Endicott begins NEFC title defense with 33-13 win over Framingham State
BEVERLY, Mass. – The Endicott football team won 33-13 over Framingham State behind 271 passing yards and three touchdowns from senior quarterback Phil Konopka(Shelton, Conn.) and three team interceptions, including two from sophomore Jason Silva (Maynard, Mass.) and one from senior Bill Hickey (Walpole, Mass.) in their 2011 season and home opener at Endicott Stadium.
Trailing 7-6 midway through the second quarter, Konopka connected with senior wide receiver Ryan Carino (Stratford, Conn.) on back-to-back touchdown receptions to go into halftime with a 20-7 advantage. The first Carino touchdown saw the senior shake his defender for an over the shoulder catch in the corner of the end zone. On his second end zone reception, Konopka's deep ball looked to be intercepted but Carino ripped the ball out of the defender's hands to rolled into across the line for the score with only 40 seconds remaining in the half.
Konopka would later connect with 6'3 sophomore receiver Mike Murphy (Chelmsford, Mass.) on a 37-yard bomb up the middle of the field to make it 27-6 in favor of the home team. Murphy finished the day as Endicott's leading receiver 120 yards on five receptions. Carino also caught five balls for 64 yards.
For Framingham State, sophomore quarterback Dino Mancinelli (Madison, Conn.) threw two touchdown passes, one to Tyrone Figueroa (Revere, Mass.) and the other toMichael Richwein (Ashland, Mass.). Nunes' touchdown was an eight-yard score to put the Rams ahead 7-3 at the 2:17 mark of the first quarter. Richwein hustled down the sideline 59 yards for the score with 2:06 to go in the fourth quarter with the game out of reach.
Mancinelli totaled 168 passing yards in the game, but also threw two picks. The sophomore was also sacked four times by Andrew Zani (Winchester, Mass.), Matt Schafer (Mansfield, Mass.), Oscar Moore (Cambridge, Mass.) and PJ Bandini (Waltham, Mass.).
The Endicott offensive line, consisting of seniors Nick Molinari (Staten Island, N.Y.), Andrew Fellini (Walpole, Mass.), Mike Zupkosky (Westford, Mass.), Sean Gaffney(Worcester, Mass.) and Pat McMenimen (Exeter, N.H.) kept the Rams to no sacks during the game and pushed the Endicott running game to 138 total yards on the ground. Mike Lane (Medfield, Mass.) totaled 81 yards with junior transfer Mike Wheeler (Hanover, Mass.) adding 30 yards on just five carries.
Framingham State's leading tailback Melikke Van Alstyne (Salem, Mass.) was held to just 35 yards on 14 carries.
In the kicking game, Gulls sophomore Dylan Rushe (Palos Verdes, Calif.) scored 12 points on the day on three field goals of 25, 34, and 45 yards and three extra points. Rushe also handled the punting duties, averaging 35.7 yards per attempt while landing one inside the 20 yard line. His counterpart Kyle Shonio (Swampscott, Mass.)pinned Endicott twice inside their own 20 yard line.
Endicott hits the road next Saturday and will face NEFC Bogan Division opponent Westfield State who won 21-20 over Nichols this past Friday night. The game will be at 1:00 pm. Framingham State looks to get in the win column as they meet Nichols at home on Friday, September 9th at 7:00 pm.