October 29, 2011

Western New England shocks Endicott 40-37 in the snow to claim NEFC Boyd Division title

More news about: Western New England
11-20-10 Mike Graham (1 action)
Mike Graham returned two kickoffs for touchdowns in a 40-37 win over Endicott.
Box Score

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Junior Mike Graham (Norwalk, CT) returned a pair of kickoffs 85 and 83 yards for touchdowns as Western New England shocked previously undefeated Endicott 40-37 to capture its first New England Football Conference (NEFC) Boyd Division title Saturday afternoon (Oct. 29).

The Golden Bears improved to 8-1 overall and 6-0 in the division following their seventh consecutive victory, which tied the school record set last year.

Western New England has one game remaining in the regular season at UMass Dartmouth next Saturday (Nov. 5), but will host Bogan Division winner Framingham State in the NEFC Championship game on November 12.

Endicott, which came into the contest as the top-ranked New England Division III team, falls to 8-1 and 5-1 in Boyd action.

In a game marked by big plays by both teams, Graham provided the heroics with his spectacular performance. He has four kickoff returns for touchdowns this season and six for his career.

Despite allowing 505 yards, Western New England's defense forced four turnovers that proved crucial in the final outcome. Three miscues led to touchdowns while junior cornerback Corey Brown (Worcester, MA) intercepted a pass in the end zone to snuff out another scoring threat.

Five of Western New England touchdowns were from 27 yards or longer.

Snow started falling at game time and by the start of the second half the field was covered by the white stuff. Contest management workers did a nice job helping the officials, players, and statisticians by clearing lines throughout the third and fourth quarters.

The game stated on an ominous note for Western New England when a high snap on a punt attempt went 31 yards into the end zone for a safety just 90 seconds into the contest.

Endicott then fumbled a punt, which was recovered by freshman Adam Dunne (Holyoke, MA) at the visitors 39. Three plays later senior quarterback Bryce Brown (Guilford, CT) fired a 27-yard scoring pass to sophomore tight end Dan LaNoir (Queensbury, NY) at the 9:18 mark for an unusual 6-2 lead.

The Gulls missed a great scoring opportunity after moving to the WNE 4 when a holding penalty and Brown's third interception of the season killed the drive.

The slippery field conditions gave kickers from both teams trouble. Freshman Nick Fox-Edele (Springfield, MA) missed an extra-point-attempt in the first quarter, then EC sophomore Dylan Rushe (Palos Verdes, CA ) (who entered the game with a conference best 13 field goals), misfired on a 27-yarder on Endicott's first possession of the second stanza.

Endicott finally scored its first touchdown when senior quarterback Phil Konopka (Shelton, CT)  scored on a one-yard run with 10:43 remaining before halftime. The play before Konopka had a 40-yard completion to junior receiver Mike Murphy (Chelmsford, MA) who finished with six receptions for 131 yards.

There were three touchdowns in the final 2:42 of the quarter beginning when senior running back JJ Jachym (Milford, CT) ran nine yards to cap a 10-play, 75-yard drive that featured him making an important first down on a fourth-and-one at the 50. The Golden Bears missed the two-point conversion on an incomplete pass by Bryce Brown.

Konopka quickly led EC on a seven-play, 60-yard march that ended when he fired a nine-yard scoring pass to senior receiver Mike Fimani (Melrose, MA) with 49 seconds left before the break.

Graham took the ensuing kickoff, raced down the right sideline, and cut across the middle for a sensational 85-yard score that gave Western New England a 19-16 margin at intermission.

With heavy snow falling to start the second half, the Golden Bears defense again sparkled when sophomore linebacker Brandon Orsmby (Windsor, CT) picked-off a pass that bounced off Fimiani and returned it 55 yards to the 30.

On the second play, freshman running back Kevin Cook (Hamburg, NJ) (21 carries, 75 yards) ran 30 yards for a 26-16 advantage with 8:41 remaining in the third period.

Endicott again came back with four seconds left in the quarter closing the margin to 26-23 when senior running back Mike Lane (Medfield, MA) scooted seven yards for a touchdown.

Graham then delivered perhaps the biggest play of the season with an 83-yard return to give the hosts another 10-point cushion at 33-23 on the final play of the quarter.

The Gulls took advantage of a WNE turnover when senior Izzy Abraham (Canton, MA) recovered a fumbled punt return early in the fourth quarter.

Konopka completed three straight passes, the last a 20-yard scoring strike to senior receiver Ryan Carino (Stratford, CT) at the 13:23 mark. A bad snap forced Rushe to attempt a pass on the extra-point attempt which failed as EC got within 33-29.

