The Curry College football team visited Hempstead Stadium on Saturday October 2nd to take on the Endicott Gulls on homecoming weekend. This matchup was a huge game for the Gulls, as it was their first conference opponent of the season. Homecoming weekend brought a massive crowd for the Gulls and they rallied around their team. Despite some adversity that Endicott faced between injuries and empty drives, the team ultimately came together behind the fans and played a very strong second half. This led to a 34-27 victory and sent Curry home.
The first quarter saw no scoring out of both teams in what was shaping up to be a low scoring affair. This changed quickly as the Gulls struck with a 41 yard field goal from Ryan Smith to go up 3-0. Curry quickly responded with a nice drive of their own that ended in a one yard plunge from Edison Thompson to give them a 7-3 lead. Endicott then took the lead 10-7 on a John Kenney 26 yard rushing touchdown. Less than a minute later the visitors broke a 63 yard rush to go back up 14-10. After a stalled drive by the home team, Curry was in a poised position to take a two score lead. Joseph Pagett had other plans and intercepted a pass that led to the Green and Blue finding Shane Aylward for a 47 yard receiving touchdown to put Endicott back up 17-14.
After an exciting end to the first half the fans knew they were in for an intense second half from the conference rivals. Endicott quickly carried their late first half momentum into the second half with a John Kenney 8 yard score and a Ryan Smith 33 yard field goal to put them up 27-14 to end the third. “They have all the momentum, so they should close this thing out,” said Sean Galvin, a fan who is a junior at Endicott College. Curry opened up the fourth with a score to cut the lead down to just 27-20. The offense began to stall and the Gulls needed to rely on their defense to make a play to close the game out. That is just what they got out of Tim Russell who intercepted the Curry quarterback and returned it 57 yards for a pick-6. Curry scored once more late in the fourth and made things interesting but the Endicott defense was too much and sealed the 34-27 victory by forcing a turnover on downs.
The game saw a ton of action and some great performances out of both sides. One standout was Shane Aylward who registered seven catches for 117 yards and a touchdown. “It was amazing to be out there. Looking around and seeing so many fans and students was unbelievable and something I’ve never really experienced before” said Aylward, the sophomore wide receiver. The environment had a huge impact on some of these performances and the outcome of the game. “We just went out and played our best just like every other week, but the energy from the fans definitely gave us a boost during the game,” said Aylward. The fans helped rally the team after a tough start and contributed to the victory. Some other notable performances were out of senior John Kenney who rushed for 51 yards and two touchdowns and senior Tim Russell who had eight total tackles, two tackles for loss, a sack, and a huge Pick-6. The Gulls improved to 4-1 with this victory and 1-0 in conference play.