DeRon M. Brown ’10 and Robert C. Utz ’09 combined for 351 yards on the ground as MIT unleashed a nearly unstoppable rushing attack en route to a 48-15 victory over Western New England College in a New England Football Conference Boyd Division battle on Saturday. Brown paced a running game that totaled 435 yards with 207 yards and four touchdowns on 25 carries.
Saturday’s conference match was expected to be a high-scoring affair, and that assumption was quickly confirmed. On the first play from scrimmage, senior running back Jordan Capitanio broke through on the left side and raced 88 yards down field as Western New England grabbed an early 6-0 lead. Pat Meffen converted the ensuing two-point attempt with a pass to Capitanio to give the Golden Bears an excellent start.
Wasting no time in supplying an answer, Utz took the hand-off on MIT’s first offensive play and drove 66 yards down the right side of the field as the Engineers pulled within one. The Golden Bears fumbled on the ensuing kick-off return and the Engineers took over at the Western New England 40-yard line. Nine plays later, Brown punched in MIT’s second score of the day from two yards out as MIT moved in front, 14-8.
After forcing WNEC to punt on its next possession, MIT orchestrated its best drive of the afternoon by driving 81 yards en route to its third touchdown of the opening frame. Brown capped off the drive with a 22-yard scamper up the middle.
The Engineers increased their lead mid-way through the second quarter as Brown scored again; this time from 21 yards out. Despite yielding a long touchdown on WNEC’s first offensive play of the game, the MIT defense held the Golden Bears’ attack to just 56 yards for the rest of the half while enjoying a 27-8 advantage at the break.
Brown, who last week became the first MIT back to eclipse 1,000 yards in a season, broke the game open with a 67-yard touchdown run on the second play of the second half. That score marked his fourth touchdown of the afternoon and tied Shane LaHousse ’90 for the Institute’s single-game record. LaHousse scored four times on the ground against Stonehill College on Sept. 24, 1988.
Western New England sliced into the Engineers’ lead at the end of the third quarter as Justin Walz scored on a quarterback keeper from the seven-yard line. Walz carried the 14-play, 80-yard drive with both his legs and arm. The junior QB completed five passes during the drive including three straight first downs covering 30 yards while rushing five times for 23 yards.
MIT capitalized on a poor kick-off to negate any momentum gained by WNEC on its previous scoring drive. The Engineers quickly worked the ball down field as Richard A. Mancuso ’10 connected with Utz on a 27-yard pass play that gave MIT first-and-goal from the one to begin the fourth quarter. On the first play of the last quarter, Mancuso dove over the top of the pile as MIT stretched its lead to 41-15. The Engineers added another score at 6:58 as rookie running back Marcel B. Sanchez ’12 broke several tackles en route to a 26-yard touchdown.
The Engineers totaled a season-high 514 yards of total offense while the Golden Bears finished with 324.
Western New England’s Dave McCarten paced all defensive players with 10 tackles. Steven M. Nunez ’09, who was named to the NEFC Weekly Honor Roll last week, authored two interceptions and a pass break-up for MIT.