Football Team Loses Battle of the Unskilled
In a game that began as a battle of the incompetents and ended in the Engineer’s sixth consecutive loss, the Salve Regina Seahawks took their second win of the season 28-14, and left MIT solidly last in their New England Football Conference division. MIT quarterback Phil M. Deutsch ’05 had as many completions as interceptions on the day.
Salve Regina won the coin toss, but deferred, so MIT received the kickoff. After giving freshman running back Thomas C. Scotton ’08 the ball on three consecutive plays for a first down, Salve Regina’ s Adam DiBona broke through the line of scrimmage to take Deutsch down in his first sack of the game. Shaken by the play, Deutsch proceeded to place the ball directly into the hands of freshman Seahawk Phil Bellafiore for the first interception of the game around the 50 yard line.
Salve Regina capitalized on the MIT error and marched down the field with three first downs and one fourth down conversion after a cross-field pass to Dan Decostas. After catching the pass, Decostas polished the opportunity off when, with MIT defenders clutching at his feet, he stretched himself out as he fell and just barely placed the ball into the MIT endzone for the touchdown.
The kick for the extra point was blocked and ultimately recovered by MIT, but only after an MIT fumble and cartoonish attempts by the Engineers’ defensive line to pick up the ball amid loud laughter from the crowd.
The Engineers gained possession for the second time of the game, only to lose it on the second play of the drive. On a play action fake, under pressure from the Seahawks’ defensive line, Deutsch tossed it straight to Seahawk Bellafiore for each player’s second interception in eight minutes.
The Seahawks did not waste this mistake either. They used eight plays to bring the line of scrimmage to the 1 yard line, and then rushed the ball in for their second touchdown.
The Engineers worked their way up the field to the Seahawks’ 23 yard line in their third possession of the game, due mostly to the rushing efforts of Scotton and Deutsch (who doubles as a running back). However, MIT ended up facing fourth and four. On a play that garnered huge applause from the crowd despite its ineffectiveness, the Engineers faked a punt in a smooth Charlie Brown move. But the play did not earn them a 1st down, turning possession over to the Seahawks.
Possession changed hands with no result three more times without any scores. MIT eventually gained possession starting from the Seahawks 45 yard line, and managed to make their way all the way into the endzone.
In what was probably the best play to come from Deutsch in the game, on first and ten at the 30 yard line, he rushed for five yards and, as he was going down under a tackle, passed outside to Scotton, who ran for thirteen more yards, to the 12 yard line.
Scotton rushed again on the next play to make it first and goal and then proceeded to rush for the Engineers’ first touchdown of the game on the next play. Matt R. Ramirez ’06 kicked it in for the extra point to bring the score to 12-7.
After that play the Seahawks retaliated, using eight plays and three first downs to bring the ball in for their third touchdown of the first half and then cushioned their lead with a two point conversion.
In the second half both teams cleaned up their games and stopped making embarrassing mistakes. The Seahawks started with possession at the 8 yard line, but could not get past Kevin Yerkowich ’06 and were forced to turn it over.
The Engineers, on their first possession of the second half, alternated their use of Scotton and Deutsch for rushing. Just one play in the eight play drive didn’t feature one of them. Scotton finished the drive with a flourish, rushing for the last six yards and a touchdown.
On their next possession the Seahawks worked their way up the field, but in a truly impressive defensive series led by Yurkewich, the Engineers managed to stop the Seahawks on the MIT 25 yard line.
The Engineers subsequently wasted a chance to take the lead on a Salve Regina fumble recovered by David A. Blau ’06, failing to convert on fourth and goal.
The Seahawks regained possession and did what the Engineers could not, converting on fourth and goal to score amid chants of “Defense” from the crowd. This touchdown took all the wind out of the Engineers sails, and after their half-hearted attempt to score from the their twenty, the Seahawks regained possession and ran out the clock for the win.
A loss next Saturday against Endicott College would tie the all-time MIT record for most consecutive losses.