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Led by Mancuso, Football Wins Last Home Game of the Season

By Albert Ni

It is said you have to be resilient even to choose to come to MIT, never mind play football as well. The Engineers proved their resilience in a 34-21 victory over the Nichols College Bison on Saturday.

Quarterback Richard A. Mancuso ’09 put together one of the greatest passing displays in MIT history, as he connected on 25 of 43 passes for a record-shattering 387 yards as well as a record-tying 4 touchdowns.

Marcus R. Carson ’07 paced his fellow wide receivers with five catches, including a couple of impressive diving grabs, for 114 yards and a touchdown. Not wanting to be left out of the action, Christopher W. Ruggiero ’07 had six receptions for 81 yards and two touchdowns of his own.

MIT’s defense also played well, getting off to a dramatic start as they allowed the Bison to march down to the one yard line on their first possession, but then stopped them on fourth and goal, returning the ball to the offense.

Ninety-nine yards later, 94 of which came through the air, Tech was up 6-0.

The game was back and forth for the next quarter and, with the score 14-13 Bison late in the second quarter, Mancuso then found Ruggiero, giving MIT a lead they would never relinquish.

In similar fashion to their last home game, the Engineers played an extremely solid third quarter, as the offense continued to have its way with its aerial assault.

Led by Brennan P. Sherry’s ’06 10 tackles, the Tech defense kept Nichols College at bay, giving Mancuso and the offense plenty of opportunities to put more points on the board.

MIT carried the momentum to the fourth quarter, which began with a Robert C. Utz ’09 touchdown run from two yards out to make the score 34-14 in favor of the Engineers.

A good crowd was in attendance for Tech’s last home game of the year, and the Engineers did not disappoint, running their record to a solid 3-1 at Steinbrenner Stadium. The fans showed their appreciation throughout the game with prolonged chants for a variety of MIT players.

The crowd rallied around a fan sporting a mohawk and a megaphone, who became a de facto cheerleader.

“It was great to have three wins at home this year,” said Coach Dwight Smith after the game. “We passed it well, Rick [Mancuso] made good decisions, and the line blocked really well.”

With two more games remaining on the road, Tech now has a chance to finish its season above .500. When asked about it, Smith was straightforward.

“Two more games, two more victories, that’s our goal.”