The first one is always the toughest. The football team learned that the hard way this past weekend as they took their first win against Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

Down 15-3 going into the fourth quarter, the Yellowjackets used their offensive and defensive abilities to rally back for the 16-15 win.

“The win was a big confidence boost for us,” senior kicker Zachary White-Stellato said. “We’ve lost a lot of close ones this year so it was nice to come out on the winning end of a tight game.”

With less than a minute into the fourth quarter, junior defensive end Cainaan Webb intercepted a pass deep in WPI’s own territory.

Webb took that interception 20 yards for the touchdown to get the Yellowjackets within six points.

The Yellowjackets got their chance to complete their comeback later in the fourth quarter. With over eight minutes left in the game, and down 15-9, UR had plenty of time to execute their offensive game plan to perfection.

Taking five minutes to drive down the field, the ’Jackets went 71 yards on seven plays. The drive was capped off with a three yard run by junior quarterback Braezen Subick to tie the score at 15. White-Stellato added the game-winning point after the touchdown to take a one point lead.

After a tough first half of the season, the win over WPI is a welcomed relief for a team that has had its share of hardships.

“This win was huge because it proved that our team can overcome adversity,” Subick said. “Both sides of the ball played hard all four quarters and finished strong.”

Although the offense takes the glory, defense was key in the win against WPI. They made an important PAT block in the second quarter and a fourth-and-one stop with barely any time on the clock.

They showed strong resilience in the game after giving up 48 points against U.S. Marine Merchant Academy over Meliora Weekend.

The men will go back to the drawing board through the week to help prepare for the game against Alfred State on Saturday. Practice is where they will build up the confidence they need to beat a team that is ranked No. 20 in the latest d3football poll.

“We are taking the same approach as always by knowing that no game or team is going to just let us beat up on them,” sophomore running back Chris Lebano said. “Because of this we have to win the games in practice this week.”

The Yellowjackets have three games left in the season against Alfred, St. Lawrence University and finally Hobart College. Withno chance of a postseason berth or a .500 record, the rest of the year is about growing as a unit and preparing for seasons to come.

“Although this win was great, our focus is now on Alfred,” Subick said. “We’re going to take what we learned last week, and finish this season with a bang.”

Manrique is a member of the class of 2012.

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