Oct. 23, 2010
NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA-Visiting Endicott turned a pair of fumble recoveries and a blocked punt into three touchdowns and went on to defeat the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's football team, 37-13, in a New England Football Conference Boyd Division game at Cressy Field Saturday afternoon.
The Corsairs jumped on top midway through the first quarter, taking advantage of a 61-yard pass from sophomore quarterback Patrick Orlando (Manchester, MA/Essex HS/Saint Anselm) to sophomore wide receiver Brendan McNeish (Springfield, MA/Cathedral HS) that moved the ball to the Endicott 3. Senior running back Eric Pacy (Rowley, MA/Triton HS/Salve Regina/Dean) carried the ball twice, scoring from the two-yard line to stake UMass Dartmouth to a 7-0 lead.
Endicott failed to move the ball on their next possession, but Orlando was hit by junior linebacker Nick Scozzaro (Wellington, FL/Cardinal Newman HS) and fumbled. Sophomore linebacker Craig Lussier picked up the ball and ran it back to the UMD 10. Junior running back Mike Lane (Medfield, MA/Worcester Academy) scored on the next play to tie the game.
The Corsairs mishandled the ensuing kickoff, and Lane recovered for Endicott at the UMD 25. Lane gained 11 yards to set the Gulls up with a first down at the Corsair five. Two plays later, junior quarterback Phil Konopka (Shelton, CT/Shelton HS) scored on a quarterback sneak to make it 14-7.
The Gulls used a two-play drive at the start of the second quarter to increase their lead. Konopka hit senior wide receiver Neil Powers (Westford, MA/Cheshire Academy) with a 44-yard touchdown pass to make it 21-7.
Endicott drove 63 yards in eight plays on their next drive, getting a 14-yard completion from Konopka Lane for a first down and a 38-yard pass from Konopka to Powers for a first down at the one yard line. Sophomore running back Jared DiBiase (Cranston, RI/Cranston West HS) scored to make it 28-7. On the ensuing drive, junior Justin Burl (Newburyport, MA/Newburyport HS) blocked freshman Chris Berganti's (Haverhill, MA/Central Catholic HS) punt, and the ball bounced out of bounds at the UMD 6. Lane scored on the next play to make it 35-7.
UMass Dartmouth put together a 12-play, 70-yard drive to get on the board early in the fourth quarter. Orlando kept the drive going with a one yard sneak on fourth and one at the Corsair 39, then he hit freshman running back Jaron Hargrove (West Roxbury, MA/Concord-Carlisle HS) with a 31-yard pass for a score with 14:45 to play.
"We started off well, in the first few series, our defense played great and we were able to move the ball, and get a score on a good play downfield to McNeish" said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Mark Robichaud. "On the next series, we fumbled, and that hurt us badly. Our defense did a great job, especially in the second half. They helped create scoring chances. We gave Endicott the ball with a short field a few times, but we kept working hard."
Lane rushed 21 times for 108 yards for Endicott, while Konopka was five of 12 for 109 yards, all of them in the first half. Powers caught three passes for 90 yards. Hargrove and Pacy each gained 25 yards on the ground for UMD, Orlando was 10 of 17 for 125 yards, and McNeish caught five passes for 84 yards.
Defensively, freshman Joe Teixera (Seekonk, MA/Seekonk HS) had 15 tackles for UMD, including three solo stops, a tackle for lost yardage and a pass broken up. Junior Kevin Eagan (West Hartford, CT/Central Catholic HS) led the Gulls with 10 tackles, including two solos and a tackle for lost yardage.
The Corsairs dropped to 3-5 and 2-3 in the Boyd Division with the defeat, while the Gulls improved to 6-2 and 4-1 in the Boyd Division with the victory. UMass Dartmouth will return to action when they host Curry next Saturday. Endicott will host Western New England next Saturday.
"Curry has been an elite team in our league for several years," said Robichaud. "They're a little bit down, but they're still a very good team. We can't wait to play them next Saturday."
UMASS DARTMOUTH FOOTBALL