Turnovers Doom Football in Liberty League Road Loss at Rochester

Taylor Wilson

Rochester, NY --- The University of Rochester scored four touchdowns after takeaways and defeated WPI, 42-15, in Division III football at Edwin Fauver Stadium. 

WPI lost five fumbles and Rochester intercepted two passes, returning one for a touchdown. At the other end of the field, Rochester had two bad snaps on punts. The first led to a WPI safety, the first score of the game. The second resulted in a fumble and set up a four-play, 17-yard drive for a WPI TD.

Rochester evened its record at 4-4 overall, 3-3 in the Liberty League. WPI is 2-7 overall, 1-5 in the league. 

Dean Kennedy (Scituate, MA) threw three TD passes to Ken Apostolakos (Pittsford, NY) – all in the second half – as the Yellowjackets extended a 14-8 halftime lead. Kennedy finished with 12 completions in 26 attempts for 136 yards. He was sacked three times. Apostolakos had five catches for 49 yards. 

Rochester finished with 303 yards in offense – 92 on the ground and 211 through the air. WPI rushed for 156 yards and passed for 129 more. 

The latter stage of the first quarter set the tone for the game. Rochester lined up to punt from its own 18. The ball was snapped over the head of Mike Carson (Tonawanda, NY) and through the back of the end zone for a safety.  After the free kick and a personal foul penalty, WPI started from the Rochester 40 with 5:13 left in the first quarter. John Antonopoulos (Cambridge, MA) passed to Trev Rancourt (Nashua, NH) for a 15-yard gain. Zach Cicero jarred the ball loose from Rancourt and Ani Okeke Ewo recovered for Rochester at the 25. Kennedy directed a 12-play, 75-yard drive that ended with an eight-yard TD run by Derek Wagar (Palmyra, NY) and Alex Antonucci's (New York, NY) PAT. 

Tony Ortega (Rochester, NY) intercepted an Antonopoulos pass and returned it 15 yards for a TD to give Rochester a 14-2 lead with 8:50 left in the second quarter. Near the end of the quarter, Wager fumbled a punt return  at his own 17 and Taylor Wilson (LaGrangeville, NY) recovered for the Engineers. Gallagher Hogan (Portsmouth, NH) ended a three-play drive with an 11-yard TD run. Mitch Lewis' (Farmington, CT) PAT was blocked and caught by Shola Fakorode. He was tackled at the 40-yard line. 

Rochester recovered a fumbled punt return by Mitch McCline early in the second quarter and Brandon Young (Somerset, TX) ran one yard for a TD on the third play of the drive for a 21-8 lead. Rochester recovered two straight fumbles - one on a handoff and another on a punt return. Four plays after the punt return takeaway, Kennedy hit Apostolakos for a three-yard TD. The lead grew to 35-8 on Kennedy's six-yard TD pass to Apostolakos with 59 seconds left in the third quarter. The Yellowjackets drove 94 yards in 13 plays for the score. 

Chris Turner (Mancester, CT) led the Engineers with 58 yards on 15 carries. Hogan rushed 11 times for 55 yards. Antonopoulos rushed for 26 yards and passed for 129 more. He hit 13 of 31 passes with two interceptions and one TD – a six-yard scoring pass to Rancourt in the final minute of play. Rancourt caught six balls for 82 yards. 

Quinton Mitchell (Clay, NY) led Rochester with 50 yards on 14 caries. Kennedy rushed 10 times for 35 yards. Garrett Kesel (Avon, NY) caught four passes for 50 yards. He also threw a 38-yard option pass during the 94-yard TD drive. 

Defensively, Rochester had six pass breakups – three by Kobie Hamm (Staten Island, NY), five fumble recoveries – two by Mender and five tackles for loss. WPI had nine tackles for loss and seven pass breakups – three by Pat Finn (Kingston, MA), two each by Michael Grasis (East Brookfield, MA) and Mitch McClune (Pembroke, MA).

Release Courtesy Rochester Sports Information