Beverly, Mass. – \#Ryan Carino\#’s (Stratford, Conn.) 56 yard catch-and-run touchdown capped a fourth quarter rally and propelled the Endicott football team past visiting Curry in a New England Football Conference Boyd-Division matchup. With the win, the Gulls improve to 4-1 overall and 2-0 in the conference. Curry drops to 3-2 overall and 1-1 in the NEFC.
The Blue and Green battled back from 11 down on two separate occasions in the second half. Carino’s grab came just minutes after the junior wide receiver hauled in five yard pass from \#Phil Konopka\# (Shelton, Conn.) to pull the Gulls within three.
Endicott opened the scoring in the second quarter on a 25-yard field goal from \#Dylan Rushe\# (Palos Verdes, Calif.). Curry responded with an 11-play, 57 yard drive culminating in a Matt Alksninis (Mansfield, Mass.) 28-yard field goal.
On the ensuing possession, the Colonels’ Kevin McCarthy (Foxboro, Mass.) sacked Konopka in Endicott territory and forced a fumble. Chris Goll (Foster City, Calif.) picked up the loose ball and went 27 yards to pay dirt. Alksninis tacked on the extra point to put the visitors on top 10-3 with just over five minutes remaining in the half.
Both sides went three-and-out, giving Endicott the ball with 2:35 remaining. Konopka orchestrated a 44-yard drive, enabling Rushe to convert from 40 yards out and close the gap to just four (10-6) entering the break.
Curry quickly took the opening possession of the second half deep into Endicott territory. Harold Rose (Buzzards Bay, Mass.) completed three straight passes before a pass interference call put the ball on the Endicott three yard line. Dennis Void (Brookhaven, Pa.) was stopped for a loss on his initial attempt before running it in from four yards out to put the Colonels up 17-6.
Both teams exchanged punts before the Gulls put together a 17-play scoring drive to pull within four. Konopka converted on third down three times and junior running back \#Mike Lane\# (Medfield, Mass.) used a nine yard rush on fourth down to keep the drive alive. With the ball on the Curry 14-yard line, Konopka hit sophomore wide receiver \#Mike Murphy\# (Chelmsford, Mass.) with a perfectly-timed fade route for the score. The 90-yard drive took just over six minutes.
Curry’s first possession of the fourth quarter would increase its lead to 24-13. Mark Gilson (Mansfield, Mass.) found Robert Bambini (Westwood, Mass.) wide open in the end zone to cap a 10-play, 72 yard drive that ate four minutes off the clock.
Konopka and Carino hooked up for the first of two late touchdowns on the ensuing drive. The senior quarterback accounted for all 64 yards, highlighted by the five yard touchdown pass to pull the Gulls within five. Konopka then found \#Neil Powers\# (Westford, Mass.) in the end zone for the two-point conversion.
Curry was forced to punt on the following possession, giving Endicott the ball with less than six minutes remaining. Konopka hit \#Taylor Allen\# (Westboro, Mass.) for a 17-yard reception to the EC 44 yard-line. On the very next play, he found Carino on a short pass near midfield and let the receiver do the rest. Carino beat two defenders before turning on the jets for a 56-yard touchdown.
Curry’s next drive was cut short by a spectacular interception from \#Kyle Capsalis\# (Townsend, Mass.). The senior defensive back’s tight coverage gave the Gulls the ball back with 3:31 remaining.
The Colonels’ stood tough on defense, burning their final two timeouts before forcing Endicott to punt from near midfield. Harold Rose found a groove while executing the two-minute offense. The senior quarterback converted four straight passes which brought the visitors all the way down to the Endicott 19. After a three yard completion to Void and a pair of incomplete passes, Curry faced fourth down with a game on the line.
It was Capsalis again with the coverage, this time knocking the ball down to put the finishing touches on a stellar afternoon. The Endicott offense assumed the victory formation for a pair of kneel-downs to secure the four-point win.
Defensive tackle \#Marcel Cooper\# (Dorchester, Mass.) made nine tackles for the Gulls including 1.5 tackles for loss. Capsalis and senior safety PJ Bay (Darien, Conn.) recorded interceptions.
Curry’s defense was paced by Sean Pike’s (Sudbury, Mass.) nine tackles.
Konopka led all passers with 297 yards through the air (26-of-41) and three touchdowns. Curry’s Rose was 17-of-38 for 156 yards.
Endicott returns to action next Saturday for a 1:00 pm kickoff against Nichols at Endicott Stadium. The same day, Curry travels to Newport, R.I. to take on Salve Regina for a noon kickoff.