Buzzards Bay, Mass. – MIT's football team was put in a hole early today when Massachusetts Maritime started the game by returning the opening kickoff 79 yards for a score to take a 7-0 lead just 11 seconds in. Turnovers also hampered the Engineers as they threw five interceptions, one of which was returned by the Buccaneers for a score as they went on to a 51-13 win.
After Stefan Gustafson returned the opening kickoff for the early score, Massachusetts Maritime (2-0) went on to add a field goal on its first drive of the day to take a 10-0 lead with 8:32 left in the first quarter. MIT (1-1) could not find a groove on offense early on, going three and out on its first two drives of the day.
On the third MIT drive sophomore quarterback John Wenzel (Mandeville, La.) hooked up with freshman Alexander Chumbley (Atlanta, Ga.) on a 47-yard pass play that put the Engineers at the Massachusetts Maritime 19. But on the next play Wenzel was intercepted by Eddy Ramos, who returned the ball 74 yards to the MIT 17. Two plays later Keith Caruso ran it in from eight yards out to put the Buccaneers up 17-0.
Five minutes into the second quarter Massachusetts Maritime struck again, this time on a 49-yard pass from Mike Stanton to Jonathan Edmond to make it a 24-point lead. That duo proved to be a thorn in the Engineers side all day as they connected for a total of three touchdowns and 127 yards of passing.
MIT got on the board late in the second, getting a pair of 19-yard runs from freshman Benjamin Greenberg (Pleasantville, N.Y.) as it drove 67 yards in seven plays. Freshman Ben Hessels (Laytonsville, Md.) capped off the drive, taking it in from three yards out with 2:05 left in the half. The extra-point attempt was blocked, however, as the Buccaneers saw their advantage moved to 24-6. The momentum of the score was short lived for MIT, as Massachusetts Maritime took advantage of the Stanton-Edmond connection again. This time the pair hooked up on a 38-yard scoring play with just 13 second left in the half to take a 31-6 advantage into the locker room.
After a short MIT punt set up Massachusetts Maritime on the MIT 33 for its first drive of the half, the Buccaneers took advantage when they scored just four plays later on the final Stanton-Edmond TD of the game that dashed the comeback hopes of the Engineers. MIT drove into Maritime territory on its next possession, but an interception gave the Buccaneers the ball back. They tuned the miscue into an 11-play, 71-yard drive that pushed their advantage to 44-6 with 3:14 left in the third.
Massachusetts Maritime sealed the win on MIT's next drive when Mike Bois intercepted a Wenzel pass at the Maritime 41 and returned it 59 yards for the score. MIT scored its final points on its first drive of the fourth quarter when freshman Justin Wallace (Palatine, Ill.) ran for 49 yards on six carries as the Engineers went 72 yards in nine plays. Wallace completed the drive, taking it in from nine yards out TO complete the scoring for the day.
Total yardage was close between the teams, with Massachusetts Maritime outgaining MIT by a 388-311 margin. Wallace finished with 68 yards on 21 carries with Greenberg totaling 62 yards on 10 attempts. Freshman Brad Goldsberry (Elizabeth, Colo.) stood out among the MIT receivers, hauling in eight passes for 69 yards. Wenzel finished with 159 yards through the air, completing 14 of 31 attempts. Junior Aaron Fittery (Orange, Calif.) led the defense with 10 tackles, with freshman Erik Johnson (Grand Haven, Mich.) picking up his first career interception.
Stanton completed 12-of-18 passes for Massachusetts Maritime, totaling 192 yards and three scores. Emond finished with six catches for 127 yards, while Matt White led the rushing attack with 96 yards.
MIT will play at home for the first time this season next week on Sept. 24, hosting Curry College at 1:00 p.m.