Endicott Scores Four Unanswered TDs To Pull Away From Westfield State, 45-24

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WESTFIELD, Mass. – Senior Mike Lane rushed for 217 yards and a touchdown on 38 carries and senior quarterback Phil Konopka completed 21 of 36 passes for 255 yards and two scores to power Endicott College to a 45-24 victory over Westfield State University in a New England Football Conference non-divisonal game on Saturday, Sept. 10.

Endicott (2-0), the defending NEFC champions, trailed 24-17 late in the third quarter but the Gulls scored four unanswered touchdowns in the game's final 19 minutes.

Endicott tied the score at 24-all near the end of the third quarter on a third down quarterback sneak by Konopka from one-yard out that capped a 14-play, 64-yard drive.

Lane scored the winning points on a 28-yard scamper with 11:11 remaining in the fourth quarter. Lane's scoring jaunt was the first play from scrimmage following the key defensive play of the game, an eight-yard interception return by Endicott's Jason Silva to the Owl 28.

It was the only interception of the game for Westfield senior quarterback Tyler Dow, who threw for a career-high 258 yards, completing 17 of 33 passes for two touchdowns.

Endicott iced the tough road victory on a sensational 35-yard touchdown reception by Mike Fimiani at the 7:16 mark, and a 17-yard touchdown scamper by Jared DiBiase with 4:45 remaining.

Endicott took a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter on a three-yard run by DiBiase. Westfield tied the scored with 7:21 remaining in the first half on a nice 31-yard scoring strike from Dow to Kane Terilli.  The TD was set up when linebacker Dan Dowling recovered a fumble at the Endicott 33.

Endicott quickly regained the lead on a 53-yard scoring bomb form Konopka to Mike Murphy. But the scrappy Owls scored 10 points in the final 1:39 of the first half to take a 17-14 lead. Dow found Kevin Parnell in the back of the end zone for a seven-yard scoring strike at the 1:39 mark. Westfield then got the ball back with 44 seconds remaining and its quick six-play drive was capped by a 21-yard field goal by Kennan Startzell with one second remaining.

The Gulls tied the score early in the third quarter on Dylan Rushe's 28-yard field goal, but on the ensuing series Westfield took its final lead, 24-17, on Brian Beauchemin's one-yard touchdown plunge. The TD was set up on Terilli's sensational pass-run play on an inside route that covered 73 yards inside the one-yard line.

A balanced offense powered the Gulls to the road victory in the first ever meeting between the teams. Endicott ran 88 plays, racking up 32 first downs and 568 yards in total offense, including 313 rushing yards. Murphy was the Gulls' leading receiver (5-89), followed by Fimiani (4-78).

Westfield (1-1), meanwhile, was held to 18 net rushing yards on 24 carries. Eight Owls caught passes, led by tight end Jeff Winchell (5-56) and Terilli (4-133). In addition, Westfield also racked up 207 yards in kickoff returns, led by freshman Andrew Buanno's 102 yards on two returns.

Standout lineman Kevin Eagen led Endicott's balanced defensive attack with a team-high six tackles. Defensive back Mike Szydlowski led Westfield with 13 tackles, followed by linebackers Kevin Duffy (10) and Justin Ehrhardt (10).

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