MIT Falls to UMass Dartmouth, 14-6
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth defeated MIT, 14-6, in a New England Football Conference (NEFC) Boyd Division contest on Saturday afternoon. The Engineers' ledger dipped to 1-3 on the year and 0-2 in conference play while the Corsairs improved to 2-3 overall and 1-1 in NEFC action.
Midway through the opening quarter, MIT's Patrick Jupe forced and recovered a fumble at the Engineers' 30. Two plays later, Ben Mitsmenn picked off John Wenzel and returned the ball 22 yards to the MIT 13. Brendan McNeish dashed nine yards before Eric Pacy registered back-to-back two-yard plunges that resulted in a touchdown. Edgar Osols's point after attempt was successful and gave UMD a 7-0 advantage at the 4:41 mark.
Brian Doyle returned the ensuing kickoff 55 yards to the Corsairs' 25. Wenzel had runs of six and five yards, while Marcel Sanchez sprinted nine and two yards to set up first-and-goal from the UMD three-yard line. A false start pushed the Cardinal and Gray back to the eight. An incomplete pass was followed by a one-yard keeper by Wenzel. Davey Hunt had a two-yard reception which put MIT at the five yard-line. Matthew Peterson put the hosts on the board with an 18-yard field goal with 1:15 remaining in the quarter.
UMD's next drive was stopped courtesy of Rhys Borchert's interception which was returned 29 yards to the Corsairs' 11. This was as close as the Engineers would get as a penalty and rushes for a loss of six yards pushed them back to the 29 yard line. Kyle Johnson dropped in a punt which pinned UMD back at its six.
The Corsairs then mounted a 12-play, 94-yard drive that lasted 7:15 and resulted in a touchdown. Jaron Hargrove started the drive with a five-yard rush, but UMD lost a yard on its next rushing attempt. An offsides penalty by MIT resulted in a three-and-one from the Corsairs' 15. Patrick Jupe stopped Pacy at the line of scrimmage, but McNeish kept the ball for the fourth-down conversion and then scampered 12 yards for another first down. A delay of game penalty put UMD back at its 22 before Adam Houghton gained a yard on the ground. McNeish followed with a 16-yard run and then tossed a 33-yard pass to Joe Luiz, placing the ball at the MIT 28. Hargrove gained a yard as Luiz grabbed a 14-yard pass to put the Corsairs in the red zone. Pacy sprinted the final 13 yards for his second touchdown of the day and Osols's extra point increased the visitors' lead to 14-3 which would hold through halftime.
Sanchez and Wenzel combined for 10 rushes that generated 55 yards and put MIT at the UMD 10 early in the third quarter. A penalty moved the Engineers back to the 20 while the Corsairs' defense kept the hosts on the outskirts of the red zone. Peterson booted a 32-yard field goal to keep MIT within striking distance with 9:43 left in the frame.
The remainder of the game was a defensive battle as both squads were prevented from producing any scoring drives.
Wenzel and Johnson shared quarterbacking duties, combining for 16 completions on 28 attempts for 95 yards. Wenzel posted 53 rushes on nine carries as Sanchez notched 19 rushes for 48 yards. Mike Fitzgerald was MIT's top receiver with 50 yards on eight catches. Jupe led the defense with 13 tackles (10 solo), a two-yard sack, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery. Peter Gilliland and Aaron Prindle collaborated for a five-yard sack while Gilliland added 6.5 tackles, one for a loss of six yards, and a fumble recovery. In addition to his 29-yard interception return, Borchert added a pass break-up.
McNeish paced UMD with 74 yards on the ground and threw for 89 yards, going 9-of-16 with one interception. Luiz registered a game-high 57 receiving yards on three catches. Jake Walsh totaled 8.5 tackles while Mitsmenn compiled eight tackles and a nine-yard sack to go along with his first quarter interception. Ross O'Toole and Mike Fraser both contributed six tackles as Trevor Richardson tacked on a seven-yard sack. Joe Teixera, Jack Brown, and Darrien Furr each added a pass break-up.
Both squads continue divisional play at home on Saturday, October 9. MIT will host Plymouth State University while UMass Dartmouth will take on Salve Regina University.