Endicott then turned the ball over again when senior Joe Cicarella (Guilford, CT) recovered a fumble on a punt return. Brown lofted 39-yard scoring pass to freshman receiver Andrew Walz (Groton, CT) on the first play to give the Golden Bears a 40-29 lead with 11:33 remaining in the game.

Once again Endicott rallied when Konopka finished a 14-play, 80-yard drive with a 19-yard score to Carino (5 catches, 55 yards) with 8:06 left.

Senior defensive end Kevin Eagan (West Hartford, CT) then recovered his second fumble of the game to give the Gulls momentum at their own 41 at the 6:29 mark, but this time WNE stopped a fourth-and-six attempt at the 36.

Western New England then ran out the final 4:41 helped in part by a pair of clutch third-down conversions and a pair of ill-advised EC penalties.

Konopka was brilliant in a losing effort completing 38-of-53 passes for 407 yards. Lane finished with a game-high 128 yards rushing while Fimani had 12 catches for 110 yards. Senior tight end Taylor Allen (Westboro, MA) had seven catches for 57 yards. Eagan had a great performance with 15 tackles, including five for losses and a sack.

Western New England totaled only 255 yards, but controlled the ball for 32 minutes, 17 seconds.

Brown accounted for 189 yards by completing 9-of-17 passes for 144 yards with no interceptions. He also ran for 45 yards on 16 carries.

Graham finished with 229 return yards on four kickoffs while Walz had three receptions for 82 yards. Junior free safety Phil Tsopanides (Fairfield, CT) compiled 12 tackles while Miller and Ormsby each contributed eight stops.

Junior defensive end James Georges (Stamford, CT) added seven tackles and two-and-a-half sacks.

