WORCESTER, Mass.—Junior running back Al Georgio (West Greenwich, R.I.)erupted for 238 yards of offense and had a hand in three touchdowns to aid the Norwich University football team to a 31-14 non-conference win against Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) on Saturday afternoon.
The Cadets improve to 1-2 on the season, while the loss drops the Engineers to 1-2.
Georgio, who entered today's game averaging less than two-yards per carry, improved to 7.15 yards per attempt as he traveled 193 yards on 27 carries with a long of 49 yards and two touchdowns. He also added four receptions, including a six-yard touchdown reception, for 45 yards.
Junior quarterback Keyen Foley (Hemet, Calif.) ran for 150 yards and a touchdown and threw for 133 yards on 12 completions in 20 attempts.
As a team, Norwich totaled a season-high 507 yards of offense. The Cadets held possession for 27:25, including 10:43 in the fourth quarter, while the Cadets defense held WPI to just 22:35 of possession.
Norwich opened scoring on their second drive of the game on an 11-yard run by Georgio. Freshman Wesley Medeiros (Gilford, N.H.) converted his first point-after attempt to give the Cadets the 7-0 advantage with 6:55 to play in the first quarter. The team used nine plays to travel 59 yards to set up Georgio for the scoring play, and the drive was highlighted by a fumble on third-down by Georgio that was recovered by teammate Peter Gill (Nashua, N.H.) to give the Cadets a first down.
After a scoreless second quarter, Norwich extended their lead to 10-0 on a successful 22-yard field goal by Medeiros on the team's first drive of the third quarter.
On WPI's next drive, the Engineers traveled 27 yards before Norwich's Dane Pallotto(Westbrook, Conn.) intercepted a pass and returned it for 14 yards to the Norwich 43 yard line. An illegal blocking penaly set the Cadets 10-yards back to their own 33 yard line, but the Cadets prevailed to post four first-downs and set Foley up for the six-yard touchdown run. Medeiros again converted the point-after attempt as Norwich opened a 17-point gap with 2:43 to play.
Both teams exchanged touchdowns in the fourth quarter. WPI netted their first score seven seconds into the frame as Jacob Grills completed a 23-yard pass to Ehab Hamdan. The Cadets scored on their next drive as the team used 11 plays to travel 77 yards to set up Foley for the four-yard pass to Georgio with 8:41 left on the clock.
The Engineers reclaimed possession at the 20-yard line following a touchback on the punt, and the WPI offense used five plays to travel 80 yards, culminating in a 25-yard touchdown pass from Grills to Hamdan. Norwich led 24-14 with 1:38 to play.
Norwich's next drive was scoreless and led to a 50-yard punt by junior Drew Banuskevich (Peterborough, N.H.). After a four-yard run by WPI, the Engineers attempted a pass on their second play of the drive that was intercepted by Norwich's Dominique Davis (Kissimmee, Fla.) on WPI's 38-yard line.
With the momentum continuing in their favor, the Cadets used a five-yard run by Sam Chaves (Alfred, Maine) to set up Georgio for a 33-yard run and his third touchdown of the afternoon.
Medeiros finished the afternoon 4-4 on point-after attempts and 1-2 on field goal attempts. Freshman Trystan Colaire (Pickering, Ontario) returned three punts for 42 yards and returned two kickoffs for 40 yards. He also added 34 receiving yards, including a long of 26, en route to 116 all-purpose yards.
The Norwich defense held WPI to 295 total offensive yards and was responsible for three interceptions on the afternoon. Jimmy Labell (Stanhope, N.J.) led the unit with six tackles, while Matt LeFevre (Milford, N.J.), Davis, Nick Delicata (Medford Lakes, N.J.) and Addison Nye (Hooksett, N.H.) all added five tackles apiece. Delicata and Kyle Funesti (Morris Plains, N.J.) recorded tackles for loss.
Eric Lacroix led the WPI defense with 15 tackles and a forced fumble. Jake Brown recorded nine tackles and recovered a fumble, while Peter Salem recorded the Engineers' lone sack.
Norwich University returns to action on Saturday, October 4 when it hosts Becker College in Eastern Collegiate Football Conference action at 1:30 p.m. as part of the University's Homecoming weekend.