WPI Football Drops First-Ever Meeting with Montclair State

Ethan Catania - 2021 WPI Football

Montclair, NJ --- Makai Mickens (Red Bank, NJ) rushed for 120 yards and two touchdowns and Ja'Quill Burch (Elizabeth, NJ) threw for a pair of scores as host Montclair State defeated WPI 31-10 in the first-ever football match-up between the two schools on Saturday afternoon. 

With the result both teams wrap-up their respective non-conference schedules with identical 1-3 records. 

Trailing 14-0 late in the second quarter, WPI dented the scoring column when Brandon Winn (Tewksbury, MA) rushed in from three yards to cut the deficit to one score but the Red Hawks answered back quickly with a score of their own to increase the advantage back to 14 just before intermission. 

WPI's Bryce Wade (Modesto, CA) accounted for the only points of the third quarter with a 35-yard field goal midway through the stanza.  However, the host pulled away with 10 points in the fourth quarter and then thwarted a late WPI drive with fumble recover near the goal line late in the game. 

Quarterback Brendan Olexa (Hatboro, PA) was 14-for-33 passing for WPI for 164 yards and added 25 yards on the ground.  Wide receiver Ethan Farrah (Grafton, MA) hauled in five balls for a career-best 89 yards and also threw a 32-yard pass on a trick play. Isaac Frederique (Methuen, MA) caught three balls for 58 yards while Hunter Carey (South Hadley, MA) rushed for 25 yards and Wynn finished with 20. 

Ethan Catania (Amesbury, MA) led the Crimson and Gray defensive effort with a career-high 12 tackles, including nine solo stops.  Zach Newberg (Barrington, RI) accounted for 2 1/2 tackles for loss while Derrick Doncaster (Kingston, MA) forced a fumble and chipped in with four tackles. 

Reilly Nelson (Kinnelon, NJ) and Eric Cowan (Lakehurst, NJ) caught touchdown passes for the Red Hawks.  Burch ended the day 16-of-26 through the air for 201 yards and the two touchdowns.  Brennan Ray (Woodbine, NJ) paced the hosts with 10 tackles and Mike Ramos (Kenilworth, NJ) recovered a fumble and notched nine tackles. 

The teams posted nearly identical team stat totals with Montclair State enjoying a slight edge in first downs (21-20) and time of possession (30:01-29:59) but the Red Hawks held a healthy advantage in total yards (386-264) and caused three of the game's four turnovers. 

Both teams begin their respective conference schedules next Saturday with 1pm kickoffs.  WPI returns to the Metro New York are to square off with Merchant Marine while Montclair State entertains nationally-ranked Salisbury.