Sophomore defensive tackle Kevin Soule (Medfield, MA) also chipped-in with seven stops, including five against Lane who was a former teammate at Medfield High School.
comments powered by Disqus
Oct. 18: All times Eastern
Final
MIT 52, at Nichols 20
Box Score Recap
Final
at Colby 47, Hamilton 14
Box Score Recap Recap
Final - OT
Western Connecticut 20, at Fitchburg State 14
Box Score
Final
at Maine Maritime 13, Coast Guard 7
Box Score Photos
Final
at Salve Regina 49, Curry 6
Box Score Photos
Final
Westfield State 32, at Massachusetts Maritime 16
Box Score Recap
Final
at Juniata 38, Ursinus 10
Box Score
Final
Trinity (Conn.) 17, at Bowdoin 10
Box Score Photos
Final
at Husson 12, Gallaudet 6
Box Score Recap
Final
at Middlebury 35, Bates 6
Box Score
Final
at Mount Ida 26, Castleton State 21
Box Score Recap
Final
Kean 30, at William Paterson 24
Box Score Recap
Final
at Cortland State 35, Southern Virginia 0
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Franklin and Marshall 31, McDaniel 7
Box Score
Final
Ohio Wesleyan 23, at DePauw 16
Box Score
Final
Susquehanna 24, at Moravian 21
Box Score Photos
Final
Washington and Jefferson 34, at Bethany 3
Box Score Recap Recap
Final
Shenandoah 24, at Catholic 14
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
Concordia (Wis.) 49, at Trine 46
Box Score Recap
Final
at Hampden-Sydney 49, Emory and Henry 27
Box Score
Final
at Washington and Lee 28, Randolph-Macon 25
Box Score
Final
at Carnegie Mellon 21, Grove City 10
Box Score Photos
Final
at Guilford 35, Bridgewater (Va.) 28
Box Score Recap Recap Photos
Final
at Widener 59, Wilkes 12
Box Score
Final
Methodist 73, at LaGrange 28
Box Score
Final
Maryville (Tenn.) 39, at Greensboro 14
Box Score Photos
Final
Brockport State 45, at Alfred 42
Box Score Recap Recap
Final
Huntingdon 35, at Ferrum 16
Box Score
Final - 2OT
at Frostburg State 38, Ithaca 37
Box Score Recap
Final
Waynesburg 26, at Westminster (Pa.) 21
Box Score
Final
at Muhlenberg 47, Gettysburg 6
Box Score Recap
Final
Wabash 52, at Kenyon 10
Box Score Recap
Final
at Salisbury 59, Hartwick 49
Box Score Photos
Final
at Bridgewater State 24, Plymouth State 0
Box Score Recap
Final
St. John Fisher 42, at Utica 7
Box Score Recap
Final
King's 45, at FDU-Florham 17
Final
at Rochester 34, RPI 20
Box Score Recap
Final
at Berry 46, Hendrix 24
Box Score Recap
Cancelled
Maranatha Baptist at Washington U.
Final
at Northwestern (Minn.) 35, Greenville 28
Box Score Recap
Final - OT
Amherst 33, at Wesleyan 30
Box Score
Final
at Tufts 27, Williams 20
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Case Western Reserve 33, Geneva 19
Box Score Photos
Final
Franklin 38, at Mount St. Joseph 28
Box Score
Final
at Thomas More 49, St. Vincent 7
Box Score Recap
Final
Baldwin Wallace 56, at Wilmington 17
Box Score Photos
Final
at Mount Union 58, Heidelberg 17
Box Score Recap Photos Photos
Final
Rose-Hulman 28, at Defiance 12
Box Score
Final
at John Carroll 80, Marietta 0
Box Score Recap
Final
at Anderson 37, Hanover 35
Box Score
Final
Bluffton 24, at Earlham 22
Box Score Recap
Final
Otterbein 32, at Muskingum 20
Box Score
Final
at Springfield 48, Merchant Marine 21
Box Score
Final
Ohio Northern 38, at Capital 31
Box Score
Final - OT
at Hope 42, Olivet 35
Box Score Recap Recap Photos Photos
Final
at Kalamazoo 45, Alma 24
Box Score Recap
Final
at Rowan 31, Morrisville State 0
Box Score Recap
Final
Oberlin 37, at Allegheny 9
Box Score Recap
Final
Lakeland 34, at Rockford 7
Box Score Recap
Final
at Bethel 52, Chicago 21
Box Score Photos
Final
Wisconsin Lutheran 59, at Concordia-Chicago 15
Box Score
Final
Centre 31, at Sewanee 3
Box Score
Final
St. John's 29, at Gustavus Adolphus 19
Box Score Photos
Final
St. Olaf 17, at Carleton 13
Box Score Photos
Final
Concordia-Moorhead 41, at Augsburg 21
Box Score
Final
Monmouth 31, at Lake Forest 7
Box Score
Final
Birmingham-Southern 16, at Millsaps 14
Box Score Photos
Final
Coe 35, at Simpson 21
Box Score Recap
Final
at Buena Vista 48, Luther 41
Box Score
Final
Macalester 28, at Beloit 21
Box Score
Final
at St. Norbert 13, Ripon 10
Box Score Recap
Final
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 45, Louisiana College 24
Box Score Recap
Final
Augustana 7, at Illinois Wesleyan 2
Box Score Recap
Final
at Central 41, Loras 14
Box Score Recap
Final
MacMurray 58, at Eureka 27
Box Score
Final
at UW-La Crosse 21, UW-Stout 7
Box Score Recap
Final
Illinois College 35, at Grinnell 10
Box Score
Final
at Iowa Wesleyan 37, Westminster (Mo.) 21
Box Score
Final
Benedictine 26, at Aurora 0
Box Score Recap
Final
St. Thomas 62, at Hamline 24
Box Score Recap
Final
Norwich 37, at Becker 20
Box Score Recap
Final
at Worcester State 50, Mass-Dartmouth 43
Box Score Recap
Final
at Hardin-Simmons 19, Sul Ross State 12
Box Score Photos Photos
