Middletown, RI -- Brendan Deasy's (Quincy, MA) 22-yard field goal late in the third quarter proved the difference maker as host Salve Regina opened the 2010 football season with a 6-3 win over WPI Saturday afternoon. The result spoiled the 121st season opener for the Crimson and Gray and the WPI head coaching debut of Chris Robertson, the 18th coach in the history of the program.
With 3:14 remaining, the Engineers (0-1) took possession at their own 28 and, after quarterback Pat McAuley (Hingham, MA) converted a pair of 20-yard rushes, the Seahawks (1-0) defense prevented WPI from entering the red zone, preserving the victory. On fourth-and-3 at the Salve Regina 25, McAuley's final pass of the day fell incomplete.
WPI struggled to move the chains throughout the day, mustering just 168 total yards of offense while the Seahawks limited the Engineers to five total first downs in this defensive-minded contest. As a team, Salve Regina sacked McAuley five times and held him to 8-of-20 for 39 yards through the air, while WPI's option attack gained 129 yards on 33 carries. Junior Ernie Mello (Wilmington, MA) chalked up a team-high 67 rushing yards while McAuley racked up 55 on the ground.
Salve Regina junior Shane Lange (Branford, CT) recorded nine tackles and two sacks and combined with junior linebacker A.J. Albert (Franklin Park, NJ), sophomore linebacker Kevin Hilliard (North Reading MA), and sophomore defensive end Greg Gosselin (Kingston, MA) for six tackles for loss.
The WPI defense was impressive as well, limiting the hosts to 180 yards and 12 first downs. Senior Brendan Gove (Rutland, MA) registered a game-high 10 tackles (seven solo), one-and-a-half sacks, and one fumble recovery for WPI, while sophomore Hussein Yatim (Shrewsbury, MA) added nine tackles and Michael Oliveri (Milford, MA) chipped in with six stops, including a sack-and-a-half.
Senior Rob LaRiviere-Tougas (Easthampton, MA) – seeing his first action since November, 2008 – led the Salve Regina attack with 62 rushing yards while sophomore Trey Scales (Boston, MA) tallied 59 yards on the ground. In the end, the six points scored by SRU marks its lowest point total in a win in school history, and the nine points is the lowest combined score in program history as well. Seahawks junior quarterback Jimmy Connelly (Berlin, CT) completed 6-of-14 passes for 63 yards, including a pair of hookups with junior Michael Dargan (Meriden, CT) that totaled 44 yards. Roshong started and completed 2-of-8 for 23 yards.
WPI opened the scoring with Cody Beckel's (Jupiter, FL) 30-yard field goal, but Salve responded immediately when Deasy connected from 31 yards out to tie the game at 3-3 with 1:42 left in the first quarter.
The loss snapped WPI's 19-game win streak against New England opponents, dating back to a defeat to Coast Guard on November 8, 2003. WPI won its inaugural meeting against the Seahawks, 34-20, in Worcester last season.
The Engineers host Worcester State in their home opener at 1 p.m. next Saturday. The Seahawks also return to action next Saturday when they travel to New York to face Hartwick College at 1 p.m.
Release Courtesy Salve Regina Sports Information