Overall team effort powers Endicott to 58-7 win over Fitchburg State
BEVERLY, Mass. – The Endicott football team amassed eight touchdowns in a 58-7 win over Fitchburg State, including special teams and defensive scores, to improve the Gulls record to 3-0 in 2011. Fitchburg State dropped to 1-2 following the loss.
In front of a capacity crowd at Endicott Stadium, the Gulls totaled 519 yards of total offense, recovered a fumble for a touchdown, and returned a blocked kick to the end zone. Three different receivers caught touchdown passes and two running backs found the end zone for the Blue and Green.
Senior quarterback Phil Konpoka (Shelton, Mass.) connected on 9-of-13 pass attempts for 182 yards and four touchdowns, including a 79-yard completion to senior tight end Taylor Allen (Westboro, Mass.) in the third quarter. Senior running back Mike Lane (Medfield, Mass.) rushed 17 times for 139 yards and a score with senior Topher Pochebit tacking on another rushing touchdown early in the fourth quarter.
Pochebit also got it done on special teams, blocking a Lenny Masciangioli (Leominster, Mass.) punt attempt and recovering the loose ball 29 yards to the end zone. Pochebit also was a factor in the return game, bringing back two kickoffs for 67 yards including a 41-yard return on Endicott's first possession of the game. He also made a special teams tackle on a kickoff.
Defensively, Gulls sophomore defensive back Jason Silva (Maynard, Mass.) turned in the best performance of his collegiate career to-date with two fumble recoveries, including one for a touchdown, and his fourth interception of the year. Silva's fumble recovery came early in the second quarter with Fitchburg State pinned near their goal line as a botched handoff was picked up by Silva at the two-yard-line and scurried into the end zone.
Endicott's leading receiver on the year, sophomore Mike Murphy (Chelmsford, Mass.), continued his hot start with five more catches for 67 yards and two touchdowns. Murphy hauled in touchdown receptions of 11 and 30 yards from Konopka. Senior wide receiver Ryan Carino (Stratford, Conn.) caught three balls for 36 yards and a 15-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter, his third of the season.
The lone touchdown for the Falcons came on the first drive of the game as sophomore quarterback Tanner Bachand (Newington, Conn.) capped off a 10-play, 65-yard drive with a 25-yard strike to senior wide out Jeremy Kimber (Fitchburg, Mass.). It was Kimber's first touchdown catch of the season.
In Endicott's first drive of the game, Konopka hooked up with Murphy for an 11-yard touchdown. The extra point sailed just wide right to keep the Gulls behind Fitchburg State 7-6. On the ensuing Fitchburg State drive on fourth down and five to go, Masciangioli's punt was blocked by Pochebit and returned for a touchdown to put Endicott up 13-7 after the extra point. The Gulls capped off the scoring in the first quarter with Carino's 15-yard reception in the end zone.
In the second quarter, Silva recovered the Falcons mishap in the backfield for a touchdown, then Murphy caught his second ball in the end zone and the fourth of the season before sophomore placekicker Dylan Rushe (Palos Verdes, Calif.) knocked a 39-yard field goal attempt through the uprights to make it 37-7 Gulls at halftime.
Taylor Allen recorded his lone reception of the day, a 79-yard scamper down sideline on the first drive of the third quarter. Mike Lane also found the end zone in the third quarter from nine yards out at the 7:14 mark.
With the game in hand in the fourth quarter, Topher Pochebit recorded his second touchdown in the game with a five-yard rush to make it 58-7 Endicott.
Endicott's senior offensive line of Ian Suter (Southbury, Conn.), Nick Molinari (Staten Island, N.Y.), Andrew Fellini (Walpole, Mass.), Mike Zupkosky (Westford, Mass.), Sean Gaffney (Worcester, Mass.) and Pat McMenimen (Exeter, N.H.) created holes for Endicott's running backs to the tune of 286 yards, a 5.4 yards per carry average, and 14 first downs on the ground.
The Gulls defense was stingy as well, holding Fitchburg State to 90 yards through the air and 63 yards on the ground. Linebacker Peter Kallas (Beverly, Mass.) led the team with eight tackles with a forced fumble. Lussier was second on the team with seven takedowns while Kevin Eagan (West Hartford, Conn.) had five assisted tackles with a half sack. Chris Gogolos (Newburyport, Mass.), Alex Filomeno (West Hartford, Conn.) and Marcell Cooper (Dorchester, Mass.) also had sacks in the game.
For the Falcons, senior linebacker Anthony Bizzotto (Leominster, Mass.) led all players with 14 total tackles, including four solo. Tyler Bridgewater (Westbrook, Conn.), Jim Caporale (Watertown, Conn.) and Joseph Sasso (Melrose, Mass.) all recorded double-digit tackles with 11 each.
Endicott hosts NEFC Boyd Division rival Salve Regina next Saturday, September 24th at noon at Endicott Stadium. The Seahawks are 2-1 following their 28-13 win over Framingham State today. Fitchburg State takes on Maine Maritime up in Castine at 1:00 pm on the same day.