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Football Victory Over UMass Brings Winning Streak to 3

Jiri Schindler--The Tech
Christopher Yanney '97 clears a way for Trenton J. Redman '97 to make a first down in the third quarter of the Saturday's football game against the University of Massachusetts at Boston. MIT won 15-8.

By Chris Brocoum
sports columnist

The football team played an excellent second half to recover from an early deficit to beat rival University of Massachusetts at Boston 158 on Saturday.

UMass scored a touchdown late in the first quarter to take an early 80 lead but then quickly died as the Engineers took over the game. Beginning with a strong drive to end the first half, MIT began to play inspired football from there on out.

The Engineers' defense held UMass in check on their second possession of the second half, and a short punt of only 15 yards set MIT up with good field position at the UMass 36 yard line. Scott Blackburn '99 threw a 10-yard pass to Trent Redman '97 to set up the touchdown.

MIT ran a screen pass to the right with a couple of nice blocks to allow Duane Stevens '98 to run almost untouched into the end zone to complete the 25-yard touchdown play. MIT converted for two points on a short pass to Redman to tie the score at 88 late in the third quarter.

UMass soon came storming back as they converted a key fourth down conversion and was threatening inside the MIT 20 when Sam Park '99 recovered a fumble in the backfield and returned it 36 yards to set MIT up near midfield.

Four plays later, Blackburn capped a 43-yard drive with his second touchdown pass of the day to Redman for 32 yards. The extra point was good to put MIT up 158 with 10:13 left in the game.

UMass had several chances late in the game, but each time the Engineers were right there. MIT's punt on their next possession took a great bounce, and MIT downed it on the 1-yard line. The next play, it appeared MIT had sacked the UMass quarterback for a safety, but instead the referees spotted the ball on the 1-inch line.

Somehow UMass managed to get off a 34-yard pass that looked like trouble. Stevens quickly deflated UMass as he intercepted a Beacon pass attempt. It seemed it was all over with MIT on the UMass 23-yard line when the Engineers failed on fourth down to allow UMass one final chance to score with 1:53 left.

After a couple plays, Nick Cozy '00 sealed the Engineers'

MIT's defense played well throughout the game, punishing UMass with six sacks and holding them to only 3.1 yards a play.

Offensively MIT took a while to get started but turned it up after three consecutive completions to Redman to end the first half. MIT was led by quarterback Blackburn who threw two touchdowns while passing for 146 yards on 12 of 29 attempts.

On the receiving end, Redman was instrumental in the Engineer comeback by igniting the MIT offense with his string of consecutive receptions and his 106 yards gained on eight catches for the day.

Maik Flanagin '99, had another outstanding game to lead the Engineers in rushing with 42 yards on 13 carries.