By Brian Willwerth
MILTON, MA – This had all the makings of a terrific matchup: the top two teams in the New England Football Conference’s Boyd Division, a big crowd, high energy all around the field. If only the game had lived up to the hype.
Instead, Endicott College [5-0] fired on all cylinders in a 55-7 trouncing of Curry College [3-2] Saturday night on the Colonels’ home field.
Sometimes, numbers can be deceptive. This is not one of those times. Gulls’ senior quarterback Phil Konopka threw for 385 yards and five touchdowns. Endicott had 250 yards rushing.
To put that in perspective, Curry was held to 235 yards of total offense.
“When you’ve got a senior quarterback, that’s played with a senior line, that’s played with a senior running back, you should be pretty good on offense,” said Endicott head coach J.B. Wells.
The Gulls started off quickly and never looked back. Konopka’s first touchdown pass was a 42-yarder to Mike Fimiani, who broke through the defense and was in the clear after making the catch. Later in the quarter, after an Endicott drive was kept alive by a roughing the kicker penalty, Konopka threw a shovel pass to Mike Lane just as the quarterback was about to get nailed. Lane did the rest, weaving through the defenders and into the end zone to make it 14-0. Then, after a deep pass to Mike Murphy, Taylor Allen caught a two-yard touchdown to make it 21-0. The Gulls upped their lead to 28-9 on a three-yard run by Mike Wheeler – a drive that featured another deep pass to Murphy.
All of that was in the first quarter. The rout was on.
For much of the night, it seemed like the Endicott receivers were several steps behind the Curry secondary.
“When it’s there, we tell ‘em to take it,” said Wells. “If the safety was playing deeper, we’d have to go to a lot of different things, but the safety wasn’t playing very high, so it was bombs away.”
Curry got on the board in the second quarter when Bruce Vieira took a swing pass and raced into the end zone. But that would be the lone score of the night for the home team. Endicott responded with a 55-yard touchdown pass from Konopka to Murphy. The Gulls added a field goal to make it 38-7 at the intermission.
In the second half, Konopka’s fifth touchdown pass of the night went to Ryan Carino. Another Lane touchdown and a 55-yard field goal by Dylan Rushe accounted for the final score. Lane finished with 277 total yards. Murphy caught seven balls for 202 yards.
While Endicott was going full throttle, it was a night of miscues and missed opportunities for Curry. There were several fumbled snaps. And in the first quarter, they executed a flea-flicker to perfection, only to have a wide-open receiver drop it in the end zone. It was one of those nights for the home team.
Quarterbacks Anthony Carnevale and Mark Gilson combined to go 16-for-35 for 140 yards. Phil Bigelow rushed for 101.
“I thought Curry kind of shot themselves in the foot a little bit, but I thought in the second half, we kind of closed the door on them with our defense,” said Wells.
Next week, Endicott plays at Nichols, while Curry travels to Western New England.