BEVERLY, Mass. – The Endicott football team now finds themselves at 4-2 (2-1 NEFC Boyd) after handing Nichols a 56-7 defeat at Endicott Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The Gulls racked up 254 yards with six touchdowns in the running game while the defense held the Bison to 176 total yards of offense with just one touchdown.
After two weeks straight at home, Endicott hits the road for a 2:00 pm kickoff against Plymouth State on Saturday, October 13th in Plymouth, New Hampshire. Nichols, who dropped to 0-6 (0-3 NEFC Boyd), hosts UMass Dartmouth next weekend at 1:00 pm in Dudley, Massachusetts.
Endicott senior tailbacks Jared DiBiase (Cranston, R.I.) and Mike Wheeler (Hanover, Mass.) combined for 182 yards on the ground and five of the Gulls' six running touchdowns. Junior Cody Sinnott (Rocky Point, N.Y.) added 61 yards on nine attempts with a 15-yard score in the fourth quarter.
Through the air, Gulls sophomore quarterback Drew Frenett (New Bedford, Mass.) finished 14-of-23 with 164 yards and two touchdowns in the win. Both of his touchdown strikes were to senior wide out Mike Murphy (Chelmsford, Mass.) on 15 and 37-yard connections. Wheeler now has five touchdown receptions on the season.
Defensively, Gulls senior captain and linebacker Craig Lussier (Dracut, Mass.) totaled six tackles, four solo, with 2.5 going for a loss of yardage and 1.5 sacks. Endicott totaled 11.0 tackles for a loss in the game with 4.0 total sacks. In coverage, the Gulls intercepted Nichols quarterback Pat Viencek (Bernardston, Mass.) four times. Starters Peter Kallas (Beverly, Mass.) and Davas Wright (Fall River, Mass.) had one pick with minimal gain while interceptions by Jake Cox (Wrentham, Mass.) and RJ Lynch (Bellingham, Mass.) were brought back 26 and 15 yards, respectively, to give Endicott good field position on offense.
The Nichols offense was held in check for much of the game, but a 49-yard shoe string catch by junior Joe Lambert after the ball was tipped into the air by Gulls linebacker PJ Bandini (Waltham, Mass.) was returned 49 yards to the Endicott end zone to get the Bison on the board. Lambert finished with six catches for 71 yards.
Defensively for the Bison, senior linebacker Peter Curto (Braintree, Mass.) and sophomore linebacker Julon McCoy (Gardner, Mass.) tied for a game-high nine tackles. Early in the game, Curto and McCoy combined to force an Endicot turnover deep in Nichols territory as Curto jostled the ball loose from the Endicott ball carrier and McCoy recovered on their own eight yard line.
A 49-yard touchdown run down the left sideline by Wheeler put Endicott on the board first just 3:50 into the game. On Nichols' next possession, Gulls linebacker Andrew Holfinger (Sterling, Mass.) forced a fumble which was recovered by Gulls nose guard Marcell Cooper (Dorchester, Mass.). Endicott then drove down the field and went up 14-0 after DiBiase ran up the middle 10 yards for his first touchdown.
Kallas' interception set up the Endicott offense on the Nichols 19-yard line with 4:44 remaining in the first quarter. DiBiase rushed for 11 yards to get Endicott inside the 10 and then scored for the second time on an eight-yard dash over the goal line.
After Nichols scored to make it 21-7, Endicott's next possession was a four-play, 54-yard drive capped off by a 16-yard run by Wheeler to make it 28-7. Later in the second quarter, Frenette connected with Murphy for the first time in the game, a 15-yard completion with 1:24 left in the first half.
The Gulls received the first kickoff of the third quarter and on their opening drive of the half that went 73 yards, Frenette passed for 61 yards including a 37-yard strike to Murphy to put the Gulls up 42-7.
DiBiase's third touchdown run at 6:33 in the third quarter followed by Sinnott's 15-yard dash early in the fourth quarter capped off the scoring in this game.
On special teams, Gulls junior punter Dylan Rushe (Palos Verdes, Calif.) set a school record with 67-yard punt that started at the Endicott 25-yard line and rolled all the way down to the Nichols eight-yard line.