Mike Ingraffia’s second and final touchdown pass with 2:50 remaining in the fourth quarter brought the hosts within one score, but that would be the closest they would get as RPI held onto defeat Endicott College, 20-14, in the opening round of the 2021 NCAA Division III Tournament.
With the win, the Engineers secured a date with SUNY Cortland, which fended off a late rally by Springfield College in its opening round contest.
George Marinopoulos completed 18 of 27 passes for 175 yards and three touchdowns with two scores landing in the hands of Vinnie McDonald, who led all receivers with seven grabs for 122 yards.
McDonald caught his team’s first and final score – the initial touchdown with 2:07 remaining in the first quarter provided the visiting Engineers with a lead that would expand to 14-0 early in the second quarter when Marinopoulos connected with Peter Lombardi for a four-yard score.
Endicott would respond on the ensuing possession with a 66-yard touchdown strike over the middle from Ingraffia to Geoffrey Ingrando to pull the hosts within one score (14-7) at the break.
RPI would push ahead, 20-7, midway through the third quarter when Marinopoulos located McDonald on a fade pattern in the end zone to provide the Engineers with a two-score cushion that would be reduced to a six-point lead when Ingraffia connected with Kobe Gaudette for a 20-yard touchdown with 2:50 remaining.
Endicott attempted an onside kick on the ensuing possession, which was quickly recovered by the RPI special teams.
RPI concluded the game with 338 yards of total offense on 74 plays while Endicott tallied 190 on 48 plays.
Saturday’s game marked the first time Endicott has hosted an NCAA Tournament game.
University of New Haven 38, Bentley University 13: Connor Degenhardt registered four touchdowns, including three on the ground as the Chargers beat the Falcons for the second time in three weeks to secure a second round NCAA Division II meeting with top-ranked Kutztown University next Saturday, November 27 with kick off scheduled for 1 p.m.
Degenhardt completed 8 of 11 passes for 144 yards and one touchdown while rushing for 38 yards on 11 carries and three scores.
New Haven’s Zach Mauro led all rushers with 119 yards on 33 carries while Dev Holmes recorded four catches for 104 yards and one touchdown.
The Chargers erased a 6-3 deficit late in the second quarter with a pair of touchdowns from Degenhardt that provided New Haven with a 17-6 lead at the break that would morph into a 24-6 advantage after three quarters.
Despite the setback, Bentley’s Stephen Sturm concluded his career by tossing his 58th touchdown while eclipsing 8,000 passing yards.
Delaware Valley 62, Anna Maria College 10:Justin McMillian returned an 82-yard kickoff to start the game while Ryan Kent converted a 37-yard field goal as the AMCATs fell to the Aggies in their first-ever NCAA postseason contest.
Delaware Valley’s Daquan Bohannan and Casey Decker combined for three touchdown passes while Julian White rushed for a game-high 101 yards on four carries and one score.
Muhlenberg College 45, Framingham State 0: Michael Hnatkowsky completed 27 of 36 passes for 352 yards and four touchdowns as the Mules rolled past the Rams in the opening round of the postseason. Michael Brooks led Framingham State’s defense with nine total tackles, including eight solo stops.
SUNY Cortland 26, Springfield College 21: Patrick Ladas capped a 17-play, 75 yard drive with a one-yard touchdown run with 2:43 remaining, but that would be the closest the Pride would get to the Red Dragons hung onto win the 34th meeting between the two schools.
Ladas rushed fro a game-high 88 yards on 28 carries and three schools while Ryan Deguire added 44 yards on six carries.
Jaden Alfanostjohn rushed for a pair of first half scores with his second quarter touchdown providing the hosts with a lead they would not relinquish.