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Engineers Can...t Stop Run in Blowout Loss

333 Rushing Yards for UMass Dartmouth

By Ryan Lanphere

Last Saturday, very little went the way the football Engineers (1-3, 0-3) had designed it, when the Corsairs of UMass Dartmouth (2-2, 1-1) plundered and pillaged a 41-10 win, MIT’s second consecutive divisional loss and its third of the 2006 season.

UMass Dartmouth put up a staggering 512 yards of offense compared to the Engineers’ measly 187, a number which aptly described MIT’s lifeless showing. The seafaring Corsairs had little trouble on the ground, rushing for 333 yards led by running backs Bob Sullivan and J.T. Harold who both topped the century mark by gaining 123 yards on 18 carries and 107 yards on 16 carries respectively.

UMass Dartmouth’s air attack was equally effective, led by tight end Charles Gryska who pulled down seven receptions for 99 yards and two scores.

The game was essentially beyond MIT’s grasp only 2:21 into the first quarter. After a three and out on the Engineers’ first position of the game, Dartmouth returner Bryan Howard brought back freshman punter Corey Garvy’s kick 50 yards to the MIT 22-yard line. On the very next play Corsair quarterback Alex Garro connected with Gryska for a 22-yard touchdown pass. The rest of the game played out much in the same manner as the Corsairs didn’t punt once until late in the fourth quarter.

The Engineers’ only stops before that came on a blocked 32-yard field goal attempt with 3:25 to go in the first half which was picked up by Ryan L. Brunswick ’09 and returned for about 20 yards. The other stop came minutes later when Corey Garvey ’10 intercepted a poorly thrown Garro pass and returned it for 23 yards of his own. Earlier in the half, Garvey connected for his first career field goal, a 35-yarder.

One of Tech’s few bright spots came early in the second quarter on a 68-yard offensive scoring drive over seven plays lasting 3:06. The drive was capped by a seven-yard touchdown run by running back Robert C. Utz ’09 on an isolation play to the right side to make the score 21-10.

The drive was kept alive by a 36-yard-long Kevin T. Vogelsang ’09 reception from quarterback Richard A. Mancuso ’09 on fourth and one from MIT’s own 41-yard line.

Mancuso finished with 153 yards on 12 completions in 25 attempts while throwing one interception. Utz, who returned to the Engineers’ line-up after missing the first three games with an ankle injury, led the Engineers on the ground with a promising 32 yards on four carries but didn’t get many opportunities because MIT was playing catch-up all day.

MIT’s defense was led by safeties David O. Kalk ’08 and Joseph T. Goldschmid ’08 who had to make far too many plays after receiving little help from the MIT defensive front. Goldschmid contributed 11 solo tackles while Kalk finished with 12 solo tackles and was honored by his second NEFC weekly honor roll selection, the first coming two weeks ago after MIT’s victory over Framingham State.

The biggest hits of the day came from MIT receivers Vogelsang and Christopher W. Ruggiero ’07 (who led MIT in receiving with 33 yards on four receptions). Late in the third quarter, after a leaping 17-yard reception by Ruggiero, Vogelsang had a sickening de-cleating comeback block on a Corsair defender, eliciting pangs of empathy from MIT safety Kevin J. Foley ’09, who missed this week’s game due to a concussion after being the victim of a similar hit last week.

Not to be outdone by his teammate, with less than four minutes to play in the game Ruggiero made a bone-crushing tackle of his own, avenging an interception thrown by MIT’s backup quarterback Stephen C. Toth ’09.

The Engineers hope to bounce back next Saturday when they face the conference powerhouse and three times running NEFC champions, the Curry College Colonels (5-0, 2-0). The Engineers will travel to Milton, MA to play their lone night game under the lights of Walter M. Katz Field; kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.