake Wawrzyniak and a pass interference call drove the Bears to the Salve 5.
That's when Klein made his game-changing pick and went 92 yards and give the Seahawks a 19-7 lead with 10:22 remaining.
Coast Guard made it interesting, taking advantage of a bad snap deep in Seahawks territory to close the gap to 19-14 on a 4-yard touchdown run by Jake Wawrzyniak with 4:42 left, but Salve's Dan Buonocore put the game out of reach when he ran 32 yards for a touchdown with just 1:49 to play.
Coast Guard freshman quarterback Derek Victory completed 25 of 49 passes for 164 yards, but was intercepted four times, while Collis Brown had eight receptions for 114 yards and Wawrzyniak finished with 83 rushing yards on 16 carrie.
The Bears' first TD came with 3:02 left in the first half when Victory threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to Wawrzyniak that tied the game at 7-7.
Defensive end Aaron Black led CGA with 13 tackles.