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MIT Capitalizes on Turnovers

By Thomas Kettler
Staff Reporter

The Beavers football squad continued their Homecoming winning streak, trouncing the Nichols College Bisons 35-2 Saturday afternoon in front of drenched crowd at Steinbrenner Stadium.

The victory, aided by a record-breaking performance by running back Jos L. DeLeón '97 and seven Nichols' turnovers, brings the team to a 3-3 record overall and in the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference.

During the game DeLeón overtook two MIT rushing records. He now holds the career rushing yardage record with 2,245 and the rushing touchdown record with 23.

The first quarter started with Nichols receiving the ball, but their first drive stalled. After the Bisons punted, MIT took the ball at the Nichols' 44. Six plays later and only five minutes into the game, DeLeón scored on a nine-yard run which gave him the career rushing touchdown record. A quarterback keeper by Scott J. Vollrath '96 on the two-point conversion made the score 8-0, Beavers.

The following Nichols drive again stalled and the Bisons punted. On the ensuing drive, MIT needed only four plays to score, capped by a 38-yard gain off-tackle by Chris Brown '96 for the touchdown with three minutes left in the first. The Beavers failed to convert on the point after, so the score remained 14-0, MIT.

On the following two drives, neither team scored and the first quarter ended. One minute into the second quarter, Jimmie D. Walker '99 recovered a Nicholas Schmidt fumble to give MIT the ball at the Nichols' 40. Two plays and 95 seconds later, DeLeón ran for two yards on a draw to tie the career rushing record. However, MIT's drive stalled and the Beavers punted.

DeLeón breaks second record

The Bisons had their first consistent drive next and moved the ball to the Beavers' 15. However, Tom DeLuca's pass for Dave Sokolnicki was intercepted by Edward K. Chung '99 in the MIT endzone for a touchback.

On the first play of the following drive, DeLeón ran for four yards from the slot formation to break the record. "The offensive opened up big holes and I just followed them," DeLeón said.

Head coach Dwight E. Smith said, "That's pretty impressive... He's got 11 games left to play here -- two this year and nine next year. He'll have that record for quite awhile unless something happens." The Beavers moved the ball to the 47 before the drive stalled and the Bisons took over on downs.

Nichols lost its one scoring opportunity here. The Bisons had a completed pass to Tom Fredericks called back on an illegal motion penalty. After losing the TD, they lost the ball on downs and the half ended after MIT got it back.

Five minutes into the third quarter, the Beavers scored their third TD on DeLeón's 15-yard run following a recovery of a miffed punt by Walter B. Krebs '99. His successful two-point conversion made the score 22-0.

One minute later, Christopher M. Yanney '97 recovered another Schmidt fumble and Troy A. Gayeski '98 scored on the next play, a 59-yard out route pass. The score was 28-0 as the PAT failed. Another Nichols drive stalled when Yanney intercepted a pass. MIT drove to the Bisons' 24 as the quarter ended.

On the first play of the final quarter, DeLeón scored his third TD of the game on a 24-yard screen pass. The kick made the score 35-0. The end of the quarter was uneventful, as Nichols scored its only points on a safety. Brad Gray '98 and Maik C. Flanagin '99 recovered fumbles.

The difference in the game was turnovers. Nichols outgained MIT, 326 to 316. However, that wasn't enough to compensate for the four fumbles and three interceptions the Bisons gave up during the game.

Smith was pleased with the generated turnovers:"That was one of our goals -- to start doing more of that like we did two years ago where we had a very good turnover ratio... that helps our offense."