2019 season featuring 4-0 start, last-minute victories, ends
Worcester Polytechnic Institute had its eye on a conference championship Saturday when it visited Sabine Field at Haynes Family Stadium on Saturday. And Norwich couldn’t stop the Engineers’ pile-driver momentum.
WPI rolled up 586 offensive yards in a 70-28 win Saturday, moving to 9-1 overall and 6-1 in the New England Women’s and Men's Athletic Conference. The Engineers will share the NEWMAC title with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which earned the conference’s first automatic bid to the NCAA Division III football playoffs by having beaten WPI head to head in double overtime earlier this season.
MIT will play Muhlenberg at noon Saturday in the NCAA playoffs.
Norwich had its best overall record since joining the NEWMAC in 2017 and had moments of magic this season.
Norwich (5-5 overall, 2-5 in conference) had its best overall record since joining the NEWMAC in 2017 and had moments of magic this season, starting 4-0 and winning twice on the final plays of games, once in front of a packed stadium on the university’s bicentennial Homecoming Weekend.
Norwich also set several individual and collective records this season. For individual marks, junior quarterback Matt Dunn passed his way to records for most passes completed in a game (34 on Sept. 14 against St. Lawrence University) most total offense yards in a single game (423 on Oct. 26 against Maine Maritime) and most total offense yards in a season (2,891).
Sophomore wide receiver Trevor Chase set the single-game Norwich record for catches in a game (13 on Sept. 14 against St. Lawrence. For team marks, Norwich set single-game records for passing yards (430 on Oct. 26 against Maine Maritime) and most completed passes (34 on Sept. 14 against St. Lawrence) and the single-season record for most passing yards (3,108).
The Engineers, whose nine wins matched their single-season mark for wins (1992 and 2017), were in command from the start, scoring on their first three possessions and rolling up leads of 21-7 in the first quarter and 42-7 by halftime. WPI running back Shane McAllen rushed for three touchdowns in the first quarter on runs of 11, 7 and 53 yards. He finished with 177 yards on 18 carries and topped 1,000 yards for the season.
Dunn helped the Cadets tie the score briefly at 7-7 in the first quarter, throwing an 8-yard pass to Chase in the end zone’s back corner. A 59-yard pass from senior wide receiver Ryan Reed, who’d been pitched the ball from Dunn on a lateral, to senior running back Connor Bourque capped a four-play, 74-yard drive.
Chase would also catch touchdown passes of 14 yards (from Dunn in the third quarter) and 20 yards (from Grant Willard in the fourth quarter) and finish the game with 94 yards receiving on five catches. Freshman wide receiver Tristan Johnson had his first career touchdown catch on a 27-yard pass from Dunn that capped a four-play, 80-yard drive in the fourth quarter. Also, senior wide receiver Isaac Houston had 74 yards receiving on four catches.
Dunn completed 20 of 37 passes for 209 yards. The Cadets had 318 yards passing for the game.
On defense for Norwich, senior defensive back Brasean Stewart, freshman defensive back Jordan Jackson, senior defensive back Austen Greene and senior linebacker Cahan Quinn had nine tackles each. Senior linebacker Kevin Svarczkopf had eight tackles (two and a half for losses) and a quarterback sack.
Before the game, Norwich took a moment to honor its team’s 30 seniors.
READ MORE ON NORWICH UNIVERSITY'S 2019 FOOTBALL SEASON
- Norwich falls to MIT
- Norwich falls to Catholic on game’s final play
- Norwich tops Maine Maritime 51-10