Middletown, R.I. – Down 21-9 at the start of the fourth quarter, the Endicott football team led by junior quarterback \#Phil Konopka\# (Shelton, Conn.) executed a stunning come-from-behind victory over Salve Regina University in New England Football Conference (NEFC) Boyd Division action. The Gulls won 29-28 behind three touchdown passes from Konopka and go into Homecoming Week with a 3-1 (1-0 NEFC) record.
Konopka completed 15-of-20 pass attempts for 142 yards in the fourth quarter alone as the junior successfully drove the Gulls down the field on three separate occasions for drives of 55, 53, and 64 yards that resulted in touchdowns. \#Taylor Allen\# (Westboro, Mass.), \#Neil Powers\# (Westford, Mass.), and \#Mike Murphy\# (Chelmsford, Mass.) all had touchdown catches in the final quarter with Murphy’s being the game-winning, a 35-yard strike with 51 seconds remaining in the game.
Salve looked poised to win after opening the fourth quarter with a touchdown drive with 9:39 remaining in the fourth quarter with a two-yard touchdown run by sophomore Trey Scales (Boston, Mass.) to put the Seahawks up 28-9. On the next possession, Konopka began the comeback with a 55-yard drive capped off by a 19-yard touchdown pass to Allen that made the score 28-15 following a failed two-point conversation attempt.
The Blue and Green recovered the on-sides kick attempt and quickly advanced the ball into Seahawk territory. Facing a fourth-and-one from the Salve 16-yard line, Konopka connected with Powers in the end zone to cut the lead down to 28-22 with 4:28 remaining.
On the next series, the Endicott defense forced Salve to go three-and-out and the Gulls offense began what proved to be the game-winning drive with 3:11 on the clock at their own 36-yard line. The drive nearly stalled at the Gulls 49-yard line, but they converted a fourth-and-seven with a 14-yard completion to Powers to move the chains. Two plays later, Murphy hauled in his fifth reception of the game in the right corner of the end zone to tie the game at 28. Freshman \#Dylan Rushe\# (Palos Verdes, Calif.) knocked the go-ahead extra point through the uprights to give the visitors a 29-28 lead they would not relinquish.
The Endicott defense kept the Seahawks out of field goal range on the following possession as Salve turned the ball over on downs. Kneel downs by the Gulls ran out the clock to secure the victory.
Salve Regina freshman Alexander Lord (Sherman, Conn.) returned the ensuing kickoff 33 yards to the Endicott 45, but failed to earn a first down and move into field goal range. Endicott went into victory formation and kneeled down twice to run out the clock.
Endicott junior running back \#Mike Lane\# (Medfield, Mass.) rushed for a game-high 124 yards including 50 in the final quarter. Allen finished with six receptions for 79 yards and a score out of the tight end spot and Murphy led the wide receivers with five catches for 66 yards and a touchdown.
Salve Regina’s Rob LaRiviere-Tougas (Easthampton, Mass.) rushed for 82 yards on 15 attempts with a touchdown run and one 10-yard touchdown reception. The Seahawks also got a tremendous individual effort from defensive end Shane Lange (Branford, Conn.) who batted down a Konopka pass attempt, intercepted it, and scampered 35 yards for a touchdown.
Endicott kicker Rushe had three field goals, one in each quarter, for distances of 21, 24 and 33 yards.
\#Craig Lussier\# (Dracut, Mass.) led all Endicott tacklers with eight solo take downs with one assisted. Junior \#Nick Scozzaro\# (Wellington, Fla.) had a solid overall game defensively with five solo tackles, including three for a loss, two sacks, a fumble recovery, and two quarterback hurries.
The Blue and Green play host to Curry College on Homecoming Weekend on October 2 for a 1:00 pm start. Salve travels to Western New England College for a 1:00 pm showdown on the same day.