NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA-Visiting Endicott raced out to a 47-6 halftime lead and went on to defeat the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's football team, 61-15, in a New England Football Conference Boyd Division game at Cressy Field Saturday.
The Corsairs stopped Endicott on their first possession, but the Gulls downed junior kicker Dylan Rushe's punt at the UMD one yard line, and freshman quarterback Mario Rigali (Agawam, MA/Agawam HS) was sacked on the first play for a safety. On the ensuing possession, EC sophomore quarterback Drew Frenette (New Bedford, MA/Greater New Bedford Vo Tech HS) connected with senior wide receiver Mike Murphy (Chelmsford, MA/Chelmsford HS) for a 45-yard touchdown.
Endicott made it 16-0 on a 12 yard scoring run by senior running back Mike Wheeler (Hanover, MA/ Hanover HS) midway through the first quarter before the Corsairs came back. They drove 49 yards in eight plays after senior defensive back Joune Fraser (Barnstable, MA/Barnstable HS/Erie CC) intercepted a Frenette pass and returned it 31 yards to the Gull 49, and scored when Rigali lofted a 31-yard scoring pass to senior wide receiver Brendan McNeish (Springfield, MA/Agawam HS/Bridgton Academy)with 1:44 left in the first quarter. Sophomore wide receiver Will McNamara's (Stoughton, MA/Stoughton HS) two-point conversion pass failed.
The Gulls put up the next five scores, with Frenette hitting junior tight end Greg Dellorco (Franklin, MA/Franklin HS) and Wheeler on scoring passes, senior running back Jared DiBiase (Cranston, RI/Cranston West HS) scoring on a two-yard run, sophomore defensive back Jake Cox returning an interception 32 yards for a touchdown, and Rushe kicking a 22 yard field goal.
Frenette hit Murphy with a 47-yard scoring pass early in the third quarter. UMD came back and got a safety when sophomore defensive end Kevin Roche (Mendon, MA/Nipmuc HS/Assumption) forced an intentional grounding penalty in the end zone. Rigali hit senior wide receiver Romario Berneche (Everett, MA/Pope John XXIII HS/Mount Ida) with a 14 yard scoring pass midway through the fourth quarter to account for the rest of the UMD points.
"Injuries have hurt us lately, and we are down to one running back, our third quarterback and down an offensive lineman," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Mark Robichaud. "We aren't full strength, and we are limited in what we can do. With that being said, I think our quarterback, Mario Rigali, did well today for us."
In his first extended action for UMD, Rigali completed 19 of 33 passes for 155 yards and two touchdowns. McNeish caught three passes for 46 yards, while junior running back Jordan Guyton (Canton, MA/Canton HS/Saint Anselm) rushed 18 times for 35 yards. Frenette completed 30 of 40 passes for 450 yards for the Gulls, with Murphy catching 12 passes for 210 yards and two scores. Wheeler rushed 14 times for 67 yards and a touchdown.
Defensively, Fraser made 11 tackles, including eight solo stops, adding a sack, a tackle for lost yardage and the interception that he returned 31 yards. Sophomore defensive back Mike Lago (Newtown, CT/Newtown HS) led the Gulls with six stops, including four solos, an interception and a pass break-up.
UMass Dartmouth dropped to 1-7 and 1-4 in the NEFC Boyd Division with the loss, while Endicott improved to 6-2 and 4-1 with the victory. The Corsairs will return to action when they host Curry on Senior Day next Saturday. The Gulls will host Western New England next Saturday.
UMASS DARTMOUTH FOOTBALL