Football Mounts Another Late Comeback Effort But Falls Short, 33-28, at Endicott

Football Mounts Another Late Comeback Effort But Falls Short, 33-28, at Endicott
BEVERLY, Mass. – Visiting Curry pulled to within five points with a last-minute touchdown, but could not recover an on-side kick, falling 33-28 at Endicott in New England Football Conference (NEFC) Boyd Division action Saturday afternoon in Beverly.  The Gulls improved to 3-2 (1-1 NEFC Boyd) on the season while Curry dropped to 2-3 (1-1 NEFC Boyd).

The Colonels dominated a majority of the first half by scoring three touchdowns, two of which were thrown by junior signal caller Kevin Fruwirth (Agawam, Mass.), while the Gulls managed only two field goals by junior placekicker Dylan Rushe (Palos Verdes, Calif.) of 26 and 33 yards up until the final minutes of the half.

The visitors got first-half scores by virtue of a one-yard run by sophomore Trae Weathers (Revere, Mass.), a six-yard pass from Fruwirth to junior Phil Bigelow (East Orange, N.J.) and a seven-yard pass from Fruwirth to senior Rob Bambini (Westwood, Mass.).

After Rushe's second field goal from 33 with 3:26 remaining in the second quarter, Curry's next possession was cut short on their first play when a botched snap was recovered by Endicott senior linebacker PJ Bandini (Waltham, Mass.) at the Curry 27 yard-line.

Sophomore quarterback Drew Frenette (New Bedford, Mass.) would connect with senior Mike Murphy (Chelmsford, Mass.) on a nine-yard scoring play to pull Endicott to within eight at 21-13 headed into halftime.

At the start of the third quarter, Endicott and Curry exchanged possessions that ended in punts, until a Gulls’ drive that started on their own 45-yard line with 7:09 on the clock resulted in a touchdown. The hosts trailed by just one point at 21-20 after the score.

A short punt would later set the Gulls up at the Curry 36-yard line, and on Endicott's first play, Frenette connected with senior Cameron Lett (Waltham, Mass.) for the touchdown that gave the Gulls their first lead of the day, 27-21.

Curry threatened to regain the lead early in the fourth quarter after Colonels senior Bruce Vieira (Pelham, N.H.) returned a kickoff 49 yards into Gulls territory and Fruwirth led the visitors down to the Endicott four-yard-line.  Fruwirth fumbled on 3rd-and-goal, however, and Bandini recovered to keep Curry off the board.

A one-yard quarterback sneak by Frenette with 2:23 remaining in the contest provided the Gulls with what proved to be the game-winning points.

Fruwirth would lead Curry back down the field on their final drive of the game, connecting with his Rob Bambini on a one-yard slant for a touchdown.  Bambini finished with 12 receptions for 72 yards and two touchdowns on the day.

Curry's onside kick attempt with 31 seconds remaining was recovered by Endicott's Cameron Hooper (Braintree, Mass.) and Frenette took a knee to end the game.

Frenette finished just 8-of-19 for 126 yards but threw two touchdown passes.  Murphy led the Gulls in receiving with four receptions for 56 yards and a score.  On the ground, senior Jared DiBiase (Cranston, R.I.) turned in his best game of the season with 128 yards on 18 attempts (7.1 yards per carry).  Defensively for Endicott, senior linebacker Peter Kallas (Beverly, Mass.) had a game-high 12 tackles with 1.5 going for a loss of yards. Senior Craig Lussier (Dracut, Mass.) and junior Andrew Lawson (Framingham, Mass.) each had nine takedowns in the game.

For the Colonels, Fruwirth totaled 146 yards passing, 62 yards rushing, and even 27 yards receiving on one reception.  Bigelow added 59 yards on the ground on 20 attempts.  On the defensive side, junior linebacker George Alexandrou (Boxford, Mass.) had a team-high 11 tackles.  Junior Sam Calley (Weymouth, Mass.) had one of Curry's two sacks and senior Michael Willhauck (Mansfield, Mass.) recorded an interception in the first quarter that led to a Colonels’ touchdown.

Endicott hosts NEFC Boyd Division opponent Nichols next Saturday, October 6th at 12:00 p.m. at Endicott Stadium.  Curry hosts divisional rival Western New England on the same day at 1:00 p.m.

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