September 24, 2011

Mello's Four Touchdowns Helps WPI Keep the Transit Trophy in Worcester

More news about: WPI

Worcester, MA --- Ernie Mello (Wilmington, MA) rushed for 166 yards and four touchdowns and the WPI defense forced five turnovers as the hosts held off a furious fourth quarter rally to defeat Rensselaer 34-31 in the annual Transit Trophy rivalry game between the two schools.  WPI levels its record at 2-2 and opens Liberty League play at 1-0 while RPI dips to 1-2 overall and 0-1 in conference play. 

Coupled with last year's 24-10 win in Troy, Worcester's Engineers have now won consecutive games in the series for the first time since 1995 and 1996, while RPI leads the all-time series 55-45-5. 

WPI scored on the opening drive of the game as Mello snuck in from a yard out after he and quarterback Johny Antonopoulos (Cambridge, MA) posted long runs of 35 and 32 yards respectively.  RPI answered right back, aided by a roughing the kicker call on a punt, to tie the score at 7-7 when quarterback Mike Hermann(Hardeeville, SC) tallied the first of his three rushing touchdowns when he scampered in from six yards out.  

The hosts rattled off the next four scores to open up a seemingly insurmountable 34-7 advantage.  Mello sandwiched touchdown runs of 1 and 19 yards around the end of the first quarter and start of the second and Antonopoulos found Trevor Dunne (Cedar Knolls, NJ) on a five-yard touchdown strike just 17 seconds before intermission to enter the locker room with a 27-7 lead. After a Hussein Yatim (Shrewsbury, MA) interception on RPI's opening drive in the second half, Mello waltzed in from 26 yards out to push the lead to 27 points just 4:57 into the third quarter. 

RPI began its comeback late in the third quarter, embarking on a 12-play 43-yard drive that found the end zone 29 seconds into the fourth when Hermann plunged in from a yard out.  After the teams traded punts, WPI was in great position to put the game away following a 41-yard punt return from Matt Cyr (Dracut, MA) but a fumble deep in RPI territory helped the visitors begin a 13-play drive that covered 95 yards culminating in a 3-yard Hermann scoring run that sliced the WPI lead to 34-21. 

Andrew Franks (Carmel, CA) booted that ensuing kickoff into the end zone for a touchback that eventually led to a safety when Chazz Pillam(Chandler, AZ) tackled the WPI punter in the end zone following an errant snap.  RPI took the ball following the free kick and drew closer when Hermann found Austin Caswell (Round Rock, TX) in the back of the end zone for a 4-yard pass with 2:57 remaining.  The duo connected again on the two-point conversion to draw the visiting Engineers to within 3 at 34-31. 

Manny Cambra (Bethel, CT) recovered an onside kick for WPI and Mello put the game away with a seven-yard run on 3rd-and-4 to ensure the Transit Trophy would remain in Worcester. 

John Perron (Worcester, MA) led the defensive charge for WPI.  The senior captain registered a pair of interceptions, recovered and shared in a tackle-for-loss while racking up five tackles.  William Alves (West Warrick, RI) paced the Engineers with eight tackles to go along with a pass break up.  Shaine Grogan (Peru, MA) added seven tackles, including a sack. 

RPI's Zac Borrelli (Methuen, MA) notched a game-best nine tackles and forced and recovered the fourth quarter fumble.  Zach Scruggs (Auburn, GA) and Matthew Day (Claremont, NH) both chipped in with eight tackles for the guests while Ted Abriel (Slingerlands, NY) recorded RPI's lone sack of the day. 

Mello took home the Robert Pritchard Award as the Most Outstanding Back while Joe Everett (Columbia, CT) won as the Most Outstanding Lineman.  Mello's 166 yards and four scores on 32 carries were both career highs while Everett tallied five tackles and forced a fumble.  

Antonopoulos ended up with 62 yards on the ground and 41 yards through the air.  Nick Bean (Middleboro, MA) hauled in three of WPI's six receptions for 31 yards. 

