WORCESTER – Junior Bryce Wade (Modesto, CA) connected on two field goals, including the game winner from 26 yards out with 3:52 left, to lift WPI (2-0) to a 6-3 win over No. 19 RPI (1-1) to capture the Transit Trophy for the first time since 2016.
The meeting was the 113th all-time between the teams and the 40th for the Transit Trophy. WPI is now 13-26-1 in Transit Trophy games, and 5-5 under Chris Robertson.
After Wade put hosts ahead, RPI drove down to the WPI 35 but Joe Kerkach (Ashland, MA) forced a fumble after pass reception that was recovered by teammate Zack Ahrens (South Glens Falls, NY). WPI was forced to punt with just seconds remaining, but RPI went backwards on a lateral deep in their own end and a tackle ended the game and sent the Boynton Hill faithful into a frenzy.
Wade also made a 25 yarder with 4:24 to go in the first quarter to put WPI up, 3-0. The junior also had nine punts for 300 yards, including three inside the 20.
"(Wade's) has had some great tutelage in his time here, being able to learn from both Blaine Bursey and Spencer Herrington," WPI head coach Chris Robertson said. "That final punt (30 yards, and a kick inside the 20) by Wade was his biggest kick of the day."
RPI junior Sanjay Krishnan (Rockville, MD) nailed a 27-yard FG with 17 seconds left in the first quarter to tie it at 3-3. However, Krishnan missed a 29-yard attempt with 9:00 left in the third quarter which would've put the visitors on top 6-3.
Wade's winning field goal capped an eight-play, 56-yard drive, which saw senior quarterback Julian Nyland (Melrose, MA) connect on two of his 14 completions, a 16-yard pass to senior Clark Ewen (Arlington, MA) (5 catches, 55 yards) and a 38-yard connection to senior Nic Rossi (Howell, NJ) (2 catches, 50 yards).
Defensively, Ahrens made 13 tackles, 10 unassisted. Senior classmate Nick Ostrowski (Charlton, MA) had seven tackles, an interception, and a fumble recovery for WPI.
Led by Nyland (189 passing yards), WPI collected 237 yards of total offensive. Seniors Connor Field (Granby, CT) and Sean McAllen (Prospect, CT) combined for 59 yards rushing on 27 carries against a stout RPI run defense.
Sophomore Joe Scaglione (Poughkeepsie, NY) ran for 41 yards on nine carries, and classmate Spencer Merkel (West Hartford, CT) amassed 33 yards on five rushes for RPI. RPI's signal caller junior George Marinopoulos (Slingerland, NY) threw for 188 yards on 27-of-42 passing.
Senior John Sadak (Glastonbury, CT), sophomore Blake Battle (Plano, TX) and senior Jack Fallon (Yarmouthport, MA) all had six tackles to pace RPI.
WPI heads to the road for the first time this season next week, travelling to Bangor, Maine, to play the Husson at 1 p.m. Saturday. Meanwhile, RPI will host UTICA at 6 p.m. Saturday.
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