Beverly, MA --- WPI took a 21-0 lead into the middle of the third quarter, but hosts Endicott scored four straight touchdowns to shock the Engineers 28-21 in non-conference football on Friday evening at Hempstead Stadium.
Endicott senior running back John Kenney (Wilmington, MA) scored from six-yards out with twenty seconds remaining to break a 21-21 tie and finish off a comeback that mimicked WPI's come-from-behind victory against Worcester State a week ago.
In the third meeting all-time between the two sides and the first since 2004, WPI got two rushing touchdowns from Brandon Winn (Tewksbury, MA) and a touchdown pass from Dante Coccagnia (E. Syracuse, NY) to Tommy Emrick (Windham, NH) on the final play of the first half as they looked to stay undefeated against Endicott.
Winn's first score was set up on a muffed punt by the Gulls, giving WPI possession at the Endicott 13-yard line. Coccagnia found Emrick for ten yards on first down, before Winn punched the ball in on the next play.
Emrick and Coccagnia capped an 11-play, 68 yard drive at the end of the half with a 12-yard touchdown pass.
The WPI lead reached 21-0 when Winn found the end zone from eight yards out on WPI's first drive of the third quarter. They went 9 plays and gained 74 yards in 3:36. Winn finished the night with 47 yards rushing, while Zachary Levy (Bellingham, MA) gained 82 yards on 13 carries (6.3 avg.).
Making his collegiate debut, Coccagnia threw for 93 yards, finding his favorite target Emrick 7 times for 62 yards and a score.
Endicott got on the board with a one-yard rush by Anthony Caggianelli (Pelham, NH), set up by a 40-yard pass from Joe Leonard (Cumberland, RI) to Kobe Gaudette (Saco, ME).
It was the precursor to a fourth quarter in which Endicott (2-0) outscored the Engineers 21-0, gained 189 yards, and forced a pair of turnovers.
The Engineers were held to just 13 net yards in the fourth quarter, and all 13 came on their last-second pass attempt.
The Gulls tied the game with two long touchdown passes in the fourth quarter. After the second TD, a 32-yard pass from Clayton Marengi (Lynnfield, MA) to Shane Aylward (Tewksbury, MA), which knotted things at 21, Endicott got the ball back when Michael LeFebre (Methuen, MA) intercepted Coccagnia.
Caggianelli ripped off a 36-yard rush to put Endicott in position and Kenney punched in the game-winning score.
The Engineers (1-1) will return home for their first afternoon game of the year, a 2:30pm matchup with RPI next Saturday.
Endicott heads to Washington D.C. to play Catholic at 12pm the same day.