By Mike Stoller, MIT Sports Information Assistant
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Sparked by three lightning touchdown runs by Division III All-America back DeRon Brown, the MIT football team posted its first win of the campaign with a 26-0 decision over visiting UMass Dartmouth in a New England Football Conference (NEFC) Boyd Division battle at rain-soaked Roberts Field on Saturday afternoon. With its first win over the Corsairs in 10 years, MIT posted its first victory under the reign of first-year head coach Chad Martinovich and its first shutout since its blanking of Framingham State in 2003. The Engineers improved to 1-3 overall and 1-1 in the NEFC, while UMass Dartmouth fell to 0-5 on the year and 0-2 in the conference.
Overall, Brown rushed for 267 yards on 31 carries, scoring on runs of 21, 66, and 76yards. Tech took advantage of two Corsairs’ fumbles in the first quarter and another miscue in the third frame, when Brian Doyle picked off a pass and scooted 51-yards down the left sideline to make it 19-0 at the time.
The Engineers got on the board after spoiling UMass Dartmouth’s opening drive when Aaron Fittery forced the ball loose and Will Gibson recovered at the UMass 20. Brown lost a yard on his first carry, but bolted for 21 to pay-dirt on the ensuing play. Peter Gilliland’s extra point boot gave Tech a 7-0 lead.
The Corsairs were in striking distance to tie the game after Joe Luiz surged 47 yards on a return to the MIT 37. Using an assortment of running plays, including an eight-yard QB keeper by Brendan McNeish, the Corsairs made their way to the Tech 15, before they lost the ball again, with MIT recovering at its own 24.
Brown wasted no time in blasting his way through for his 76-yard score, as the Engineers led, 13-0, after the first quarter. On UMass Dartmouth’s next possession, the Engineers again knocked the ball loose, with Kristopher Weaver recovering, after the Corsairs got an 18-yard return from Luiz to the Dartmouth 38. The score remained 13-0 at the break.
MIT extended its lead to 19-0 when Doyle intercepted a tipped pass and found the endzone with 9:29 left in the third frame. The Engineers sealed the win on Brown’s 66-yard TD run in fourth quarter, the second of which he scored on the first play of a drive.
As a team, MIT rushed for 319 yards and held UMass Dartmouth to 39. In addition to Brown’s dominating day, the Engineers got a solid effort from Steve Yablonsiki, who rushed for 30 yards on six carries.
Blake Brown caught three passes for 56 yards for the Corsairs, while George Vasiliadis proved effective in pinning Tech deep in its own territory, with his longest punt, a 50-yarder during a busy day of 10 boots.
Gilliland led Tech’s defense with 16 tackles as Gibson tallied 10 of his own. Aaron Fittery posted nine stops while Alex Rubino registered eight tackles, four for a loss of nine yards, and a sack that amounted to a five-yard loss. Patrick Jupe notched eight tackles including two that set UMass Dartmouth back eight yards. Brian Mickle recorded six tackles, two tackles for loss, including a nine-yard sack.
Shawn Manning paced the Corsairs’ defensive unit with 14 tackles which featured a nine-yard sack. John Cordasco contributed 10 tackles as John Kelly added seven.