Football Drops Annual Transit Trophy Contest

Tommy Emrick - WPI Football 2022

Troy, NY --- The RPI football team captured its 28th Transit Trophy with a 37-0 win over WPI in the rivalry game on Saturday night at Ecav Stadium. The Troy Engineers held the Worcester Engineers to just 105 yards of total offense, including -14 rush yards, racking up eight sacks, including three from Nate Sicard (Taunton, MA). 

RPI now leads the all-time series against WPI 62-48-5, including a 28-13-1 record since the trophy was first awarded in 1980. 

Starting QB Matt Petercuskie (Centerville, MA) was 9-for-17 for 105 yards and two touchdowns for the hosts, while back-up Jake Kazanowsky (Toms River, NJ) completed his only pass for 45 yards and a score. Peter Lombardi (Stony Point, NY) had four catches for 38 yards and two scores, while D.J. Palmer (Hart, CA) had one catch for 45 yards and a touchdown. Dylan Burnett (Hopewell Junction, NY) rushed for 130 yards on 16 attempts with a touchdown. 

Sicard led the RPI defensive unit with his three sacks, while Blake Terrizzi (Pottstown, PA) added a pair. Conner Noyes (Dalton, MA) led the team with nine total tackles, two for loss. 

WPI's Dante Coccagnia (E. Syracuse, NY) was 12-for-21 for 75 yards with an interception. Alec Beesmer (Kingston, NY) finished 7-for-11 for 41 yards and an INT. Tommy Emrick (Windham, NH) had eight catches for 51 yards, while Isaac Frederique (Methuen, MA) had four catches for 40 yards. 

For WPI's defense, Evan Wertz (Franklin, MA) was the highlight, leading the team with 14 total tackles and a blocked field goal. Gavin Chieff (Bernardsville, NJ) added 11 tackles in the loss.  Harrison Kyriacou (Plainview, NY) chipped with eight stops, including one for lose for seven yards. 

RPI held WPI to 60 yards of offense in the entire first half, building a 20-0 lead before the halftime break. The Troy Engineers started the scoring on their first drive of the game, an 11-play, 67-yard effort culminating in a 10-yard pass from Petercuskie to Lombardi for a 7-0 advantage. 

After forcing a WPI punt on the ensuing drive, RPI went 75 yards for its next score, as Petercuskie again connected with Lombardi, this time for a 21-yard score. The extra point was blocked by WPI's Wertz, but the Troy Engineers led 13-0 after the first quarter. 

RPI scored again on its first drive of the second quarter, going 60-yards to extend its lead to 20-0. The hosts kept the ball on the ground with the big play of the drive coming on an 18-yard from Burnett, while hitting pay dirt on a two-yard run from Sterling Walker-Sutton (Stewartsville, NJ) for the score. 

RPI's 20-0 lead held into the half, as both teams saw their offenses fizzle in the waning minutes of the second quarter. 

The hosts tacked on another touchdown at the end of an otherwise quiet third quarter, increasing the lead to 27-0. After turning the ball over on downs, WPI's Harrison Kyriacou (Plainview, NY) forced a fumble on the ensuing RPI drive, which was recovered by Frankie Polito (Shrewsbury, MA) on their own 49 yard line. However, the drive stalled after a Noyes sack, and the visitors were forced to punt. 

Another WPI forced fumble, this time by Luke Grady (Sterling, MA), recovered by Cam Smith (Abington, MA) gave the Worcester Engineers the ball back. But once again, a turnover ended the scoring threat, as CJ Schumaker (Charlton, MA) picked off a pass returning it for 35 yards to the WPI 33. Two plays later, Burnett broke free for a 31-yard rushing touchdown to make it 27-0 RPI after three. 

The fourth quarter was all RPI, as the hosts added a touchdown and a field goal while forcing three WPI punts, setting the final to 37-0. Kazanowsky found Palmer over the middle for a 45-yard touchdown for the first score of the quarter before Maric Aleksander (Munster, IN) connected on a 26-yard field goal for the final points of the game. 

WPI continues play on Saturday at home, hosting Montclair State at 3:30pm. RPI heads to Rochester on Saturday to take on St. John Fisher in a noon clash.