Record-Setting Defensive Effort Leads Football Past USMMA in 35-7 Road Final

Record-Setting Defensive Effort Leads Football Past USMMA in 35-7 Road Final

THE BASICS:

- Score: MIT 35, U.S. Merchant Marine Academy 7

- Records: MIT (4-1, 2-0 NEWMAC); U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (2-2, 1-1 NEWMAC)

- Location: Kings Point, N.Y. (Brooks Stadium)

- The Lead: Led by a single-game team record five interceptions and seven forced turnovers overall, the MIT football team ran its winning streak to three straight with a convincing 35-7 road win at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy on Saturday afternoon in NEWMAC play. The Engineers turned three of those interceptions into touchdowns to improve to 2-0 in conference action.

HOW IT HAPPENED:

- On MIT's first possession of the game, sophomore John Robertson (Brentwood, Tenn.) capped off a 10-play, 72-yard drive with a one-yard run for the 7-0 edge midway through the opening quarter. USMMA looked to answer, but senior Matt Nicolai (Northport, N.Y.) registered his first of two interceptions on the day to give the Engineers the ball back at the Mariners' 21-yard line. MIT turned that into points as junior Udgam Goyal (Frisco, Texas) found junior Eddy Garcia-Montes (Miami, Fla.) from four yards out for the 14-0 lead.

- Nicolai wasn't done as he picked off USMMA's Brice Moore early in the second quarter to give the Engineers a short field again. That drive lasted just over two minutes and ended in a six-yard TD strike from Goyal to sophomore Booker Schelhaas (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) as MIT built the lead to 21-0.

- The Mariners converted a turnover into points of their own with 11:12 remaining in the second as Jake Wallace recovered an MIT fumble near the goal line and returned it for a touchdown that cut the margin to 21-7.

- That was as close as USMMA would get though as Goyal found Garcia-Montes for a 60-yard touchdown late in the third, followed by another Robertson touchdown with 3:06 left in the game. That score was also set up by an interception, which came this time from senior Mitch Turley (Westfield, Ind.).

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:

- Goyal was excellent again for MIT, completing 20-of-30 pass attempts for 217 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. On the other side, Moore was 16-for-39 for 146 yards and three interceptions while also rushing for a team-high 42 yards on 14 attempts.

- Garcia-Montes posted a game-high 119 yards on six receptions for MIT, while Joe Vitelli had a game-high 10 catches for 92 yards.

- Nicolai led the defense with 10 total tackles and two interceptions, including seven solo tackles and a pass breakup. For the Mariners, Jesse Byorth was the top performer with a 10-tackle effort.

- The Engineers held a 356-299 edge in total offense, along with a 217-146 advantage in the air. The Mariners, who racked up 577 rushing yards a week ago, were held to just 153 on Saturday as they outgained MIT 153-139 on the ground.

- This was the first-ever meeting between the two teams.

UP NEXT:

- MIT returns home next weekend on Saturday, October 7th as the Engineers host Maine Maritime for a Noon kickoff at Steinbrenner Stadium.

STAY CONNECTED:

- For the latest on MIT Athletics, follow the Engineers via social media on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.