When the MIT Engineers took the field Saturday, they were not only competing against the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth Corsairs, but also the weather — reminiscent of their first storm-delayed game three weeks ago at Massachusetts Maritime Academy. This time, however, the Engineers’ impressive performance both offensively and defensively led them to a shutout victory over UMass-Dartmouth — the first win over the Corsairs in a decade.
The Engineers came out of the gates furiously, as Aaron M. Fittery ’13 forced a fumble recovered by captain William J. Gibson ’10 on the UMass 20 yard line. All-American captain DeRon M. Brown ’10 was able to punch it in on a 21-yard run up the middle, and the extra point gave Tech a 7-0 lead. MIT never looked back.
The Corsairs began their response vigorously, as they drove the ball to the MIT 15-yard line. Another fumble, however, stopped their momentum as a field goal attempt was botched when the placeholder couldn’t handle the snap. Brian H. Mickle ’10 was able to recover the fumble on the wet turf. On the ensuing possession, Brown sprinted 76 yards down the Tech sideline for another score, but the blocked point-after attempt made the score 13-0. The Engineers took that lead into halftime.
The second half began with Tech receiving the ball. Though the Corsairs thwarted MIT’s first two drives of the half, the defense decided to score instead. Defensive back Brian P. Doyle ’11 intercepted a pass and ran it back for another Tech score.
Brown was able to put the nail in the coffin with a 66-yard touchdown scamper, his third of the day, on the first play of a drive in the fourth quarter for a final score of 26-0.
The Engineers had impressive performances on both sides of the ball, led by Brown’s 267 yards on 31 carries on the ground and an air attack lead by Kyle T. Johnson ’11, who completed 8 out of 13 passes for 95 yards. Defensively, Peter W. Gilliland ’12 led the team with 16 total tackles, followed by Gibson with 10. The defensive line accounted for 31 tackles lead by captain Alex F. Rubino ’10 and Patrick T. Jupe ’12.
The team was happy to earn their first victory of the season. The scene was set at the end as Gibson distracted rookie Head Coach Chad Martinovich while Mickle and Anthony D. McDonald ‘10 dumped the ice bucket in celebration of the team’s first win under Martinovich, the second coach in the Engineer Football program’s history. Safety Corey Garvey ’10, who finished the day with 6 tackles of his own, “felt good to get a win for coach” after the game. Garvey believed in Saturdays win, “The whole team got it together for the first time.” The win is a good sign of improvement for the Engineers, and, as Rubino remarked, “We proved to each other how well we can play when we all do our jobs.”
The Engineers, now 1-3 and 1-1 in NEFC conference play, will take on conference rivals Curry College at Steinbrenner Stadium at 5:00 p.m. this Saturday.