Hermann had an outstanding day for RPI.  The junior signal-caller completed 23-of-36 passes for 230 yards and added 69 yards on the ground, including three scores.  Steven Burpoe (Saranac Lake, NY) caught eight passes for 81 yards while Caswell nabbed seven catches for 41 yards and the touchdown.  

Both teams continue their Liberty League schedule next Saturday at 1pm.  WPI is at Union while RPI entertains Rochester. 

Sep. 1: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Coast Guard at Anna Maria
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Defiance at Baldwin Wallace
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Washington and Lee at Johns Hopkins
Video
7:30 PM
Trine at Manchester
Live Stats
8:00 PM
Belhaven at Millsaps
Video Live Stats
Sep. 2: All times Eastern
6:00 PM
Mass-Dartmouth at Mount Ida
6:00 PM
Delaware Valley at Wesley
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Muhlenberg at Wilkes
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
N.C. Wesleyan at Stevenson
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Western New England at Springfield
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Fitchburg State at Becker
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Albright at Salisbury
7:00 PM
WPI at MIT
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Salve Regina at Worcester State
7:00 PM
Bridgewater State at Curry
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Morrisville State at St. Lawrence
Video Audio
7:00 PM
Nichols at Westfield State
10:00 PM
Adrian at Pacific
Live Stats
Sep. 3: All times Eastern
12:00 PM
Endicott at Framingham State
Video Live Stats
12:00 PM
Washington U. at Carnegie Mellon
Live Stats
12:00 PM
Chicago at Case Western Reserve
Video Live Stats
12:00 PM
Husson at Alfred
12:00 PM
SUNY-Maritime at Maine Maritime
Video
12:00 PM
Cortland at Heidelberg
Live Stats
12:00 PM
Otterbein at Buffalo State
Video Live Stats
12:00 PM
Ursinus at Bethany
12:00 PM
Sewanee at Kenyon
12:00 PM
Alfred State at William Paterson
1:00 PM
King's at Moravian
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Kean at Christopher Newport
1:00 PM
McDaniel at Catholic
Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
Lebanon Valley at Franklin and Marshall
Video Live Stats
1:00 PM
Plymouth State at Castleton
Live Stats
1:00 PM
RPI at Norwich
Video Live Stats
1:00 PM
Randolph-Macon at Dickinson
1:00 PM
Oberlin at Kalamazoo
Video Live Stats
1:00 PM
Emory and Henry at Ferrum
Video Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
Wooster at Washington and Jefferson
Video Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
St. Vincent at Alma
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Concordia (Wis.) at Finlandia
1:00 PM
Olivet at St. John Fisher
Video Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
Rowan at Widener
Audio
1:00 PM
Hobart at Brockport
Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
Union at Ithaca
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Susquehanna at Lycoming
Audio
1:00 PM
Utica at Misericordia
1:00 PM
The Apprentice School at Methodist
1:00 PM
TCNJ at UW-Whitewater
1:30 PM
Wilmington at Bluffton
1:30 PM
Monmouth at Hope
Video Audio
1:30 PM
Bridgewater at Gettysburg
1:30 PM
Muskingum at Waynesburg
Audio
1:30 PM
Juniata at Grove City
2:00 PM
Wisconsin Lutheran at Trinity Int'l
2:00 PM
Lakeland at Carroll
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
UW-Stevens Point at St. Norbert
2:00 PM
Austin at Hendrix
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
Maranatha Baptist at Martin Luther
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Millikin at Greenville
