By Matt Noonan
As mentioned on D3Football.com, RPI and WPI will meet in Worcester tomorrow afternoon for the Transit Trophy, a tradition that was decided by the athletic directors of both schools after the 1979 contest.
RPI has won a majority of these meetings, while WPI’s most recent victories came in 2010 and 2011.
Once the “rivalry game” began, both teams alternated wins before the Engineers of RPI captured a majority of the contests in the 1980’s and 1990’s.
RPI won last season’s meeting, 39-17, thanks two touchdown passes from Mike Hermann, one of them going to Steven Burpoe, who finished the contest with nine catches for 100 yards. Both players have graduated, so WPI’s defense will be faced with a new challenge of defending quarterbacks Jeff Avery and Jessie Maynard, two signal callers that have combined for four touchdowns (three passing, one rushing).
The Engineers of RPI enter the contest on a three-game winning streak, while WPI will attempt to snap their two-game skid. WPI commenced their season with a win against Curry College under the lights before suffering a heartbreaking defeat a week later to Worcester State. Last weekend, the Engineers fell to Norwich University, a team RPI defeated in their season opener.
WPI’s Zach Grasis will be one of many players to watch tomorrow. The junior halfback leads the team with 378 yards on 74 carries and five touchdowns, while quarterbacks John Antonopoulos and Jacob Grills have combined for five touchdown passes, all of them to Ehab Hamdan.
Defensively, keep an eye on WPI’s Eric Lacroix, who has recorded 25 total tackles (23 solo), one interception and a forced fumble. Also, make sure to pay attention to RPI’s defense, which recorded six sacks last weekend against Castleton State.
All in all, it should be an exciting contest. Tomorrow is also WPI’s Homecoming, so expect a great crowd, too.
Quick Note: We will have a blog post on this game tomorrow afternoon, but for updates make sure to follow @NoontimeSports and @NoonSportsBlog, as well as @WPIAthletics and @WPIFootball.