Worcester, MA --- Quarterback Connor Eck (Rye, NY) threw for a touchdown and rushed for another to lead visiting Union to a 21-6 victory over WPI in a Liberty League football contest on Saturday afternoon.
The Dutchmen even their record to 3-3 and remain a perfect 3-0 in conference action while the Engineers, who were celebrating Homecoming, slip to 1-5 and 0-3 in Liberty League play.
The game started as a defensive slugfest. Union received early interceptions from Jafar Johnson (Albany, NY) and Cam Johnson (Berlin, CT) only to see the Engineers come up with consecutive 4th-and-1 stops inside their own 30 yard line.
Union finally broke the scoring drought midway through the second quarter when T.J. Franzese (Allendale, NJ) rushed in from six yards out capping a 10-play 75-yard drive that lasted 5:22. WPI quickly countered with 4:44 to go in the half when Chris Turner (Manchester, CT) scampered in from 17 yards out to make the score 7-6 as the extra point was missed. The scoring drive totaled 57 yards on six plays in 2:30.
The Dutchmen completed the second quarter scoring frenzy when Eck hit Kyle Reynolds (Delray Beach, FL) in the front corner of the end zone with a 26-yard strike with just 1:12 to go before intermission.
Eck scored the final touchdown of the day, capping of a 12-play 64-yard drive that took 5:11 off the clock when he rolled to the right on a designed quarterback keeper midway through the third quarter.
WPI had a pair of chances inside the red zone in the fourth quarter but Union buckled down. The first chance was extinguished on a fourth down at the 10 yard line and then, after a blocked punt gave the Crimson and Gray the ball at the UC 19, Jafar Johnson registered his second pick of the day on the very next play.
Eck finished the day completing 16-of-23 passes for 173 yards to go along 75 yards rushing. Franzese paced the Dutchmen running attack with 97 yards on 20 carries while Reynolds finished the day as the game's leading receiver with seven catches totaling 79 yard, including the touchdown.
Turner had a career day on the ground for WPI, totaling 154 yards on 20 carries, including the Engineer's lone touchdown of the day. John Antonopoulos (Cambridge, MA) came off the bench and completed 8-of-16 passes for 63 yards. Trev Rancourt (Nashua, NH) and Aaron Marshall (Acushnet, MA) each had two receptions for the hosts.
The Engineers were led defensively by Shane Grogan (Dalton, MA) with nine tackles, as well as Mitch McClune (Pembroke, MA) and Michael Grasis (East Brookfield, MA) who each tallied eight. Noah Joseph (Chevy Chase, MD) spearheaded the Union defensive effort with eight tackles while Jeff DeVico (Greenwich, CT) chipped in with six and Casey Muse (Oklahoma City, OK) and Kevin Calello (Freehold, NJ) both added sacks for the Dutchmen.
Turner took home the Robert Pritchard Award as the Most Outstanding Back on Homecoming while Nick Chambers (Braintree, MA), who had two sacks, won as the Most Outstanding Lineman.
After a bye week WPI returns to the field when they travel to take on Merchant Marine at 2:30pm on Saturday, October 20th. Union also on a bye next week will host Rochester the same day at 1:30pm.