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Eureka at Knox
Live Stats
2:00 PM
MacMurray at Rockford
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Gustavus Adolphus at Westminster (Mo.)
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
UW-La Crosse at Luther
2:00 PM
Beloit at Lake Forest
2:00 PM
Concordia-Moorhead at Jamestown
2:00 PM
Crown at Hamline
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Carleton at Macalester
Audio
2:00 PM
Bethel at Dubuque
2:00 PM
St. Scholastica at St. John's
Video Live Stats Audio
2:00 PM
St. Olaf at Grinnell
2:00 PM
Buena Vista at Mayville St.
2:00 PM
Simpson at UW-Stout
2:00 PM
Aurora at Carthage
2:00 PM
UW-River Falls at Coe
2:00 PM
Ripon at Concordia-Chicago
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
Elmhurst at Loras
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
Huntingdon at Louisiana College
Video
2:00 PM
North Central (Ill.) at Robert Morris-Chicago
Video Live Stats Audio
2:00 PM
Benedictine at Wheaton (Ill.)
2:00 PM
John Carroll at UW-Oshkosh
Video Audio Audio
2:30 PM
Southern Virginia at Earlham
Video Live Stats
2:30 PM
Lawrence at Presentation
4:00 PM
McPherson at Nebraska Wesleyan
Live Stats
4:00 PM
UW-Platteville at George Fox
4:00 PM
La Verne at Puget Sound
Video Live Stats
4:00 PM
Central at Whitworth
5:00 PM
Hartwick at Western Connecticut
Live Stats
6:00 PM
Wabash at Albion
Live Stats Audio
6:00 PM
Maryville (Tenn.) at Berry
Video Live Stats
6:00 PM
Augustana at Mount St. Joseph
Live Stats
6:00 PM
Thomas More at Franklin
Video Live Stats
6:00 PM
Hampden-Sydney at Averett
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Denison at Marietta
Video Live Stats Audio
7:00 PM
Hiram at Westminster (Pa.)
7:00 PM
Thiel at Allegheny
7:00 PM
Capital at Wittenberg
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Shenandoah at Gallaudet
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Illinois College at Rose-Hulman
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Geneva at Frostburg State
7:00 PM
Greensboro at Guilford
Live Stats
7:00 PM
LaGrange at Birmingham-Southern
7:00 PM
Hardin-Simmons at Southwestern
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Anderson at North Park
7:00 PM
Ohio Wesleyan at Mary Hardin-Baylor
Video Live Stats Audio
7:00 PM
East Texas Baptist at Texas Lutheran
Video Live Stats Audio
7:10 PM
St. Thomas at UW-Eau Claire
Video Live Stats
7:30 PM
Hanover at Centre
Video Live Stats
8:00 PM
Willamette at Rhodes
8:00 PM
Cornell at Iowa Wesleyan
Video Live Stats Live Stats
8:00 PM
Augsburg at Northwestern (Minn.)
Live Stats
8:00 PM
Southwestern Assemblies at Howard Payne
8:00 PM
Sul Ross State at UT-Permian Basin
8:30 PM
Redlands at Trinity (Texas)
Sep. 1: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Washington and Lee at Johns Hopkins
Video
Sep. 2: All times Eastern
6:00 PM
Delaware Valley at Wesley
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Albright at Salisbury
Sep. 3: All times Eastern
12:00 PM
Cortland at Heidelberg
Live Stats
1:00 PM
TCNJ at UW-Whitewater
2:00 PM
North Central (Ill.) at Robert Morris-Chicago
Video Live Stats Audio
2:00 PM
John Carroll at UW-Oshkosh
Video Audio Audio
2:00 PM
Huntingdon at Louisiana College
Video
2:00 PM
St. Scholastica at St. John's
Video Live Stats Audio
2:00 PM
Benedictine at Wheaton (Ill.)
4:00 PM
UW-Platteville at George Fox
4:00 PM
Central at Whitworth
6:00 PM
Thomas More at Franklin
Video Live Stats
6:00 PM
Wabash at Albion
Live Stats Audio
7:00 PM
East Texas Baptist at Texas Lutheran
Video Live Stats Audio
7:00 PM
Ohio Wesleyan at Mary Hardin-Baylor
Video Live Stats Audio
7:00 PM
Hardin-Simmons at Southwestern
Live Stats
7:10 PM
St. Thomas at UW-Eau Claire
Video Live Stats