CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – With 27 seconds
remaining in regulation, Brandon Holbrook hauled in a 27-yard pass
from Patrick Franey to give visiting Framingham State College a
20-16 victory over MIT in non-conference football action on
Saturday. The decision marked the second year in a row in which the
Rams (2-1) have registered a come-from-behind win over the
MIT got on the scoreboard midway through the opening quarter on a drive that was set up on a fumble which was forced and recovered by Alex Rubino at Framingham State’s 22 yard line. The Engineers got as close as the five-yard mark but had to settle for a field goal from Peter Gilliland. A defensive battle ensued as both sides combined for 83 yards over the next six drives.
The Rams nearly evened the game at the 8:03 mark of the second quarter, but Phil Cosmos’ field goal attempt hit the right post. Following a punt by the Cardinal and Gray, David Leach grabbed a 14-yard pass and added a 14-yard run to move the ball to MIT’s 21 yard line. Franey hooked up with James McCarthy who was brought down just shy of the end zone. On his third try, Leach plunged in for the touchdown to give Framingham State a slim 7-3 lead which would hold for the rest of the half.
The Engineers quickly regained the lead after 2:22 expired in the third quarter. On a third-down and eight, Kyle Johnson sprinted for 13 yards and later threw a 32-yard strike to Mike Fitzgerald for another third-and-long conversion. On the ensuing play, Johnson found Nate Forbes for the go-ahead touchdown from 12 yards out. Both sides struggled to move the ball until Leach’s 18-yard run moved the chains to MIT’s 32 yard line at the end of the frame.
Coming out of the break, Franey’s pass was intercepted by Brian Doyle at the eight yard line and returned it for 28 yards. DeRon Brown recorded a 14-yard run, but after a pair of incomplete passes, the Rams’ Corey Steele intercepted Johnson’s toss and brought it up to his own 45 yard line. Facing a fourth and seven from MIT’s 39, Franey set up to receive the snap to punt but threw to Anthony Kewley for a 12-yard gain. Leach followed with a 26-yard scamper as Franey capped the drive with a quarterback sneak to give Framingham State a 14-10 advantage with 9:43 left to play
Back-to-back catches by Forbes of 13 and 25 yards moved the Engineers to Framingham State’s 20 yard line. A penalty resulted in a first-and-goal for the hosts, but the Rams denied the scoring opportunity. Following a Framingham three-and-out, the Engineers regained possession on their 37 with 5:23 on the clock. MIT went on to mount a 12-play, 63-yard drive which spanned 4:20 and resulted in a touchdown by Brown from three-yards out. The ensuing extra-point attempt was blocked by Anthony Pappagallo and held the Engineers to a 16-14 edge with 54 seconds remaining.
On the first play of the Rams’ drive, Leach sprinted for a 20-yard gain that put the ball on MIT’s 48 yard line. A 16-yard reception by McCarthy helped set up Holbrook’s game-winning catch.
Johnson totaled 69 yards on 14 rushes, including 30 during the Engineers’ final touchdown drive, while converting 13-of-31 pass attempts for 167 yards. Forbes led the receiving corps with 66 yards on six catches while Brown compiled 91 yards on the day, including 61 in the air. Peter Gilliland paced the defense with 17 tackles including two-and-a-half for loss. Patrick Jupe registered 11 tackles as Derek Li contributed eight. Brian Doyle notched seven tackles and a sack for six yards.
Leach finished the day with 144 yards on 28 rushes while McCarthy compiled 157 receiving yards on 16 catches. Franey threw for 264 yards on 31-of-42 attempts while David Akasa anchored the defense with 11 tackles. Joe Treacy contributed 10 tackles, followed by Adam Emery (seven) and Brent Loveless (six).
Both squads will begin New England Football Conference (NEFC) divisional play next Saturday, Sept. 26. MIT will travel to Boyd Division-foe Nichols College while Framingham State will host Fitchburg State College in a Bogan Division match up.