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MIT Can...t Stop Run, Drops NEFC Opener Despite Quick Start

By Ryan Lanphere

The MIT Engineers (1-2) failed to keep pace with the multi-pronged offensive attack of the Nichols College Bison (2-1) last Saturday at Steinbrenner Stadium, falling in their opening New England Football Conference divisional contest 33-19.

MIT leapt out to an early 6-0 lead in the first quarter on a four-yard touchdown run by Thomas C. Scotton ’07. Scotton’s touchdown was the culmination of a solid first quarter drive which started on the Engineers own 20-yard line. The Engineers failed to convert the extra point when freshman kicker Corey Garvey’s conversion attempt missed wide to the left. MIT ate up 5:32 of the game clock on the drive and appeared to be still rolling on the momentum built up from last week’s victory over Framingham State.

The Bison quickly answered MIT’s first quarter touchdown with an end zone trip of their own just 2:28 into the second quarter on a 2-yard dive by freshman running back Christopher Patterson. Nichols pulled ahead after a successful PAT attempt to make the score 7-6. This would become a reoccurring theme of the day as Patterson finished with two touchdowns and racked up 103 yards on 19 rushing attempts.

Nichols might have scored sooner if not for a diving pick of Bison quarterback Michael Carven’s pass by defensive back Kevin J. Foley ’09 in the opening seconds of the second quarter. Unfortunately, Foley was only able to add three tackles to his interception in the game because he left the in the second half with a concussion.

Foley’s pick was the second interception in a row as MIT’s previous drive had also ended in an interception thrown by Engineer quarter back Richard A. Mancuso ’09. Despite the interception, Mancuso was still able to put up solid numbers including two touchdown passes and 219 yards on 14 competitions in 34 attempts

MIT was able to match the Bison score for score almost the entire first half. The Engineers closed to within two points to make the score 14-12 in favor of the Bison after Mancuso hooked up with Marcus R. Carson ’07 on a nine yard touchdown pass with 3:51 left to play in the half. The Engineers attempted to make up for the missed extra point but were unsuccessful in a two-point conversion attempt following the touchdown.

Carson lead MIT’s receiving corps with 44 yards on four receptions and a second touchdown score coming in the waning minutes of the fourth quarter with the game already out of reach. The Bison would go on to score 19 unanswered points, sealing the Engineers fate early in the fourth quarter with the second Patterson touchdown dive extending the score 33-12 in favor of the Bison.

The final Nichols touchdown came after an MIT fumble during the exchange between Mancuso and center Zaven Kalfayan ’09 who was in the position for the first time this year. This was the second fumble on the exchange but the first lost, as the Engineers were less fortunate the second time around.

MIT’s defensive effort was highlighted by the performance of freshman linebacker Tyler Z. Liechty ’10 who had eight total tackles including six solo and one for a loss. Safety David O. Kalk ’08 also had a solid game with six solo tackles of his own for an overall total of 7.5 tackles. MIT’s offense could never really get its ground game going and Scotton finished with only 45 yards on 14 attempts to go with his first quarter touchdown.

This Saturday the Engineers (1-2) will travel to North Dartmouth, Mass. to face the Corsairs of UMass Dartmouth (1-2). Kickoff is scheduled for 12:00 p.m. on the turf of Cressy Field. This is the second divisional contest for both teams.