September 24, 2011

Mello's Four Touchdowns Helps WPI Keep the Transit Trophy in Worcester

More news about: WPI

Worcester, MA --- Ernie Mello (Wilmington, MA) rushed for 166 yards and four touchdowns and the WPI defense forced five turnovers as the hosts held off a furious fourth quarter rally to defeat Rensselaer 34-31 in the annual Transit Trophy rivalry game between the two schools.  WPI levels its record at 2-2 and opens Liberty League play at 1-0 while RPI dips to 1-2 overall and 0-1 in conference play. 

Coupled with last year's 24-10 win in Troy, Worcester's Engineers have now won consecutive games in the series for the first time since 1995 and 1996, while RPI leads the all-time series 55-45-5. 

WPI scored on the opening drive of the game as Mello snuck in from a yard out after he and quarterback Johny Antonopoulos (Cambridge, MA) posted long runs of 35 and 32 yards respectively.  RPI answered right back, aided by a roughing the kicker call on a punt, to tie the score at 7-7 when quarterback Mike Hermann(Hardeeville, SC) tallied the first of his three rushing touchdowns when he scampered in from six yards out.  

The hosts rattled off the next four scores to open up a seemingly insurmountable 34-7 advantage.  Mello sandwiched touchdown runs of 1 and 19 yards around the end of the first quarter and start of the second and Antonopoulos found Trevor Dunne (Cedar Knolls, NJ) on a five-yard touchdown strike just 17 seconds before intermission to enter the locker room with a 27-7 lead. After a Hussein Yatim (Shrewsbury, MA) interception on RPI's opening drive in the second half, Mello waltzed in from 26 yards out to push the lead to 27 points just 4:57 into the third quarter. 

RPI began its comeback late in the third quarter, embarking on a 12-play 43-yard drive that found the end zone 29 seconds into the fourth when Hermann plunged in from a yard out.  After the teams traded punts, WPI was in great position to put the game away following a 41-yard punt return from Matt Cyr (Dracut, MA) but a fumble deep in RPI territory helped the visitors begin a 13-play drive that covered 95 yards culminating in a 3-yard Hermann scoring run that sliced the WPI lead to 34-21. 

Andrew Franks (Carmel, CA) booted that ensuing kickoff into the end zone for a touchback that eventually led to a safety when Chazz Pillam(Chandler, AZ) tackled the WPI punter in the end zone following an errant snap.  RPI took the ball following the free kick and drew closer when Hermann found Austin Caswell (Round Rock, TX) in the back of the end zone for a 4-yard pass with 2:57 remaining.  The duo connected again on the two-point conversion to draw the visiting Engineers to within 3 at 34-31. 

Manny Cambra (Bethel, CT) recovered an onside kick for WPI and Mello put the game away with a seven-yard run on 3rd-and-4 to ensure the Transit Trophy would remain in Worcester. 

John Perron (Worcester, MA) led the defensive charge for WPI.  The senior captain registered a pair of interceptions, recovered and shared in a tackle-for-loss while racking up five tackles.  William Alves (West Warrick, RI) paced the Engineers with eight tackles to go along with a pass break up.  Shaine Grogan (Peru, MA) added seven tackles, including a sack. 

RPI's Zac Borrelli (Methuen, MA) notched a game-best nine tackles and forced and recovered the fourth quarter fumble.  Zach Scruggs (Auburn, GA) and Matthew Day (Claremont, NH) both chipped in with eight tackles for the guests while Ted Abriel (Slingerlands, NY) recorded RPI's lone sack of the day. 

Mello took home the Robert Pritchard Award as the Most Outstanding Back while Joe Everett (Columbia, CT) won as the Most Outstanding Lineman.  Mello's 166 yards and four scores on 32 carries were both career highs while Everett tallied five tackles and forced a fumble.  

Antonopoulos ended up with 62 yards on the ground and 41 yards through the air.  Nick Bean (Middleboro, MA) hauled in three of WPI's six receptions for 31 yards. 

Hermann had an outstanding day for RPI.  The junior signal-caller completed 23-of-36 passes for 230 yards and added 69 yards on the ground, including three scores.  Steven Burpoe (Saranac Lake, NY) caught eight passes for 81 yards while Caswell nabbed seven catches for 41 yards and the touchdown.  

Both teams continue their Liberty League schedule next Saturday at 1pm.  WPI is at Union while RPI entertains Rochester. 

