The 2005 Endicott Team Defense: 1st in NCAA DIII in Turnover Margin, 3rd in Pass Defense
Top Ten Moments in Endicott Football History
The Endicott football program enters its 10th year of varsity existence and in that short amount of time there have been numerous highlights, accomplishments, and milestones reached by the student-athletes wearing Blue and Green. In the days leading up to Endicott's first game of the 2012 season, we'll tell the story of a few historic moments of the Gulls gridiron.
The 2005 Endicott Team Defense: 1st in NCAA DIII in Turnover Margin, 3rd in NCAA DIII in Pass Defense
In just the third varsity season at Endicott, the Gulls dominated the defensive side of the ball and found themselves ranked first among 237 NCAA Division III football teams in turnover margin (+2.3 turnovers per game) and third in pass defense (80.3 yards per game). Endicott's opponents threw a remarkable 30 interceptions, loss 22 fumbles, and turned the ball over 16 times on 27 fourth down conversion attempts.
The defense in general allowed just 13.6 points per game with opposing quarterbacks completing less than 50% of their pass attempts for just eight touchdown throws. On the ground, the Gulls front seven held tailbacks to just 3.2 yards per carry and nine total rushing touchdowns.
Linebacker Jay Munroe, who was forced to watch most of the 2005 season from the sidelines after breaking his foot early in the season, admired the coaching staff for the creative and unique defensive schemes put in front of players.
"Coach (Kyle) Sweeney becoming a head coach shortly after that season was no accident," said Munroe. "Between his coverage schemes and Coach (Frank) Defelice's experience and game plan for the front seven, we had the best defensive coaching I ever had in my career at any level."
Coaching along with a highly talented, decorated, and deep defensive roster, Munroe says, wreaked havoc on the opposition that year.
"We had two dominant safeties in Orlando Johnson and Pego Jean-Paul who played both the run and pass better than anyone in the league and a defensive line that had all-conference talent two deep at every position so nobody was ever tired. Nobody could block defensive end Joe Leaver. It was amazing because he was about 5-foot-11, weight only about what I did, yet he was unstoppable."
Jean-Paul led the team with six interceptions and eight pass breakups, Johnson added four picks and three breakups, and Leaver totaled 7.5 tackles for a loss including 2.5 sacks.
Endicott went 7-3 overall that year with a 5-1 record in conference play, but the Blue and Green narrowly missed capturing their first NEFC Boyd Division title. A 15-yard touchdown run by Tim Boyd seemingly gave Endicott a late lead over Curry in the game that would decide the division winner, but a holding call negated the score and the Gulls were tripped up 21-16 by the Colonels.
"Ask anyone about the 2005 season and they'll tell you all about the phantom holding call from the Curry game. We were one call away from getting to a conference championship. That's one of the reasons why I am so happy for Coach (JB) Wells and the team for their success over the past couple years in finally raising NEFC and ECAC Championship banners."