SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

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September 6, 2013

Endicott football ready to go for tomorrow's season opener

BEVERLY — The Endicott College football team won’t be able to rely on experience at the skill positions in the early portion of the season, which begins tomorrow against Framingham State.

The Gulls don’t have a single returning starter at running back, wide receiver or quarterback.

They do, however, have plenty of guys who are hungry to step up and make an impact.

Senior Ryan McLaughlin and junior Drew Frenette are in the midst of a battle for the starting quarterback job. While McLaughlin has been named tomorrow’s starter against the visiting Rams (1 p.m. in Beverly), head coach J.B. Wells hasn’t decided on who his No. 1 guy is. Frenette was the starter in 2012, but the coach wants to see McLaughlin in a game atmosphere.

“They’re both cut out of same cloth (and) very athletic,” said Wells. “Drew is a little more game savvy because he’s had more opportunities to play. Ryan is more of a physical presence at 6-foot-4 and 220 pounds, and runs maybe a little better than Drew. They have complementary skill sets, but they also possess some of the same qualities we need in our quarterback. They’re 1 and 1A.”

Endicott also graduated most of its receiving corps, but Wells believes his squad has six talented receivers on the roster. It will be Matt Smith, Nate Lewis and Alec Matys starting when the Gulls go with a three-wide set tomorrow; Smith was the fourth receiver on last year’s depth chart.

The Gulls are looking for a new duo to take handoffs. Tomorrow, look for Spencer Walsh and Andrew Cummings getting the majority of the carries.

“A big part of our offense is that we want to play fast, deep and fresh. So what’s great about this year’s receiving corps is we probably have six guys — and it might even be more than that,” said Wells. “We’ve got question marks (at running back) but we’ll see who can get the hot hand and tilt the rock. We’ve been a two-back system, so we need a couple guys who can go in there and get the job done.”

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