Football rewrites record book@ByName:By Shawn Mastrian
Playing in the newly formed Eastern College Football Conference, the Beavers announced that they would be a force, stomping conference rival Stonehill 45-13 in the season's opener. The game was more one-sided than the score would indicate, as MIT dominated both offensively and defensively.
Western New England was to be MIT's next victim. What started out as a see-saw contest resulted in the Beavers pulling away, and a last gasp effort by WNEC made the score respectable at 39-34 in favor of MIT. While the defense experienced a few problems, the offense was consistent, almost scoring at will. The Beavers were undefeated and riding high after the second week.
Then came UMass-Boston. The defense solved the problems of the previous game, but the offense went away from what worked best for it -- punishing the opposition with LaHousse and Garret Moose '91 through the middle. The result was a 14-14 tie which left a bad taste in the mouths of all involved.
This left the team on a downward slope, facing an improved and sure-to-be-upset Stonehill squad the next week. The result was a 42-20 loss, the Engineers' first of the season.
A muddy field at Siena proved to be a cure for Tech's slide. The defense dominated the hapless Saints, and the offense found a way to score in the muck just once. It was all the Beavers needed to return to their winning ways, 6-0 MIT.
Homecoming is the Super Bowl of MIT's football season, and the 49ers, I mean the Beavers, kept the home fans and Vegas happy. Assumption came to town at the wrong time, and left with a little less dignity. MIT rolled up a school-record 56 points, and the defense yielded only a last-minute touchdown to the lifeless Broncos, I mean Greyhounds. 56-6, Beavers.
This meant that if MIT were to beat Bentley, they would win the inaugural conference title. MIT has historically had trouble with the Falcons, and this time proved no exception. Despite a heroic comeback effort, driving the ball 90 yards with about one minute left for a touchdown to put MIT within one, the Beavers fell as the two-point conversion attempt failed. 21-20 was the heartbreaking final score, two points away from the title.
The last game was at WPI, and given the circumstances, the team performed admirably. The final score of 35-10 was more respectable than it would look.
It was by no means a season of "it could have been" for the Beavers; it was a season of accomplishments. Quarterback Tim Day '89, Lapes, Kupbens, center Don Euwart '90, Moose, linebacker Rick Bullesbach '90, defensive tackle Mike Ahrens '90, and Prather were all selected as All-Conference performers, and that was just the tip of the iceberg.
Prather and Lapes were both Academic All-District selections as well as GTE CoSIDA Academic All-Americans, with Lapes making the first team and Prather the second.
Lapes also took the Woody Hayes Award, given to only one Division III male (encompassing every sport). This was the highest honor ever given to an MIT athlete. In addition, he was named a National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame Scholar-Athlete Award winner, one of 11 Division II and III students granted the post-graduate scholarship which accompanies the award.
As records go, nobody set more than Day did this year. He set records for most touchdowns thrown in a season and a career, most passes completed in a season and career, and wound up as the ECFC's top-rated passer. He was named Conference Offensive Player of the Week once, and finished 24th among Division III quarterbacks in passing efficiency.
LaHousse set MIT records of his own, breaking the existing marks for points in a season, yards in a career, and tying the existing mark for points in a career. He was the conference's second leading rusher and leading scorer (points per game), finishing 27th in this category in the nation, and he was named Conference Offensive Player of the Week once.
Moose was the conference's third leading rusher, and Ahrens was named Conference Defensive Player of the Week once. Lapes finished as the conference's fourth-leading receiver.
Team high in tackles went to Prather, and he tied Fred Loh '92 for the team lead in interceptions. Ahrens led the team in sacks, followed by Prather and Larry Donahue '90, who lead the team in tackles for losses. Bullesbach defended against the most passes on the team, followed by Brian Teeple '91.
As a team, the Beavers set highs for average yards per game, total yards in a season, and points scored (210).
Copyright 1990 by The Tech. All rights reserved.
This story was originally published on Tuesday, February 6, 1990.
Volume 110, Year in Review
The story was printed on page 20.
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