Final
at Wartburg 42, Dubuque 9
Box Score
Final
at UW-Oshkosh 37, UW-River Falls 7
Box Score
Final
Delaware Valley 35, at Stevenson 13
Box Score Recap
Final
SUNY-Maritime 40, at Anna Maria 12
Box Score Recap
Final
Wittenberg 42, at Wooster 7
Box Score Recap
Final
Wesley 70, at Menlo 2
Box Score Recap Photos Photos
Final
St. Scholastica 49, at Martin Luther 14
Box Score
Final
Austin 27, at Southwestern Assemblies 20
Box Score Photos
Final
UW-Whitewater 52, at UW-Eau Claire 3
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at North Central (Ill.) 53, Carthage 23
Box Score Recap
Final
at UW-Platteville 31, UW-Stevens Point 13
Box Score Recap Photos Photos
Final
at Elmhurst 28, North Park 0
Final
at Cornell 49, Knox 29
Box Score
Final
at Montclair State 28, TCNJ 7
Box Score Recap
Final
Western New England 36, at Union 14
Box Score Recap
Final
at Carroll 76, Lawrence 7
Box Score
Final
at Pacific 31, Pacific Lutheran 28
Box Score Recap
Final
at Cal Lutheran 41, Pomona-Pitzer 17
Box Score Photos
Final
at Willamette 45, Lewis and Clark 7
Box Score Recap
Final
Puget Sound 33, at George Fox 14
Box Score Photos
Final
at Linfield 65, Whitworth 13
Box Score Recap
Final
at Adrian 47, Albion 26
Box Score Recap Recap Photos
Final
Christopher Newport 38, at Averett 7
Box Score
Final
at Alfred State 10, Erie CC 3
Box Score Photos
Final
at Crown 30, Minnesota-Morris 27
Box Score
Final
at Trinity (Texas) 22, Southwestern 19
Box Score
Final
Howard Payne 54, at East Texas Baptist 53
Box Score
Final
Wheaton (Ill.) 28, at Millikin 3
Box Score
Final
at Whittier 36, La Verne 17
Box Score Photos Photos
Final
at Redlands 31, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 7
Box Score Recap
Final
at Chapman 59, Occidental 21
Box Score Photos
Oct. 24: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Gettysburg at Johns Hopkins
Oct. 25: All times Eastern
8:00 PM
North Central (Ill.) at Wheaton (Ill.)
Live Stats Video Audio
2:00 PM
Case Western Reserve at Washington and Jefferson
Preview Live Stats Video Audio
1:30 PM
Grove City at Thomas More
Live Stats Audio Audio
1:30 PM
Wilmington at Mount Union
Preview Live Stats Audio Tickets
1:30 PM
Capital at John Carroll
Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Wesley at Virginia-Lynchburg
Audio
1:00 PM
Hampden-Sydney at Shenandoah
Preview Live Stats Video Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Oberlin at Wabash
Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
St. John Fisher at Alfred State
Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Kenyon at Wittenberg
Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
Misericordia at Delaware Valley
Live Stats Audio
3:00 PM
UW-Platteville at UW-Stout
Live Stats Video Audio Audio
2:10 PM
St. Thomas at Bethel
Live Stats Video Audio
12:00 PM
Hobart at RPI
Live Stats Audio
2:00 PM
UW-Oshkosh at UW-Whitewater
Live Stats Audio Audio
2:00 PM
Luther at Wartburg
Live Stats Video Audio
2:00 PM
Mary Hardin-Baylor at Texas Lutheran
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
Hamline at Concordia-Moorhead
Live Stats Audio
2:00 PM
UW-La Crosse at UW-Stevens Point
Live Stats Video Audio Audio
2:00 PM
Carleton at St. John's
Live Stats Video Audio Audio
4:00 PM
Linfield at Lewis and Clark
Live Stats Video Audio
4:00 PM
Willamette at Pacific Lutheran
Live Stats Audio
Oct. 24: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Gettysburg at Johns Hopkins
Oct. 18: All times Eastern
Final
Wheaton (Ill.) 28, at Millikin 3
Box Score
Final
Wesley 70, at Menlo 2
Box Score Recap Photos Photos
Final
Wittenberg 42, at Wooster 7
Box Score Recap
Final
Delaware Valley 35, at Stevenson 13
Box Score Recap
Final
at Mount Union 58, Heidelberg 17
Box Score Recap Photos Photos
Final
at Thomas More 49, St. Vincent 7
Box Score Recap
Final
at John Carroll 80, Marietta 0
Box Score Recap
Final
at Hampden-Sydney 49, Emory and Henry 27
Box Score
Final
Wabash 52, at Kenyon 10
Box Score Recap
Final
St. John Fisher 42, at Utica 7
Box Score Recap
Final
Washington and Jefferson 34, at Bethany 3
Box Score Recap Recap
Final
at North Central (Ill.) 53, Carthage 23
Box Score Recap
Final
UW-Whitewater 52, at UW-Eau Claire 3
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at UW-Platteville 31, UW-Stevens Point 13
Box Score Recap Photos Photos
Final
at Wartburg 42, Dubuque 9
Box Score
Final
St. Thomas 62, at Hamline 24
Box Score Recap
Final
at Bethel 52, Chicago 21
Box Score Photos
Final
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 45, Louisiana College 24
Box Score Recap
Final
Concordia-Moorhead 41, at Augsburg 21
Box Score
Final
St. John's 29, at Gustavus Adolphus 19
Box Score Photos
Final
at Linfield 65, Whitworth 13
Box Score Recap
Final
at Pacific 31, Pacific Lutheran 28
Box Score Recap

What We're Reading