By Mike Stoller, MIT Sports Information Assistant
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – On Senior Day, the MIT football team rolled out the red carpet honoring its upperclassmen and had considerable opportunities to make an even bigger splash in the game, before falling short to visiting Salve Regina University, 28-17, in a New England Football Conference (NEFC) match-up on Saturday afternoon at Roberts Field.
Playing in his last home game for the Cardinal and Gray, senior Division III All-America back DeRon Brown rushed for 246 yards, including two touchdowns to keep the Engineers within striking distance all day. Brown also set a new institute record with 41 carries, breaking the old mark of 38 set in 1993.
MIT had its chances to take control in the first half, after Salve Regina opened the scoring on a one-yard keeper by Jeff St. Onge, capping an 11-play drive, with Brendan Deasy adding the point. The Engineers followed by manufacturing an eight-play drive starting from their own 41, with Davey Hunt hauling in a 38-yard pass from quarterback Kyle Johnson that brought the ball to the Seahawk 16. On the ensuing play, Johnson rolled for 13 yards to the Salve Regina three. But the Seahawks’ held the Engineers on four rushing plays thanks to a big defensive stand by Austin Freeman, C.J. Hein, Carlos Santos, and Nick Jentz.
Late in the first quarter, the Engineers started in good field position at their own 46. But the 15-play drive consumed mostly on the ground fell short when Hein picked off a pass intended for Nathaniel Forbes in the left corner of the end zone and ran it back 36 yards. A penalty on MIT advanced the ball to the Tech 49. The Seahawks then scored on a three-play drive. Trey Scales picked up big gains of 15 and 23 yards, and St. Onge ran for 11 more for the capper. Deasy’s kick made it 14-0.
The Engineers managed to get on the board late in the second quarter as Brown capped a 58-yard drive with an 11-yard run. Brown did most of the honors on the drive, while Sean Kelly, who shared QB duties with Johnson, connected on passes of nine and 15 yards to Mike Yurkerwich and Forbes, respectively. Corey Garvey booted the extra point to cut the deficit to 14-7 at the half.
MIT started to roll again on the opening possession of the third quarter, but Matt Peterson intercepted a pass at his own 25 to halt the effort, after the Engineers earned a first down on a four-yard run by Steve Yablonski that advanced the ball to the Seahawks 47.
Salve Regina chipped away on its next possession until exploding for a 46-yard town toss from St. Onge to Nick Piscitelli on the seventh play of the drive. Deasy kicked the point to give the Seahawks a 21-7 lead.
The Engineers stayed within range when Peter Gilliland connected on a 40-yard field goal, after a drive led by Brown, who carried seven times on the effort, that started from the MIT 35. But the Seahawks responded with an 85-yard march capped by an 18-yard pass from St. Onge to Matt Shubert. Deasy’s point-after made it 28-10.
Brown then took off on his 58-yard TD score on the first play from scrimmage, after Brian Doyle ran back the kick 13 yards to the MIT 42. Garvey’s kick closed the scoring at 28-17.
St. Onge tossed for 170 yards, including two touchdowns, on 16-of-23 passing, while Piscitelli had five catches for 91 yards, for the Seahawks. Scales rushed for 96 yards on 21 carries, while punter Jeff Bartek kept the Engineers at bay, averaging 35.8 yards on boot, his longest of 44.
In addition to Brown’s big day for MIT, Forbes caught 6 passes for 53 yards.
Defensively, the Seahawks were led by Shane Lang, who had 15 tackles, while Nolan MCGarrrity and C.J Hein contributed 12 and 10, respectively. Freeman, Santos, and Brian Bernarducci had nine apiece, while Steven Benavides and Nick Jentz each recorded six.
Gilliland led the Engineers with 13 tackles, while Aaron Fittery followed with nine. Kristopher Weaver and Corey Garvey had eight apiece, while Will Gibson and Alex Rubino each had seven.