Coccagnia, Frederique and Carey Lead Football to Big Season-Opening Win at Worcester State

WPI Football 2022

WORCESTER -- WPI quarterback Dante Coccagnia (East Syracuse, NY) threw for 304 yards and three scores and receiver Isaac Frederique (Methuen, MA) and running backs Hunter Carey (South Hadley, MA) and John Chau (Suffern, NY) all scored a pair of touchdowns to lead the Engineers football team to a convincing 58-21 road win over crosstown rival, Worcester State on Friday night at John Coughlin Memorial Field. 

WPI notches its fifth-straight win over Worcester State to lead the all-time series 19-8. The Engineers also notched their first road win in the series since 2015. 

Coccagnia went 17-for-23 without an interception. Frederique was his favorite target, pulling down five receptions for 147 yards with two scores. Preston Van Fleet (Marshfield, MA) added four catches for 53 yards with one touchdown and Douglas Cain (Jefferson, MA) notched three grabs for 52 yards. WPI's running game was led by Carey who racked up 157 yards on 19 attempts with two scores, while Chau carried the ball 13 times for 57 yards and two scores.

For Worcester State, Aaron-Moses Williams (Springfield, MA) threw for 212 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. Deion Osei-Sarpong (Holden, MA) had five receptions for 71 yards, while Dan DiVerdi (Sterling, MA) caught three passes for 44 yards including one touchdown. Amir Mells (Boston, MA) ran for 53 yards on 10 attempts, while Mike Loveless (Nashua, NH) scored the only TD on the ground for the Lancers. 

Jimmy Espinal (Salem, MA) and Harrison Kyriacou (Plainview, NY) led the WPI defensive unit, as Espinal led the Engineers with eight tackles and Kyriacou added seven with one sack. Gavin Chieff (Bernardsville, NJ) added an interception in the win. 

It was 14-7 WPI after one as Coccagnia connected with Frederique for a pair of touchdowns in the air. The first, a 36-yard pass, put the Engineers up 7-0, but Worcester State answered as Duah Jr. found DiVerdi for a 28-yard score to tie the game at 7-7. Coccagnia then capped a two-play drive with a 73-yard pass to Frederique, the longest for either player, as WPI led 14-7. 

The Engineers out-scored the Lancers 17-7 in the second quarter to pad a 31-14 lead at the break. Carey scored the first WPI points of the period, legging out an 18-yard score to make it 21-7. Worcester State answered with a one-yard touchdown from Loveless to cut the advantage to 21-14. 

WPI ended the half by out-scoring the Lancers 10-0. Brock Dubey (Dudley, MA) nailed a 39-yard field goal to push the score to 24-14 before Alec Beesmer (Kingston, NY) capped a nine-play drive with a two-yard touchdown just before the half to make it 31-14 WPI. 

WPI's offense continued to roll into the third quarter, tacking on two more scores to increase the lead to 31 points. Van Fleet caught a 29-yard pass from Coccagnia to make it 38-14, while Chau ran for a six-yard score to push it to 45-14. 

Carey added to the bulge early in the fourth quarter with his second touchdown, a six-yard run to make it 52-14. Worcester State added a score as Ke'Vaughn Davis (Utica, NY) caught a 7-yard pass from Moses-Williams, but WPI tacked on one more Chau touchdown, a 13-yard scramble, to set the final to 58-21. 

WPI continues 'Friday Night Lights' next week with a 7:00pm home opener against Endicott. Worcester State hits the road and will play at Union next Saturday at 1:00pm.