Beavers Fall to 2-1; Worcester State Has Too Much FirepowerBy Tom Kilpatrick
The MIT football team entered Saturday’s matchup against Worcester State with a 2-0 record and high expectations. They knew Worcester’s offensive machine would be tough to handle, but in the end it was the toughness of the Lancer defense that kept the Beavers out of the game. Worcester won 41-16.
The Lancer trio of quarterback Cean Oksanish, tailback Greg Wood, and receiver Lavon Cuyler entered the contest as three of the top skill players in the New England Football Conference. All three played well, as Oksanish threw for 220 yards and two touchdowns; Wood ran for 167 yards and three touchdowns; and Cuyler had seven receptions for 88 yards.
The MIT offense, on the other hand, never really got going. Tailback David J. Ostlund ’04, coming off a big week against Mass Maritime, only rushed for 40 yards, and Tom Kilpatrick ’05, who entered the game as the NEFC’s leading receiver, was held to only 50 yards on three catches. It added up to 179 yards of total offense for the Beavers.
Harvey gets things started
Things started on a high note when Phillip T. Zakielarz ’05 forced a fumble on Worcester’s second play, and Mike Harvey ’04 picked it up and ran 72 yards for a touchdown. R. Matt Ramirez ’06 added the extra point to give MIT a 7-0 lead.
After the proceeding kickoff, Worcester showed their offensive power by driving 71 yards in nine plays, tying the game at seven. For most of the day the Lancers used a shotgun formation with three wide receivers and one running back. Their no-huddle sets kept the heat on the Beaver defense.
MIT actually held the lead once more in the first quarter. With 6:36 remaining, quarterback Adam Love ’07 marched the team 39 yards for a 13-7 lead. Ostlund ran it in from the Worcester seven-yard line for the score. The big play of the drive was a 21-yard pass to flanker Paul Montgomery ’07, wide open on a short crossing route.
The second quarter was all Worcester State, as they scored three touchdowns. However, down 14-13, the Beavers had an opportunity to retake the lead after a fake punt in which Terence S. Karnal ’07 connected with David Ostlund for a 28-yard pass. The play took MIT to the Worcester 37-yard line, but the drive ended a few plays later with an interception.
Beavers start second half strong
MIT started the third quarter down 27-13 and kicked the ball off to the Lancers. After allowing Worcester to return the ball to the 44-yard line, the Beavers got a big defensive stop and forced a punt.
MIT then put together a nice drive, going 75 yards downfield. A big play was a 23-yard pass to Tom Kilpatrick early in the drive on 3rd and 10, and later a 12-yard completion to Marcus Carson ’07. After reaching the Worcester 10-yard line, a pass on 2nd and 6 fell incomplete in the end zone. A running play got stuffed on third down, and MIT opted for the field goal. Ramirez was good on the 30-yard attempt bringing the score to 27-16.
That was the end of the scoring for the Beavers though, and Worcester tacked on two more touchdowns making it 41-16.
The Worcester State defensive linemen and linebackers deserve credit for stopping MIT’s running game. The Beavers did a better job pass-blocking, but the Lancers were still able to bat down several passes and get two sacks.
On the defensive side, MIT played hard but was just asked to do too much. Zakielarz had another big day, leading the team with 10.5 tackles, and defensive end Kevin Yurkerwich ’06 had 6.5. Defensive backs David Blau ’06, David Shearer ’04, Tanis Fidelholtz ’04, and Mark Boudreau ’05 combined for 21 tackles, reflecting the number of completed passes and running plays that broke into the secondary.
One bright spot on the day was the kicking of Ramirez, who averaged 39 yards over seven punts, including a 57-yard bomb in the second quarter.
MIT (2-1) must regroup this week in preparation for a tough road trip to Curry (4-0). They will likely be without tight end Cody Patrick ’05, who injured his ankle against Worcester State.