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Football Falls to Nichols, 48-28

Several Team Members Shine, Even as Beavers Fall Behind

By Spencer Cross

TEAM MEMBER

The Beavers knew that Nichols was going to be fired up for Saturday’s game. Last year, the Beavers ended Nichols’ dreams for a conference championship by beating them in their homecoming. The loss shocked them, as they had been undefeated in league games. Similarly, Nichols came to Cambridge poised for a championship run, and the Beavers were looking to end it.

The game got off to a quick start for Nichols, as they drove the ball 54 yards in just six plays and scored for an early 7-0 lead.

When the Beavers had a chance with the ball, they were shut down almost as quickly by the impressive Nichols defense. MIT’s feared rushing attack was held to a mere 83 yards, the fewest of the season. After Nichols’ Boris Carter returned MIT’s punt, Nichols sliced through the MIT defense and drove the ball 75 yards on seven carries to bring the score to 13-0.

MIT did not let down, though, and captain Brian C. Alvarez ’02 blocked the extra point kick to give the Engineers momentum going into the next drive.

The Beavers’ next drive started off with a powerful kick return by Kale D. McNaney ’05. McNaney had a season high 110 return yards for the day.

The MIT offense then drove the ball down the field on Nichols, pushing it 74 yards on 11 carries, with the climax on a 43 yard touchdown pass. Quarterback Philip M. Deutsch ’04 was able to shed three would-be sackers and throw the ball on the run to a wide-open Gregory N. Nelson ’02. This brought the game back within reach for the Beavers, as the score was now 13-7. Unfortunately, MIT momentum ended there, and Nichols scored three unanswered touchdowns to end the first half leading 34-7.

MIT came out strong in the second half, but the 27-point deficit was too much to overcome, and the game ended 48-28.

There were some encouraging signs from the Beavers, however. The passing game came together, as Deutsch completed 14 of 24 passes for 213 yards and three touchdowns, despite being sacked six times. 167 of those yards were to the wide receiving corps of Robert R. Owsley ’02, Nelson, and Thomas J. Kilpatrick ’05. Owsley had a season-high eight catches and two touchdowns. Kicker Kevin M. Ferguson ’02 established MIT records with his 44th, 45th, 46th, and 47th career extra-points. Despite giving up 437 yards of offense to Nichols, MIT won the time of possession battle, 32:13 to 27:47.

Credit must be given to the Nichols team, which is now 4-0 in the NEFC Boyd-division. They were especially talented in the offensive and defensive backfields.

The Beavers fell to 1-6, and now must gear up for a tough 1:30 p.m. road contest this Saturday at Worcester State. Worcester is undefeated, and averages 465 offensive yards per game.