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Football Loses to ECFC Champ Stonehill College

By Erik S. Balsley
Associate Sports Editor

The varsity football team lost Saturday's Family Weekend game against defending Eastern Collegiate Football Conference champion Stonehill College by a score of 4814.

Stonehill, a Division II school, got off to an early start, scoring three unanswered touchdowns in the first quarter to bring the score to 200.

The second quarter began much like the first. Stonehill scored a touchdown from MIT's one-yard line, with a successful extra point attempt, with 14:21 remaining in the quarter. That brought the score to 260.

The Engineers up to this point appeared rather lethargic on the field, compared to the strong driving and aggressive Stonehill team. After this goal, MIT began a very strong drive indicating that they were ready to fight the game until its end.

Following a 17-yard punt return by running back Troy Gayeski '98, MIT's offensive line led a strong move to reach the Stonehill 10-yard line. Following a loss of one yard after a Stonehill sack, MIT quarterback Scott Blackburn '99 threw an 11-yard pass to wide receiver TrentRedman '97 to score MIT's first touchdown with 10:12 left in the half. With a successful extra point kick by Ahren Lembke-Windler '00, the score stood at 267.

MIT continued to play with this intensity throughout the rest of the game. The defense was able to prevent Stonehill from scoring throughout the rest of the half.

After recovering a Stonehill fumble, MIT found itself on its own 35-yard line with a first down early in the third quarter. However, Stonehill intercepted an MIT pass shortly thereafter and ran the ball to MIT's 13-yard line. On this play MIT and Stonehill each received offsetting penalties and play continued from the 13-yard line.

With 2:51 left in the quarter the Stonehill quarterback threw a 17-yard pass to score another touchdown. The kick for the extra point was good, bringing the score to 337. The quarter ended with a holding penalty against MIT, which set the clock back five seconds.

Both teams continued their strong play in the fourth quarter. With 14:50 left in the quarter Stonehill carried the ball 18 yards to score another touchdown. Stonehill converted the extra point, bringing the score to 407.

MIT answered back and drove to Stonehill's one-yard line. Running back Maik Flanagin '99 then rushed the ball through the Stonehill defense to score MIT's final touchdown in the game, with 8:53 remaining in the game. Liebke-Windler once again kicked the ball through the uprights to bring the score to 4014.

In the final minutes of the game Stonehill scored the final touchdown of the game off a 48-yard pass to bring the score to 4614. MIT blocked the extra point kick, but Stonehill recovered the ball and brought into the MIT endzone, to effectively make a two-point conversion, and bring the score to 4814.

The team knew Stonehill was a tough challenge from previous years. However, "Stonehill has a hard time playing at MIT," said team co-captain Chris Yanney '97. Last year the team lost to Stonehill 2114 after Stonehill scored a last minute touchdown.

With the loss of three of MIT's strongest players from last year and missed practices because of exams, the team pulled together against a tough opponent. Despite an uneven first quarter on MIT's part, the Engineers recovered to gain their stride and play with intensity and strength to keep pressure on Stonehill.

"The heart of the guys is the strength of the team," said Yanney. With this strength, MIT can look forward to some good football in the remaining games of the season.

The team is now focusing on the Homecoming game against Curry College on October 19.