- Score: MIT 43, Springfield 40
- Records: MIT (7-2, 6-1 NEWMAC); Springfield (6-4, 5-2 NEWMAC)
- Location: Springfield, Mass. (Stagg Field)
- The Lead: In a wild regular-season finale, the MIT football team used a 36-yard field goal from junior Mark Wright (Fort Worth, Texas) with 33 seconds remaining to cap a 43-40 victory at Springfield to claim the 2019 NEWMAC Championship.
THE WAY IT HAPPENED:
- MIT got on the board quickly as senior Chris Mauck (Wellington, Fla.) connected with senior Eric Bradford (Dublin, Ohio) for a 24-yard touchdown just 2:12 into the game. Springfield countered immediately with a 10-play, 63-yard drive that was capped by a six-yard TD run from Isaiah Cashwell-Doe.
- Springfield took the lead with 4:25 remaining in the first as Chad Shade threw a six-yard scoring strike to David Mikos for the 14-7 edge. MIT and Wright closed out the first-quarter scoring as he knocked in a 32-yard field goal to pull within 14-10.
- The Pride added a 32-yard touchdown run by Ryan Deguire up the near sideline to stretch the lead to double digits at 21-10 before the Engineers answered. Sophomore Dennis Gastel (Lincoln, R.I.) pulled down a perfect 24-yard pass in the corner of the end zone from Mauck, followed by a two-point conversion rush from Ben Dwyer (Baldwinsville, N.Y.) to make it a 21-18 margin.
- Springfield again increased the lead to double digits in the final seconds of the first half with a 12-yard TD strike by Shade to Ian Porter for the 28-18 edge at the break. That touchdown was set up by an MIT fumble, which was forced by Springfield's C.J. Lavery.
- Early in the third, it was MIT that made the first big play as senior AJ Iversen (Lee's Summit, Mo.) pounced on a Springfield fumble in the end zone to again make it a three-point game at 28-25 just 1:11 into the second half.
- On the ensuing Springfield drive, the Pride converted a 20-yard field goal for the 31-25 margin as the MIT defense stopped the Pride offense on a third down play.
- In a game of wild plays, the Pride added a safety with 6:01 left in the third as Springfield blocked the MIT punt and knocked it out of the back of the end zone for a 33-25 score.
- MIT was not done though as Dwyer took a direct snap and went straight up the middle for a 31-yard touchdown run to pull within 33-31. On the two-point attempt, Dwyer handed off to junior Keithen Shepard (Vancouver, Wash.) for the score and a tie game yet again at 33-33.
- The Pride answered as Shade found a wide-open Deguire around the 40-yard line as he caught the ball in stride and outran the defense to put Springfield back up 40-33. MIT answered just 2:47 later with the second rushing TD of the game from Dwyer as this one came from three yards out to knot the game at 40-40.
- The next big play came from the MIT defense as sophomore Sam Gozelski (East Northport, N.Y.) recovered a fumble at midfield with just 3:15 left. That set up Wright for the game-winning kick as his attempt from 36 yards out just cleared the cross bar for the 43-40 edge. Springfield did get the ball back, but were unable to generate anything as MIT won its second straight matchup with the Pride.
- This is the second straight NCAA Tournament berth for the Engineers and the third in program history. The Engineers and WPI are co-champions for 2019 in the NEWMAC, but MIT earns the league's automatic qualifier due to its double-overtime victory over WPI earlier in the season.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Mauck threw for 247 yards and two touchdowns, while Dwyer ran for 77 yards and a pair of scores. Gastel was the top receiver with four catches for 94 yards and a TD.
- Springfield held a 316-108 advantage in rushing yards behind a 92-yard effort by Nick Rajotte as six Pride players finished with 20 yards or more on the ground. Shade was 4-for-7 in the air for 82 yards and three touchdowns, including the 55-yarder to Deguire.
- Defensively for MIT, Ben Wolz (College Station, Texas) led all tacklers with a 14-tackle effort that included a game-high seven solo stops.
- Wright was perfect again for MIT as he finished with nine points on two field goals and three extra points.
- MIT will now await the announcement of the NCAA Tournament field, which will come at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, November 17th. That selection show will be available live online at www.ncaa.com.