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Football Loses 20-5 Heartbreaker to Assumption

By Todd Chamoy

The MIT football team lost a heartbreaker Saturday afternoon to the Assumption College Greyhounds, 20-6. The game was close until halfway through the fourth quarter when the Greyhounds broke the game open with two quick scores.

AssumptionCollege's first score came early in the first quarter on an 88-yard touchdown pass off a fake reverse from quarterback Mike Mullen to running back Jamie Merloni, who ended up being the star of the game for the Greyhounds, logging 153 total yards on offense and two touchdowns. The pass was the longest play in Eastern Collegiate FootballConference history, giving MIT a dubious place in the record books. Defensive lineman Kevin J. Ferrigno '96 blocked the extra point attempt, resulting in a 6-0 lead for Assumption.

The Beavers came back late in the half after recovering a Greyhound fumble with three minutes left on the Assumption 30-yard line. On first down, quarterback Scott J. Vollrath '97, noting an obvious blitz coming from the Greyhound defense, dumped a pass over the middle to tight end Troy A. Gayeski '97. Gayeski took it 17 yards to the Assumption 13 and a Beaver first down.

On the next play, Vollrath rolled right and scrambled for a nine yard gain, giving MIT second and one on the Assumption 4-yard line. After three short runs and a first down, Vollrath cruised into the end zone untouched with 34 seconds left in the half for the Beaver's only score of the afternoon. Kicker Ken Mills '97 missed the extra point attempt, leaving the game tied 6-6.

The third quarter yielded little offense, and the two teams entered the fourth still tied at 6.

The next score came in the middle of the fourth, when Assumption capped a 6-play, 68-yard drive with an 11-yard touchdown run by Jamie Merloni, his second of the day. Running back Dan Matthews carried the ball in for a two-point conversion to put the Greyhounds up 14-6.

Soon afterwards, Vollrath had a pass intercepted on the Assumption 30-yard line on a potential score-tying drive. The interception seemed to shatter the MIT players' spirits, as Assumption easily drove 70 yards down the field for another score, this time a 3-yard plunge by running back Jeremy Bernard. The extra point attempt was blocked again, resulting in an Assumption 20-6 lead, which is how the game ended.

The top performer for the Beavers was clearly Vollrath, who amassed 124 yards passing and netted 62 yards on the ground, including a touchdown run. He also demonstrated his All-Conference punting form as he punted six times for an average of 41.3 yards.

Next weekend, the Beavers will visit Curry College in their third conference matchup of the season.