CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Endicott College broke open a tie game with 21 unanswered second quarter points and went on to take a 52-21 win over MIT in a New England Football Conference matchup. The Gulls used a balanced attack against the Engineers, rushing for 260 yards and throwing for 268 in the victory. In a battle of the top two passing offenses in the league, Endicott's Drew Frenette completed 21 of 26 attempts for 268 yards and three scores, while junior Peter Williams (Portland, Ore.) completed 13 of 22 for MIT for 200 yards and a pair of scores.
MIT (4-3, 2-3 NEFC) scored first in the game, putting points on the board on its second possession. Junior Justin Wallace (Palatine, Ill.) did most of the work for the Engineers, rushing for 55 yards on the drive, including a 39-yard scamper that gave MIT a first and goal. Two plays later Williams hit junior Brad Goldsberry (Elizabeth, Colo.) with a seven-yard TD pass to put MIT on top.
Frenette sparked Endicott (6-2, 5-0 NEFC) on its next drive as the Gulls answered the MIT score with one of their own. Frenette completed 4-of-5 on the drive for 54 yards, with his eight yard toss to Nate Lewis giving Endicott a first and goal on the MIT five. Spencer Walsh, who ran for 173 yards, finished off the drive from there in two plays, with his three-yard run tying things up with 1:52 left in the first.
Endicott then took advantage of MIT miscues to pull away in the second quarter. A 20-yard punt by the Engineers gave the Gulls the ball on the MIT 46 and Frenette immediately hit Alec Matys for 41-yards to set up five-yard scoring strike to Lewis on the next play. The Gulls then recovered a fumble on the MIT 49 on the Engineers next drive, turning that into points when Walsh took it in from two yards out with 3:09 left in the half. After holding MIT to a three and out, Endicott got the ball back with 2:30 left and drove 75 yards in eight plays, with Frenette hitting Matys for 24-yards and a score with 44 seconds left.
Endicott then put the game out of reach with 17 straight points to start the third quarter, with a 19-yard field goal by Dylan Rushe with 7:52 left putting the Gulls up 42-7. A 36-yard return on the ensuing kickoff by Goldsberry, who ran back seven kicks for a school record 172 yards, added a spark to the MIT sideline and the Engineers responded with quick scoring drive. Williams completed a pair of passes, including one of 39-yards to sophomore Eric Gan (College Station, Texas), and then capped off the drive with a four-yard run at the end of the third quarter.
After stopping Endicott on its next drive, MIT struck again when sophomore Seve Esparrago (St. Louis, Mo.) took a pass from Williams over the middle and then sprinted past the rest of the Gulls defense for a 50-yard score to make it 45-21. That was as close as MIT would get, as Endicott's Christian Marti capped off the scoring with a 24-yard run with 1:34 left.
Esparrago finished with four catches for 98 yards to lead the MIT receivers, with Goldsberry also making four catches for 27 yards. Lewis grabbed a team-high seven passes for 75 yards for Endicott, with Matys making five catches for 119 yards. Wallace finished with 91 yards on the ground for MIT. On defense the Engineers were led by junior Cameron Wagar (West Richland, Wash.) and senior Brent Johnson (La Cañada, Calif.) who each totaled 11 tackles. Endicott was led by Nick Kozlowski with nine.
MIT will host its final home game next week as Maine Maritime makes its first-ever visit to Steinbrenner Stadium on Saturday. Kickoff for the contest has been moved back to 5:30 p.m. due to MIT hosting the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference soccer tournaments next weekend. Endicott will host Western New England at 5 p.m. next Saturday in its next action.