Nov. 5, 2005
Endicott Sports Information
BEVERLY, Mass. - On Endicott College's first-ever Senior Night on Saturday, the Gulls pulled off a 38-19 come-from-behind victory over MIT Saturday. Tech's freshman quarterback Rick Mancuso carved up Endicott for 389 yards on 30-of-61 passing and a pair of touchdowns to cap an historical rookie season, but the Engineers fell short in the upset bid to finish the slate with a 3-6 overall record and a 2-4 mark in the NEFC Boyd division.
The Engineers grabbed a 13-10 halftime advantage before the hosts began to do what they do best. Endicott intercepted five passes, including three from Jesse Blackwell to take control of the game and allow the offense to find its rhythm.
MIT dominated the first half of play statistically, but only had the three-point cushion. Mancuso generated 226 yards passing in the first 30 minutes of play and the Engineers' defense limited Endicott (6-3, 5-1 NEFC Boyd) to just five first downs - compared to 18 for the visitors. However, Tim Boyd dove into the endzone from three yards out 54 seconds before the break to make it 13-10. Quarterback Vinny Orlando, who threw for 142 yards and a touchdown on 6-of-10 passing, set up the score on a 32-yards pitch-and-catch to Kevin Samaha.
"They took us out of our game in the first half," said Endicott head coach J.B. Wells. "They are the best passing team we've seen this season. We tried to employ a bend but don't break philosophy and in the end it paid off. We made big plays when we had to and our kids stepped up."
The second half belonged to the Gulls, who rolled up 249 rushing yards, led by Gerard Festa's 14 carries for 111 yards and another 84 yards on the ground from Boyd. Festa changed the complexion of the game at the start of the second half. He ran off-tackle for a 49-yard touchdown on Endicott's first play from scrimmage in the second half for a 17-13 advantage.
Mancuso brought MIT right back and connected with Chris Ruggiero on a three-yard score. The Engineers missed the extra point and led 19-17 midway through the third quarter. Boyd ran in from one-yard out just before the end of the third to put Endicott on top for good at 24-19.
Ryan MacLean caught a 35-yard touchdown pass from Orlando at the 6:23 mark of the fourth and Boyd closed the scoring with a five-yard run. MacLean led the team with three catches for 105 yards while Thomas Kilpatrick led the Engineers with 139 yards receiving on eight catches. Ruggiero also had eight catches for 105 yards.
"We hit them with two big plays," Wells noted. "We wanted to possess the ball more in the second half we were able to do that. Blackwell was huge in perhaps his final collegiate football game and that really stopped them. It was an out of character game for us, but we were able to persevere. We scored on four of our five chances in the red zone and although we could have played better, we were able to win. And that is the mark of a good football team."
Jarron Randall and Mike Baklik also had picks for Endicott, who is waiting to see if it will qualify for the ECAC Tournament.
Mancuso's first season behind center was the best ever for an MIT quarterback. Setting Institute records for completions (135) and attempts (282), Mancuso tossed for an MIT season-record 1,587 yards. His top two wideouts also enjoyed memorable campaigns as the most prolific receiving tandem in MIT lore. Rookie Kevin Vogelsang led the team with 54 catches and 700 yards, the third highest total in the Engineers' grid history. Senior Tom Kilpatrick finished off his spectacular career with 45 catches and 606 yards, marking the first time the Cardinal and Gray ever featured two receivers with at least 40 catches in the same year.
Kilpatrick retires from the college ranks as MIT's all-time leading receiver in catches (146) and yards (2,182).