Sep. 1: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Coast Guard at Anna Maria
7:00 PM
Defiance at Baldwin Wallace
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Washington and Lee at Johns Hopkins
7:30 PM
Trine at Manchester
Live Stats
8:00 PM
Millsaps at Belhaven
Sep. 2: All times Eastern
TBA
Muhlenberg at Wilkes
6:00 PM
Mass-Dartmouth at Mount Ida
6:00 PM
Delaware Valley at Wesley
7:00 PM
N.C. Wesleyan at Stevenson
7:00 PM
Western New England at Springfield
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Fitchburg State at Becker
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Albright at Salisbury
7:00 PM
WPI at MIT
7:00 PM
Salve Regina at Worcester State
7:00 PM
Bridgewater State at Curry
7:00 PM
Morrisville State at St. Lawrence
10:00 PM
Adrian at Pacific
Sep. 3: All times Eastern
TBA
Endicott at Framingham State
TBA
Wisconsin Lutheran at Trinity Int'l
TBA
UW-Platteville at George Fox
Live Stats
12:00 PM
Washington U. at Carnegie Mellon
Live Stats
12:00 PM
Chicago at Case Western Reserve
12:00 PM
Husson at Alfred
12:00 PM
SUNY-Maritime at Maine Maritime
Video
12:00 PM
Cortland at Heidelberg
12:00 PM
Otterbein at Buffalo State
12:00 PM
Ursinus at Bethany
12:00 PM
Sewanee at Kenyon
1:00 PM
King's at Moravian
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Kean at Christopher Newport
1:00 PM
McDaniel at Catholic
1:00 PM
Lebanon Valley at Franklin and Marshall
1:00 PM
Plymouth State at Castleton
Live Stats
1:00 PM
RPI at Norwich
1:00 PM
Randolph-Macon at Dickinson
1:00 PM
Oberlin at Kalamazoo
1:00 PM
Emory and Henry at Ferrum
1:00 PM
Wooster at Washington and Jefferson
1:00 PM
Alfred State at William Paterson
1:00 PM
St. Vincent at Alma
1:00 PM
Concordia (Wis.) at Finlandia
1:00 PM
Olivet at St. John Fisher
1:00 PM
Rowan at Widener
1:00 PM
Hobart at Brockport
1:00 PM
Union at Ithaca
1:00 PM
Susquehanna at Lycoming
1:00 PM
Utica at Misericordia
1:00 PM
The Apprentice School at Methodist
1:00 PM
TCNJ at UW-Whitewater
1:30 PM
Wilmington at Bluffton
1:30 PM
Monmouth at Hope
1:30 PM
Bridgewater at Gettysburg
1:30 PM
Muskingum at Waynesburg
1:30 PM
Juniata at Grove City
2:00 PM
Lakeland at Carroll
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
UW-Stevens Point at St. Norbert
2:00 PM
Austin at Hendrix
2:00 PM
Maranatha Baptist at Martin Luther
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Millikin at Greenville
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Eureka at Knox
Live Stats
2:00 PM
MacMurray at Rockford
2:00 PM
Gustavus Adolphus at Westminster (Mo.)
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
UW-La Crosse at Luther
2:00 PM
Beloit at Lake Forest
2:00 PM
Concordia-Moorhead at Jamestown
2:00 PM
Crown at Hamline
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Carleton at Macalester
2:00 PM
Bethel at Dubuque
2:00 PM
St. Scholastica at St. John's
Live Stats
2:00 PM
St. Olaf at Grinnell
2:00 PM
Buena Vista at Mayville St.
2:00 PM
Simpson at UW-Stout
2:00 PM
Aurora at Carthage
2:00 PM
UW-River Falls at Coe
2:00 PM
Ripon at Concordia-Chicago
2:00 PM
Elmhurst at Loras
2:00 PM
Huntingdon at Louisiana College
2:00 PM
North Central (Ill.) at Robert Morris-Chicago
2:00 PM
Benedictine at Wheaton (Ill.)
2:00 PM
John Carroll at UW-Oshkosh
2:30 PM
Southern Virginia at Earlham
Live Stats
2:30 PM
Lawrence at Presentation
4:00 PM
La Verne at Puget Sound
Live Stats
4:00 PM
Central at Whitworth
5:00 PM
Hartwick at Western Connecticut
6:00 PM
Wabash at Albion
6:00 PM
Maryville (Tenn.) at Berry
6:00 PM
Augustana at Mount St. Joseph
6:00 PM
Thomas More at Franklin
Live Stats
6:00 PM
Hampden-Sydney at Averett
6:00 PM
Redlands at Trinity (Texas)
7:00 PM
Marietta at Denison
7:00 PM
Hiram at Westminster (Pa.)
7:00 PM
Thiel at Allegheny
7:00 PM
Capital at Wittenberg
7:00 PM
Shenandoah at Gallaudet
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Illinois College at Rose-Hulman
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Geneva at Frostburg State
7:00 PM
Nichols at Westfield State
7:00 PM
Greensboro at Guilford
Live Stats
7:00 PM
LaGrange at Birmingham-Southern
7:00 PM
Hardin-Simmons at Southwestern
7:00 PM
Anderson at North Park
7:00 PM
Ohio Wesleyan at Mary Hardin-Baylor
7:00 PM
East Texas Baptist at Texas Lutheran
7:10 PM
St. Thomas at UW-Eau Claire
Video Live Stats
7:30 PM
Hanover at Centre
8:00 PM
Willamette at Rhodes
8:00 PM
Cornell at Iowa Wesleyan
Live Stats
8:00 PM
Augsburg at Northwestern (Minn.)
Live Stats
8:00 PM
Southwestern Assemblies at Howard Payne
8:00 PM
Sul Ross State at UT-Permian Basin
Dec. 18: All times Eastern
Final
Mount Union 49, at St. Thomas 35
@ Salem, Va.
Box Score Recap Recap Photos