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Gulls tripped up 41-24 by Salve Regina in NEFC Boyd opener

Senior receiver Mike Murphy
Senior receiver Mike Murphy

MIDDLETOWN, R.I. – The Endicott football team scored 21 points in the second quarter to hold a 21-20 lead over the second-ranked team in New England, Salve Regina, but the Seahawks responded by outscoring the Gulls 21-3 in the second half to win 41-24 in the NEFC Boyd Division opener for both teams. 

Endicott, now 2-2 (0-1 NEFC Boyd) on the season, looks forward to their Homecoming Weekend on Saturday, September 29th as the Blue and Green host rival Curry with noon kickoff at Endicott Stadium.  Curry is also 2-2 but edged out their week four match up with MIT 31-28 to move to 1-0 in divisional play. 

Against Salve Regina, Endicott fell behind 20-0 just 16 seconds in the second quarter after a Drew Frenette (New Bedford, Mass.) pass was intercepted and returned 52-yards to the end zone by Seahawks sophomore Phil Terio (Trumbull, Conn.).  The Gulls, however, responded with 21 unanswered points to take a one-point advantage going into halftime.

On their first possession following the interception return, Endicott drove deep into Seahawk territory down to the one-yard line before sophomore quarter Ryan McLaughlin (Tomkins Cove, N.Y.) punched it into the end zone for the Endicott's first points of the day. 

The Gulls defense forced a three-and-out on Salve Regina's next offensive possession and on the punt attempt, Endicott's Curtis Manuel (Beverly, Mass.) blocked the punt and the Gulls and Eric Dwinell (Amherst, Mass.) recovered at the Seahawks five yard line.  Two plays later, McLaughlin scampered for his second rushing touchdown of the game to pull the Gulls to within six at 20-14 with 9:23 remaining in the first half.

With 2:26 remaining in the half, Salve Regina faced a 4th-and-1 situation on their own 41-yard line but their conversion attempt was stopped behind the line of scrimmage by junior Andrew Lawson (Framingham, Mass.) which turned the ball over on downs to Endicott.  On 2nd-and-6 on the Salve Regina 13-yard line, Frenette connected with senior wide receiver Mike Murphy (Chelmsford, Mass.) in the end zone to give Endicott their first lead of the game at 21-20. 

At the start of the third quarter, the Seahawks needed just two plays to regain the lead as Salve Regina quarterback Steven Wilken (Ringwood, N.J.) passed to Dan Buonocore (Mahwah, N.J.) for a 21-yard touchdown reception.  Salve Regina went up 27-21 and went on to score two more times on a three-yard touchdown run by Buonocore and 65-yard bomb from Wilken to Trey Scales (Boston, Mass.) to cap off the scoring in this game.

Endicott managed only a 27-yard field goal by junior placekicker Dylan Rushe (Palos Verdes, Calif.) with 1:06 left in the third quarter to pull within 10 at 34-24.  Scales' touchdown catch came just 48 seconds later on Salve Regina's next possession. 

Defensively for the Gulls, junior linebacker Andrew Holfinger (Sterling, Mass.) led Endicott with 11 tackles, seven of which were solo takedowns.  Holfinger and defensive lineman Brian Kalosky (Plymouth, Conn.) tied with a team-high three tackles for a loss.  Kalosky finished with 10 tackles in the game.  Sophomore defensive back Mike Lago (Newtown, Conn.) and senior linebacker Peter Kallas (Beverly, Mass.) each added nine tackles in the loss. 

Junior defensive back Davas Wright (Fall River, Mass.) turned in a strong defensive effort with an interception, three pass break ups, a forced fumble, and seven tackles. 

Endicott's running game was led by senior tailbacks Jared DiBiase (Cranston, R.I.) and Mike Wheeler (Hanover, Mass.) who combined for 146 yards rushing on 31 attempts.  Senior receiver Cameron Lett (Waltham, Mass.) had a team-high 82 yards through the air on four catches.  Murphy added 78 yards receiving on eight catches and the lone touchdown pass by Frenette.   Frenette finished the game 22-of-46 with 248 yards throwing with one touchdown, but three picks.