Football Upended by RPI in Transit Trophy Game on Homecoming

Corey Coogan

WORCESTER – Junior Ed Trimpert (Hillsboro, NJ) amassed 234 yards on 11-for-17 passing and five touchdowns and senior Sean Egan (Watervliet, NY) accounted for three of six WPI turnovers as RPI reclaimed the Transit Trophy with a 36-14 victory Saturday afternoon in Alumni Stadium.

Senior Corey Coogan (North Kingstown, RI) and junior Sam Malafronte (Abington, MA) were this year's Robert Pritchard Award winner for offense and defense, respectively.

After each side had a quick first possession, RPI senior Brandt Beck (Mohnton, PA) interrupted a 12-play, 7:09 drive with a 38-yard interception return beginning at the WPI 49. The guests needed only 1:17 and three plays to take advantage of the turnover as junior Danny Calabro (Farmingdale, NJ) took a five-yard pass from Triumpert into the end zone with 3:11 remaining in the first quarter.

Egan grabbed his first interception of the day the RPI 34 on the first play of the ensuing drive which led to another RPI score with 1:05 left in the frame. Senior Johnny Ramsdell's (Haverhill, MA) 26-yard reception capped the five-play, 66-yard drive.

The squads traded punts once more until WPI marched 52 yards, including a 17-yard TD by Coogan just over five minutes into the second. With less than a minute until the half, and five drives later, Senior Dereck Pacheco (Barnstable, MA) recovered a RPI fumble only to have junior Paul Marinan (Higganum, CT) recover a WPI fumble.

RPI punted the ball away to begin the second half and gained the ball back 1:51 later courtesy of another Egan pick. Senior Lou Garcia (Springfield, MA) forced a fumble and junior Brian Mahan (Ashland, MA) collected it in the end zone.

After four more quick drives, Beck caused a WPI fumble that was recovered by junior Cole Valinoti (St. James, NY). Troy's Engineers once again took advantage of the turnover with 41-yard and 33-yard passes by Trimpert and a score by junior Marc Meislahn (Monroe, NY). While the PAT attempt was thwarted, senior kicker Christian Kapp (Amawalk, NY) ran it in for two.

RPI added to its lead with another TD with a 15-yard strike hauled in by senior Nick Esposito (Wantagh, NY) 1:04 into the fourth. Egan then caused a third turnover with a pick at the RPI 14. Junior Rob Law (Concord, NH) scored on a 10-yard catch following a 10-play, 86-yard drive that lasted 5:49. WPI answered back as senior Blake Rice (North Branford, CT) hooked up with junior Erik Fyrer (Ipswich, MA) with 2:38 left in the game.

Rice threw for 272 yards on 29-of-48 attempts with a pair of scores. Sophomore Connor Field (Granby, CT) led the WPI rushers with 51 yards on 13 attempts and Coogan paced the receivers with 65 yards on six carries. Sophomore Sam Casey (Winchester, MA), sophomore Nick Ostrowski (Charlton, MA) and Garcia each made six stops as Ostrowski and sophomore Mike McGoff (Ashland, MA) each logged a sack. Juniors Luca Cerasani (Abington, MA) and Blayne Merchant (Sanderson, FL) also registered a tackle for-losss.

Senior Mike Tivinis (Middleton, MA) ran for 88 yards on 13 chances as Trimpert connected with five different receivers. Beck totaled 10 tackles, including two for-loss and a pick. Marinan also had two stops for-loss.

While the host Engineers enjoyed a 10:36-4:24 margin in time of possession in the first, they only held a 32:35-27:25 advantage at the end of the contest. RPI owned a 398-339 cushion in total offense.

The Boynton Hillers (1-1) entertain Becker at 6pm and RPI (2-) welcomes Western New England for a noon start Saturday.