McAllen, Defense Flex Muscles as Football Blanks Becker in Non-Conference Finale

Blayne Merchant

Leicester, MA -- Sean McAllen (Prospect, CT) rushed for 160 yards on just 16 carries with three touchdowns and caught three passes for 25 yards and a score as WPI went on road and shutout Becker 45-0 in its final non-conference game of the 2018 regular season on Saturday afternoon. 

WPI is now 2-1 headed into its home opener next Saturday at noon versus defending NEWMAC champion Springfield.  Becker will be back on the field next Saturday when they play host to Dean in a 2:30pm game as part of Becker's Homecoming Weekend. 

In addition to McAllen, the WPI defense was dominant, holding Becker to just four first downs in the game. As a team, the Crimson and Gray outgained the hosts 421-92.  WPI freshman defensive lineman Nica Hesel (Downingtown, PA) led the Engineer defense with six tackles while senior linebacker Blayne Merchant (Sanderson, FL) had five tackles and Mike McGoff  (Ashland, MA) accounted for a sack.  It was WPI's second shutout of the season and fifth in the last 14 games dating back to the state of the 2017 campaign.  

After the game opened with three straight punts, WPI took over with good field position at the Becker 44 yard line. On the first play of the drive, McAllen busted a move to break a tackle and exploded for 31 yards and a first down at the Hawks' 13. Two plays later, McAllen punched it in from two yards out and the Engineers went up 7-0. 

Three more drive-ending punts later, WPI engineered a 57-yard drive resulting in a 19-yard field goal by senior kicker Spencer Herrington (Clearfield, PA). The visitors would open the second quarter by taking a 10-0 lead. 

After a Becker punt on the ensuing drive, WPI drew a pass interference penalty on the Hawks, giving them a first down at the Becker 42. McAllen took the handoff and was off to the races as he ran past the defense and into end zone to put the Engineers ahead 17-0 with 11:55 to go in the first half. 

Getting the ball back in excellent field position after another Becker punt, WPI needed just three plays as junior quarterback Julian Nyland (Melrose, MA) went back to pass and found McAllen for a 22 yard touchdown completion, giving the Engineers a commanding 24-0 lead. 

On the very next drive, Becker was slowly moving the chains when a pass by sophomore quarterback Alpha Barry (Staten Island, NY) was tipped in the air by one defensive back and intercepted by WPI sophomore defensive back Aaron Whitehouse (Tewksbury, MA) once again giving the Engineers position in Hawk territory, this time at the Becker 47. 

It took WPI just four plays to turn to McAllen once again, and the junior once again proved unstoppable, going 34 yards for his fourth touchdown of the day as the visitors went up 31-0. 

On the ensuing drive, Barry was once again picked off, this time by senior linebacker Kyle Havey (North Reading, MA). After penalties were assessed, WPI took over at their own 44-yard line. 

The Engineers made their way down the field, going 56 yards in eight plays as Nyland capped off the drive with a ten-yard touchdown pass to junior wide receiver Nic Rossi (Howell, NJ) as the visitors finished the half with a 38-0 lead. 

In the third quarter, the first five drives all ended in punts, as WPI started to turn to its bench.  The Engineers finally exploited an exhausted Hawk defense, as WPI freshman running back Brandon Winn (Tewksbury, MA) took the handoff on first down at the Becker 49 and cut to the outside, dodging two tacklers and sprinting to the end zone as the visitors went ahead 45-0.  

The fourth quarter saw a combined four punts, as both teams sought to run out the clock. 

Nyland went 12 for 25 with 164 yards passing and two touchdowns in the air.  Becker senior linebacker Michael Bianco (Manorville, NY) led the Hawks defense with ten total tackles and a pass breakup. 

Release Courtesy Becker Sports Information