Western New England Blanks MIT, 31-0
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Western New England University scored in every quarter and totaled 429 yards of offense while its defense held MIT to just 149 yards as the Golden Bears shutout the Engineers 31-0 in a New England Football Conference Boyd Division game. Kevin Cook ran for 135 yards and two scores, including a 49-yard scoring run just before halftime that broke open a close game.
For most of the first half it was a battle of field position between the two squads. Western New England (6-1, 4-0 NEFC) managed a 42-yard Nick Fox-Edele field goal, set up by an interception by James Kravic of sophomore John Wenzel's (Mandeville, La.) pass attempt at the MIT 30-yard line. Those proved to be the only points of the first quarter, a quarter that saw the two teams combine for just 81 yards of offense.
It remained a defense dominated game until the final minutes of the second quarter. A 49-yard punt by Wenzel pinned Western New England at its own six-yard line with 3:49 left in the half. The Golden Bears picked up a key, 32-yard pass completion from Bryce Brown to Kreem Hines that got the ball out to the WNE 42-yard line. MIT (1-5, 0-4 NEFC) appeared to have the drive stopped three plays later when sophomores Phillip Marmolejo (Clovis, Calif.) and Jake Laux (Dousman, Wis.) stopped Cook a yard short of the first down after taking a short pass from Brown. Facing a fourth and one, the Golden Bears went for it, handing the ball off to Cook who broke through the middle of the MIT defense and then raced down the right sideline for the score with 1:08 left in the half to take a 10-0 lead into the locker room.
Western New England received a spark on the second half kickoff when Brendon Thompson returned the kick 44 yards to the MIT 42. From there the Golden Bears put together a 12-play drive that was resulted in a one-yard run by Brown and a 17-0 lead.
Cook and Brown added TD runs in the first half of the fourth quarter that put the game away for the Golden Bears, with Cook taking it in from a yard out and Brown getting a four-yard scoring run that made it 31-0 with 6:33 left.
MIT made a bid to get on the scoreboard after the final Western New England score when freshman Brad Goldsberry (Elizabeth, Colo.) returned the kickoff down the right side of the field, bursting into the clear near midfield. Goldsberry, who finished with 217 yards of kickoff and put returns, cut to the right sideline but was pushed out of bounds by WNE kicker Ryan Krueger at the six-yard line. But the Golden Bear defense made a goal-line stand on fourth and one from the one, stopping Wenzel just short of the goal line to preserve the shutout.
Cook's 135 yards on the ground was his season best, while freshman Justin Wallace (Palatine, Ill.) continued his strong play for the Engineers with a team leading 74 yards rushing. Brown ran for 56 yards and passed for 147 more, hitting on 14 of his 22 attempts for WNE. The Golden Bears defense held the MIT passing attack in check all day, allowing just 43 yards through the air. Laux led all players on defense with 18 tackles, while Kevin Soule had 11 stops for Western New England, including the games only sack.
MIT will be back in action next week on October 22 when it plays a Noon game at Salve Regina University. Western New England will be at home against Plymouth State University in a 1:00 p.m. game.