BRIDGEWATER, Mass. – Trailing by 20 points in the fourth quarter to Bridgewater State, the Endicott football team orchestrated two fourth quarter touchdown drives capped off by touchdown passes by sophomore Drew Frenette (New Bedford, Mass.) to junior tight end Greg Dellorco (Franklin, Mass.) but the Gulls fell just short of an upset road victory as they suffered their first loss of the season, 20-14 to the Bears.
Endicott dropped to 2-1 in non-conference play while Bridgewater remained unbeaten at 3-0.
Frenette connected with Dellorco on a 12-yard pass to the corner of the end zone to finish off a 13-play, 76-yard drive that began with 2:02 remaining in the 3rd quarter and ended 2:19 into the fourth quarter.
The Endicott defense, who battled a talented Bridgewater State running attack that accumulated ___ rushing yards in the game, came up big on the Bears' next offensive possession forcing a punt to give the Gulls offensive the ball back with 9:49 remaining. Endicott senior defensive lineman Kevin Pressey (Fairfield, Maine) caused fourth down with a sack on 3rd-and-9.
On Endicott's next drive, Gulls senior running back Mike Wheeler (Hanover, Mass.) busted out runs of 20 and 22 yards to help the Blue and Green reached the Bridgewater 25-yard line. On 1st-and-10, Frenette against found his tight end, Dellorco, for 25 yards up the middle of the field to cut the Bears lead to 20-14.
Endicott came up big one last time on the next Bridgewater State possession forcing a three-and-out. The ensuing Bridgewater State punt was blocked by junior Nick Kozlowski (Beverly, Mass.) and the Gulls took over at the Bears 32-yard line with 6:59 on the clock.
With the momentum in Endicott's favor, the Gulls looked to score again to hopefully take their first lead of the game but the Bridgewater State defense stopped Endicott on 4th-and-6 to regain possession. Bridgewater went on to possess the ball for the 5:20 of the fourth quarter, rushing on all nine of their final plays.
Frenette finished the game with 219 yards on 27-of-35 passing attempts with two touchdowns and two interceptions. The sophomore connected with sophomore wide out Nate Lewis (Acushnet, Mass.) eight times for 60 yards, a career-high for Lewis. Senior Jimmy Nguyen (Methuen, Mass.) led the team with 65 yards receiving on seven receptions. Junior Matt Smith (Uxbridge, Mass.) hauled in five catches for 25 yards in the loss.
On the ground, Wheeler accumulated 64 yards on 12 rushes (5.3 per attempt) while senior Jared DiBiase (Cranston, R.I.) ran 15 times for 61 yards.
Defensively, junior lineman Marcell Cooper (Dorchester, Mass.) tied for a game-high 11 tackles, nine of which were solo takedowns and one for a loss. Cornerback Davas Wright (Fall River, Mass.) and linebacker Peter Kallas (Beverly, Mass.) added eight and seven tackles each.
Bridgewater State scored 14 of their 20 points in the first half on two field goals by Jarred Diorio and a Mike McCarthy two-yard touchdown run with a successful two-point conversion. Late in the third quarter, the Bears tacked on a touchdown on McCarthy's second scamper of the game, this time a 31-yard rush to the end zone. The point after attempt was blocked by Cooper.
Bridgewater State controlled time of possession, holding the ball for 34:58 compared to 25:02 for the Gulls. Endicott was 9-of-14 on third down plays while Bridgewater State was 6-of-14. Bridgewater State accumulated 307 of their 352 total yards on the ground. Endicott passed for 219 and ran for 114 yards.
Endicott will be on the road for week four as they travel to Salve Regina for their first NEFC Boyd Division game of the season.