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MIT beavers and UMass-Boston play 14-14 tie

By Shawn Mastrian

The good news from last Saturday's football game was that MIT extended its unbeaten streak to three games. The bad news was that the Beavers had to do this by settling for a 14-14 tie of University of Massachusetts at Boston, a team they should have beaten.

The game started with MIT winning the coin toss and receiving the opening kickoff. Ominously, Jeff Drbohlav '92 muffed this kick, but Doug Smith '93 was able to recover, allowing the Beavers to have the opening possession. This, however, proved unimportant as the offense gained but one first down and was forced to punt.

The defense, upset at yielding 34 points last week, came out roaring. Larry Donohue '90 sacked the UMB quarterback on the first play for a five yard loss. Then, after an incompletion, Fred Loh '92 intercepted his second pass in as many games, giving MIT the ball back. Unfortunately, it was three plays and punt for the offense.

The Beacons then put together a small drive of their own, netting 36 yards. This should have been much less, however, as Art Wang '90 was called for a bogus pass interference call on third down, which would have forced a punt sooner. Nonetheless, the defense overcame this adversity and stopped UMB on a fourth down.

This is when the Beavers got their offense in gear. On the previous two drives, MIT was uncharacteristically trying to set up their running game by passing. On this drive, the offense reverted to their typical grind-it-out type of offense.

Shane LaHousse '90 ran for eight yards on the first two plays, and then Garret Moose '91 punished several UMB defenders as he rambled for seven more. With the defense now afraid of the run, Tony Lapes '90 was able to catch a 13 yard pass from quarterback Tim Day '89 for another first down. LaHousse, Moose, and Day then ran the ball all the way down to the two yard line on six plays, with the key play a LaHousse 15 yard scramble on fourth-and-two. Day then rolled to the right and broke through a gaping hole, giving MIT a 7-0 lead.

After the kickoff, the Beacons and Beavers exchanged fumbles, leaving UMB with the ball on the MIT 46. The Beacons then ran behind their 290 pound average right side to push the ball downfield to the MIT 19. The referees helped them out once again as Loh was called for an exceptionally questionable pass interference call, which pushed the ball 15 yards further downfield. On the play, Loh was clearly going for the ball, completely within the rules, but he was whistled for a foul nonetheless. Using this gift, UMB then scored on the next play. The extra point was missed badly, however, and MIT had a 7-6 lead.

After the kickoff, the Beavers reverted to the passing attack, and once again failed to move the ball. The next Beacon series was exciting, in that one exuberant MIT supporter and the scoreboard referee were engaged in a shouting match (which nearly turned physical) over the previous lousy calls. On the field, the defense held the Beacons to eight yards on three plays, forcing a punt. The next two MIT and UMB series were both identical to these, except MIT did manage one first down over this span.

The offense finally found the correct gear again. Two Moose runs gave MIT a first down, and a catch by Dan Berkery '91 gave them another. Two cheap-shot personal fouls also helped the Beavers to move the ball down the field, along with two LaHousse runs. On first-and-goal from the one, with only 15 seconds left in the half, Moose rammed it home behind a solid offensive line surge. The extra point gave MIT a 14-6 lead, which stood until halftime.

The second half turned out, not surprisingly, to be very much like the first. Whenever MIT ran the ball first and passed second, the Beavers moved the ball well. Whenever passes came first, however, the UMB defenders would sit back, ignore the run, and stop the Beavers. On defense, the trend continued as well. When UMB touched the ball, they were stopped.

The exception to this rule was the scoring drive. The Beacons managed a 40 yard pass on the first play of this drive, and pushed the ball downfield. The key play here was once again made by the UMB players wearing the striped shirts as a personal foul moved the ball downfield when the Beacons seemed stopped. From here, a desperation pass found the arms of a UMB receiver, and the Beacons were within 14-12. On the two point conversion, the UMB runner eeked his way across the goal line by the slimmest of margins, resulting in the final score.

The game officially ended when a UMB field goal fell short of its mark. Nobody left the field for the next five minutes as the bungling officials tried to decide whether overtime was to be played. In UMB's conference, the New England Football Conference, overtime is permitted; in MIT's conference, the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference, there are no rules as to whether an overtime period should or should not take place. Logically, then, the officials said there was to be no overtime, and the game ended as such.

MIT will play at Stonehill this weekend. The Beavers trashed the Chieftans 45-13 in the season opener and have shown signs of improvement since then. Look for MIT to remain undefeated.