Cambridge, Mass. – Curry College used a strong ground attack and overcame four turnovers as it held off a determined MIT squad, 27-12, in New England Football Conference Boyd Division action. Phil Bigelow ran for 167 yards and one score to lead the Colonels to the victory. Freshman Justin Wallace (Palatine, Ill.) had his second career 100-yard game, leading the Engineers with 120 yards and a score.
It was MIT (1-2, 1-0 NEFC) that struck first in the game after the Engineers defense stopped Curry (3-1, 1-0 NEFC) on its first two drives. Taking over on their own 37 after a Curry punt, it was the running of Wallace and sophomore quarterback John Wenzel (Mandeville, La.) that produced a 11-play, 63-yard drive. The pair rushed for all but 12 yards of the drive, capping things off on a one-yard plunge by Wallace that put MIT up 6-0 after a missed extra point.
MIT's defense continued to thwart Curry drives, coming up with interceptions by freshman Anthony Souffrant (North Grafton, Mass.) and senior Peter Gilliland (Grand Ledge, Mich.) to stop the next pair of Colonel possessions. But on the next play after the Gilliland pick, MIT gave it right back when Wenzel was intercepted by Jason Genece, who returned it 16 yards to the MIT 47. From there Curry drove it in for the score, getting an eight-yard scoring run from Bigelow that put Curry up 7-6 with 12:19 left in the second quarter.
MIT came back and drove the ball down to the Curry nine-yard line where the Engineers had it first and goal. But the drive stalled there and MIT had to settle for a 27-yard Gilliland field goal that put it back on top 9-7.
Curry came back to take the lead on an impressive drive just before the end of the first half. Quarterback Anthony Carnevale completed four passes for 38 yards and Bigelow had runs of 14 and 19 yards on consecutive 3rd and 10 situations as the Colonels drove for the score. A Carnevale to Robert Bambini 14-yard scoring play put Curry in the end zone with just nine seconds left in the half. MIT blocked the extra point, making it 13-9 Curry at the half.
Neither team could mount a sustained attack in the third quarter until MIT took advantage of a short Curry punt and put together a 27-yard scoring drive that resulted in a 26-yard Gilliland field goal that brought MIT to within one at 13-12 with 1:38 left in the quarter.
Curry answered the MIT score with its first sustained drive of the half. The Colonels picked up a 23-yard run from Jordan Shairs that brought the ball into MIT territory at the 45. Seven plays later the pairing of Carnevale and Bambini worked again for Curry, as they hooked up on a 15-yard scoring play that made it 20-12 with 13:03 left to play.
From there Curry's defense held MIT in check. With time running down the Colonels held the Engineers on a fourth-down play at the MIT 32 and on the next play Bruce Vieira burst up the middle for the score that put the game away.
Curry rushed for 299 yards and totaled 444 overall for the day compared to 245 for MIT. Carnevale completed 17 of his 34 attempts for 145 yards and the two scores while throwing three interceptions. Most of MIT's offense came on the ground where the Engineers gained 183 yards. Wenzel was able to hit on only nine of 26 attempts for 62 yards. Genece finished with 10 tackles and the one interception to lead the Curry defense, while sophomore Jake Laux (Dousman, Wis.) led all players with 11 tackles for MIT, with Gilliland finishing with 10. Junior Aaron Fittery (Orange, Calif.) had two interceptions for the Engineers.
MIT will be back on the road next week when it travels to UMass-Dartmouth for a 12:00 p.m. game. Curry will be home, taking on Endicott College at 7:00 p.m.