WORCESTER – Senior wide receiver Brandon Eccher (Franklin, MA) ran back a punt 78 yards for a touchdown to spark a 21-14 come-from-behind win for WPI over visiting Union in a Liberty League game at Alumni Stadium.
It was head coach Chris Robertson's 100th win on Boynton Hill as a head coach. He racked up 75 as the baseball skipper from 2000 to 2005 to go with his 25 on the football sidelines.
Eccher, one of four WPI captains, finished the game with 5 catches for 43 yards for the Engineers (4-1, 1-1), who spotted the Dutchmen (1-4, 0-2) 14 first-half points.
The Engineers' defense, led by senior captain Brian Murtagh (Wayland, MA) had a game-high 15 tackles including four for loss, allowed just 92 yards in the second half after giving up 142 in the first half.
Senior quarterback Dan Eckler (Stoughton, MA) threw for 134 yards and a touchdown on 12 of 20 passing, while also running for 41 yards and score.
The winning score came on a 14-yard, play-action strike from Eckler to senior captain Steven Thulin (Walpole, MA) on a seam route early in the fourth quarter.
Eckler's 10-yard quarterback keep up the middle, capped a 15-play, 79-yard drive immediately following a Union three-and-out, which tied the game 14-14.
In their first possession, the Engineers ran into some bad luck as Eckler's pass intended for freshman Sean McAllen (Prospect, CT) hit an official and popped into the air before being intercepted for a pick-six by senior cornerback Justin Waller (Tenafly, NJ) up the near sideline.
McAllen ran for 42 yards on 12 carries, while also hauling in two passes for 13 yards. Classmates Connor Field (Granby, CT) and Mike Montano (North Haven, CT) added 37 and 28 yards on the ground respectively while Alex Domond (Cambridge, MA) added three receptions for 48 yards
Union, as is their game plan week-to-week, relied heavily on the running game. Senior Jermaine Carn (West Palm Beach, FL) ran for 75 yards and a score on 22 carries, while junior Connor Kinzelman (Castleton-on-Hudson, NY) ran for 139 yards on 22 carries. The duo along with fullback Tom Jensen (Norwell, MA) accounted for all 241 yards of the guests total offense.
Sophomore Luca Cerasani (Abington, MA) (7 tackles) recorded the games only sack, dropping Union quarterback Blake Geller (Demerest, NJ) on a 2nd-and-1 play from the WPI 34 on the Dutchmen's final drive.
Sophomore linebacker Sam Malafronte (Abington, MA) also had seven tackles, while seniors Jason Lamb (Plymouth, MA) and captain Kevin Lynch (East Bridgewater, MA) recorded five tackles apiece. Junior Jake Lombardo (Brick, NJ) posted a team-best 10 tackles, while senior Jack Harasimowicz (Gardner, MA) amassed eight tackles and Hunter Ordukhanyan (Washington Township, NJ) recovered a fumble and returned it 30 yards after WPI had driven deep into Union territory in the second quarter.
Both teams are home next week. WPI entertains Merchant Marine at 1pm while Union entertains Springfield at noon.
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