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Football Team Narrowly Loses Final Game to WNEC, 28-21

By Thomas Kilpatrick and Spencer Cross

TEAM MEMBERS

The Western New England College football team entered Saturday’s matchup with MIT with a 2-4 record, but with one of the NEFC’s best running backs: Marvin Langley. MIT was coming off a comeback miss against Worcester State last week, where the Beavers scored 29 straight points against the nation’s 21st ranked team.

This contest proved to be just as exciting as last week’s, despite the lesser stature of WNEC’s program.

In the seniors’ final game, MIT received stellar performances from athletes of all classes. Captain Robert R. Owsley ’02 broke the century mark again with 116 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns on 6 catches.

The running game finally got going again, too, as freshmen tailbacks Temitope O. Sonuyi ’05 and Kale D. McNaney ’05 rushed for 154 and 102 yards.

The offensive line of seniors Fernando Ceballos ’02 and Keith V. Battocchi ’02, junior Bradford S. Lassey ’03, sophomores Keith G. Reed ’04 and Justin M. Nelson ’02, and freshmen Matthew J. Krueger ’05 and Christopher J. Russell ’05, opened big holes all day.

Captain Thomas J. Hynes ’02 led the defensive effort with 11 tackles and a sack. Hynes, a defensive end, finished the season as the Beavers' leading tackle.

Jerimy R. Arnold ’03 led the team with eight unassisted tackles. Defensive backs Brian D. Hoying ’03 and Corey D. Carter ’03 both contributed 10 tackles.

True to the theme of MIT games throughout the season, a sloppy first half left the Beavers in a hole to climb out of. MIT had five unforced fumbles in the game, all of which were recovered. Langley rushed for three touchdowns in the first half to put WNEC ahead, 21-7.

MIT stormed back in the second half, scoring on its first drive on a pass from Philip M. Deutsch ’04 to Owsley. The key play was a 33-yard run by McNaney.

MIT scored again at the end of the third quarter on a six yard rush by Sonuyi. The key play on that drive was 59-yard rush, also by Sonuyi.

In the fourth quarter both defenses controlled the tempo, as neither team sustained a drive. The Beavers had possession with 1:12 left when WNEC’s John Piascik returned an interception to the MIT 4-yard line, where he was hauled down by MIT captain Kip M. Johann-Berkel ’02. Unfortunately, Langley scored his fourth touchdown on the very next play, putting the Beavers down 28-21.

But the game was not over. Only 1:06 remained on the clock, but a 25-yard rush by McNaney, and pass completions to Thomas J. Kilpatrick ’05 and Owsley brought the Beavers to the WNEC 3-yard line with 22 seconds. On the next play, Deutsch threw a pass to wide receiver Gregory N. Nelson ’02, who was pushed in the back by his defender. WNEC intercepted the pass and the game was over. MIT fell to 1-8.

Despite a disappointing year, the Beaver seniors provided exemplary leadership. Contributing seniors not yet named include captain Brian C. Alvarez ’02, Yoshitaka Nakanishi ’02, and kicker Kevin M. Ferguson ’02, who holds the MIT career record for extra points, with 52.