Football Shuts Out WesternBy Christopher P. Anderson
MIT avenged last year’s home upset by defeating Western New England College 10-0 last Saturday on a rainy, chilly day in Springfield. MIT’s defense took center stage shutting down the Golden Bear offense and clinching the victory with two, fourth-quarter interceptions.
It was a tense, hard-hitting afternoon with both teams combining for only 366 yards. The teams traded punts through the first quarter before MIT quarterback Alexander T. Karnal ’03 was intercepted. WNEC took over inside MIT territory, but failed to capitalize when a field goal attempt went wide left. This was only the start of a comedy of errors. Another interception, a short punt and a fumbled punt return landed the Bears with the ball inside the MIT 30, but to no avail; the Beavers denied them points again.
Things looked bleak however, when WNEC running back Mike Laroche broke out of the arms of three tacklers and sprinted down to the MIT three-yard line. But two plays later, Laroche fumbled, and two-way lineman Spencer M. Cross ’05 recovered the ball. Another missed field goal and a stop on downs kept the scoreboard clean.
MIT’s offense showed some life with under two minutes to play in the half. Thanks to a long pass from Karnal to Thomas J. Kilpatrick ’05, R. Matt Ramirez was able to kick a 24-yard field goal with three seconds left on the clock.
Beavers dominate second half
The defense made sure those three points were all MIT needed to win. WNEC was stopped behind the line of scrimmage 15 times in the contest.
Defensive end Kevin Yurkewich ’06 continued his “lights-out” season with 12 tackles on the day. Linebacker Brent M. Schreiber ’03, and defensive tackle Dan Relihan ’04, also posted double-digits, with 12 and 10 tackles, respectively. The offense continued to have difficulty against the Bears’ defense and seemingly psychic linebackers, but the suffocating Beaver defense made offensive production a non-issue.
Early in the fourth quarter, cornerback Corey D. Carter ’03 decided he’d had enough of the suspense. Safety Brian D. Hoying ’03 fielded a punt at the MIT 16-yard line and started left; he handed off to Carter, who went right, broke two tackles and galloped up the sideline for an 84-yard touchdown. Needing two scores, WNEC went to their passing game, but interceptions by Richard H. Park ’05 and Carter sealed the win for MIT.
The MIT football team is now 3-3, with a 1-1 record in the New England Football Conference’s Boyd Division. With division rival Curry’s loss last week to Salve Regina, the Beavers control their own destiny in their remaining three games. This Saturday, MIT hosts UMass-Dartmouth at 1:30 p.m. at Steinbrenner Stadium.