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Twenty-three first half points powers Endicott to 30-10 triumph over Nichols

Twenty-three first half points powers Endicott to 30-10 triumph over Nichols

Beverly, Mass. – Endicott junior quarterback \#Phil Konopka\# (Shelton, Conn.) threw three touchdown passes and the Gulls defense recorded a safety, an interception, and a fumble recovery en route to a 30-10 victory over New England Football Conference (NEFC) Boyd Division opponent Nichols College on Saturday afternoon.
The Blue and Green won for the fourth week in-a-row to improve to 5-1 (3-0 NEFC Boyd) while the Bison remains winless at 0-6 (0-3 NEFC Boyd). 
In the first quarter, Endicott punter \#Shawn Clukey\# (Derry, N.H.) pinned the Bison inside their own three yard line following a three-and-out. On the first play of the ensuing drive for Nichols, freshman Irie Perry (West Palm Beach, Fla.) was caught in the backfield for a loss by Gulls linebacker \#Peter Kallas\# (Beverly, Mass.). The ball came loose, was recovered by Nichols quarterback Justin Martin (Warwick, R.I.) in the end zone but the Gulls make the tackle to earn two points for a safety. 
The Gulls got the ball back on a punt, but despite a 35-yard return by \#Justin Burl\# (Newburyport, Mass.) Endicott failed to score followed a missed field goal attempt. On their next possession, Konopka would be intercepted by Bison sophomore Alec Tavares (Boston, Mass.) which set up an eight-play drive for Nichols that nearly ended in three points but the 55-yard field goal attempt fell short. 
The first touchdown was scored after a seven play, 63-yard drive that took 3:44 from the start of the second quarter by the Gulls. Endicott junior running back \#Mike Lane\# (Medfield, Mass.) rushed for 20 yards on the drive and Konopka hit wide out \#Neil Powers\# (Westford, Mass.) in the back of the end zone for a 35-yard touchdown. Powers finished the game with three receptions for 49 yards and a score. 
The Bison got the ball back and took 5:43 off the clock with an impressive drive that included 23 rushing yards from the quarterback Martin, but another long field goal attempt by the Bison ended up short. With the ball in their possession on their own 28-yard line, Endicott’s first place resulted in a fumble by Konopka and recovery by Nichols defensive lineman Isaiah Dotson (Indianapolis, Ind.) who scampered for five more yards to the Endicott 23. Bison junior running back Matthew Bryson (Pawtucket, R.I.) ran the ball 19-yards for a first down to the Endicott four yard line. Two plays later, an end around to senior Justin Nelson (Oceanside, Calif.) set up a wide-open Brandon Richard (Feeding Hills, Mass.) for the touchdown, cutting the Gulls lead to 9-7.
Endicott’s next drive went for 55-yards on three plays, ending in a 28-yard touchdown reception for tight end \#Taylor Allen\# (Westboro, Mass.). Allen’s only catch of the game put the Gulls up 16-7.
On the next Nichols drive, Martin rushed out of pocket but was taken down by Gulls junior \#Kevin Eagan\# (West Hartford, Conn.) who forced the fumble and recovered the ball on the Bison six-yard line. Endicott’s Lane rushed twice for six yards to reach the end zone to give the home team a 23-7. Lane finished 77 rushing yards on 26 carries with one touchdown. His longest run went for 12 yards.
In the second half, the Gulls fumbled the ball away again in their own territory setting up a short field for the Bison with 10 minutes remaining in the third quarter. The Endicott defense held up, however, allowing a 32-yard field goal by Nichols kicker Cody Jankins (West Brookfield, Mass.) to make the score 23-10. 
The Bison attempted and converted an onsides kick, gaining the ball back. The ensuing drive by the Bison, however, ended with an interception and 14-yard return by Endicott junior \#Nick Scozzaro\# (Wellington, Fla.). 
Moving to the fourth quarter, Endicott completed an 11-play, 77 yard drive that ended in another Konopka touchdown pass this time to sophomore \#Mike Murphy\# (Chelmsford, Mass.) for 13 yards. The touchdown pushed the lead 20 points to 30-10. 
Defensively for the Gulls, Kallas led all tacklers with 14 total take downs. He had five solo tackles, nine assisted tackles, four tackles for a loss, a forced fumble and a broken up pass. Eagan also had a solid game with 13 tackles, five solo and eight assisted, with 3.5 tackles for a loss. \#Craig Lussier\# (Dracut, Mass.) and \#Manny Soto\# (Boston, Mass.) had 12 and 11 tackles, respectively.
For the Bison, Peter Curto (Braintree, Mass.) led his squad with nine tackles, two solo and seven assisted. Nichols junior defensive end Mike Mainero (Bridgeport, Conn.) had 1.5 tackles for a loss, part of seven total takedowns. 
Konopka finished the game completing 11-of-15 pass attempts for 155 yards, three touchdowns and one interception for Endicott. His counterpart, Martin, was 6-of-17 for just 23 yards in the loss.
On the ground, Nichols tailback Bryson torched the Gulls for 134 yards on 25 rushes, an average of 5.1 yards per carry. The fullback, freshman Anthony Thurston (West Palm Beach, Fla.), also experienced success with 43 yards on eight rushes.
The Gulls will be back in action on the road against Plymouth State University in an important NEFC Boyd Division match up on Saturday, October 16 at 1:00 pm. Nichols hosts UMass Dartmouth on the same day at 1:00 pm.