September 14, 2013

MIT Blanks Becker, 34-0

LEICESTER, Mass. – MIT scored on its first four possessions and never looked back as the Engineers took a 34-0 win at Becker College in non-conference football action this afternoon. Junior Peter Williams (Portland, Ore.) totaled 333 yards of total offense and accounted for three scores to lead the offense while senior Jake Laux (Dousman, Wis.) led the defense to a shutout with 12 tackles and a forced fumble. MIT improved to 2-0 on the season, the first time that the Engineers have won their first two games since 2008. Becker fell to 1-1 with the loss.

It was all Williams early on for MIT as he carried the offense with both his arm and his legs. Becker held the MIT ground game in check, but Williams found openings in the secondary to propel the opening drive. He completed a pair of key third-down passes to junior Brad Goldsberry (Elizabeth, Colo.) before finishing off the 65-yard drive with a 21-yard scoring toss to senior Billy Thalheimer (Natick, Mass.) for an early 7-0 lead.

After the MIT defense held Becker to just one first down on its first drive, Williams led the offense down the field again. After hitting passes of 36 yards to sophomore Seve Esparrago (St. Louis, Mo.) and 27 yards to sophomore Nathan Varady (Fayetteville, Ark.) to put the Engineers deep into Hawks territory, Williams then stayed on the ground. He faked a handoff and then scampered around the left side for 14 yards and a score. With 19 seconds left in the quarter, freshman Tucker Cheyne (Avon, Conn.) added a 37-yard field goal to cap off a 57-yard drive and make it 17-0.

Four minutes into the second quarter Williams found sophomore Karson Ota (Katy, Texas) wide open down the left sideline and hit him for the easy 35-yard score that made it 24-0. That was all that the MIT defense would need as it held Becker to just two first downs, one on a penalty, until the Hawks final drive of the half. An 18-yard run by Matthew Romasco took the ball down to the MIT 19, but two plays later senior Brent Johnson (La Canada, Calif.) intercepted Robert Baker's pass attempt at the eight to snuff out the threat.

After holding the Hawks to a three-and-out on their first possession of the second half, MIT received good field position when junior Tye Ellis (Shady Side, Md.) returned the punt 20 yards to the MIT 48. Williams hit Varady for a 32-yard gain, but the drive stalled and Cheyne booted his second field goal of the contest, this one from a season best 42 yards out to make it 27-0.

Becker put its best drive of the game together late in the third and into the fourth quarter, with Baker competing four of six passes for 48 yards, including a 23-yard completion to Nicolas Sherman that put the ball on the MIT 11. The Hawks got the ball down to the two, but on fourth down Baker's attempt to dump the ball over the middle was broken up by junior Cameron Wagar (West Richland, Wash.). Four plays later junior Justin Wallace (Palatine, Ill.), who had been held in check to that point, broke one for 87 yards and a score, setting the MIT record for the longest run from scrimmage and putting the game out of reach.

Williams was 14-of-20 for 261 yards and two scores and was intercepted once, with Varady making four catches for 85 yards and Goldsberry also grabbing four balls for 61 yards. Thanks to his record-breaking run, Wallace finished with his second straight 100-yard game, finishing with 109 yards on 22 carries. The Engineers churned out 443 yards of offense, while holding the Hawks to 71 yards on the ground and 195 overall.

Baker completed 11-of -30 attempts for 102 yards, while Romasco led the ground game with 75 yards on 17 tries for Becker. Howard Bradley and Shaun Llewellyn each had three catches for the Hawks, while Josh Lawrence led the defense with nine stops.

MIT has its first bye week of the season next week, with the Engineers returning to action and opening New England Football Conference play on Sept. 28 when they travel to Salve Regina at 1:00 p.m. Becker will host Hartwick on Sept. 21 at 4:00 p.m. in its next outing.