Northfield, VT --- Sean McAllen (Prospect, CT) rushed for 125 yards and three touchdowns in the first quarter and Connor Field (Granby, CT) added three rushing touchdowns of his own to set a new WPI single-season scoring record as WPI defeated host Norwich 70-28 Saturday to clinch a share of its first NEWMAC championship.
The result, coupled with MIT's 43-40 victory over Springfield, means that WPI and MIT share the NEWMAC title with 6-1 conference records. MIT, by virtue of their 28-22 double overtime on October 26th, garners the conference's first-ever automatic bid to the NCAA Championships. WPI awaits word on its postseason fate with the NCAA selection on Sunday and the New England Bowl Series announced on Monday morning.
The victory moved the Crimson and Gray to 9-1 overall and equals the school record for wins in a season with the 1992 and 2017 squads (both 9-2). The conference title is its third in program history and the first since back-to-back Freedom Football Conference crowns in 1992 and 1993. Norwich ends the season 5-5 and 2-5 in NEWMAC action.
McAllen registered touchdown runs of 11, 7 and 53 yards as the Engineers reached the end zone on their first three possessions. In the process, the senior went over the 1,000-yard milestone, just the eighth time it has been accomplished in WPI history and McAllen joins Hall of Famer Jason Wooley (1990 and 1991) as the other two players to accomplish the feat twice.
McAllen ended the game with 177 yards on 18 carries. It marked the 16th time in his career he reached 100 yards, and the fifth time in the last six games. It was his fourth contest this year with multiple touchdown and third time with three scores.
After the first quarter, it was Field who took center stage, collecting a pair of 1-yard touchdown plunges in the second quarter and an additional one in the third. It was the sixth multi-score game for the senior, who finished with 107 total yards (62 rushing, 45 receiving). His three scores moves his 2019 point total to 120, four more than the old mark of 116 set by Wooley in 1990.
Quarterback Julian Nyland (Melrose, MA) was 15-for-19 for 238 yards and a pair of touchdown passes (30 and 44 yards) to Nic Rossi (Howell, MA) for the senior's 16th and 17th career scores. Rossi finished with three catches for 98 yards, while Phillip Durgin (Wrentham, MA) has two grabs for 51 yards.
WPI got fourth quarter touchdowns when Andrew Nicklas (West Hartford, CT) hit Austin Pesce (Monroe, NY) on a 47-yard scoring strike for his first career touchdown and Zach Uglevich (Maynard, MA) rumbled in from six yards out.
Adam Klosner (Ilion, NY) led the Engineers with six tackles, including four solo takedowns. Jack Gerulskis (Southboro, MA) amassed a sack, Sam Casey (Winchester, MA) collected an interception, Dan Hoag (Dover Plains, NY) forced and recovered a fumble, Aaron Whitehouse (Tewksbury, MA) notched three pass breakups and Zack Ahrens (South Glenn Falls, NY) tallied a tackle and a half for loss.
Norwich's Matt Dunn (Rockland, MA) completed 20-of-37 passes for 209 yards and three touchdowns while Trevor Chase (Eliot, ME) caught five passes for 94 yards and three scores and Tristan Johnson (Ocala, FL) added a scoring catch. The Cadet defense was led by a quartet of players who registered nine tackles. Senior linebacker Kevin Svarczkopf (Essex Junction, VT) registered eight tackles including 2.5 for loss and a sack.
WPI outgained Norwich 586 to 352 yards on offense and almost evenly split that between yards gained in the air versus on the ground. The majority (318 yards) of the Cadets yardage came through the air. The 70 points for the Engineers was a single game school record and it added to season scoring mark as WPI now how 438 points on the year.