MIT Surprises Curry Early Before New England's Top-Ranked Team Pulls Away
Oct. 6, 2007
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Curry College extended its conference winning streak to 25 games on Saturday courtesy of a 52-20 victory against MIT at Steinbrenner Stadium. The lopsided score was hardly indicative of the game's tenor, as the Engineers provided a stiff test early for the top-ranked team in New England.
Curry's explosive offense had plenty of opportunities to showcase its assortment of weapons, especially on the opening drive where the Colonels (6-0, 4-0 NEFC) drove 77 yards on 10 plays. Steve DiFabio capped the opening march with a two-yard run through the middle, although Jamaal Woods provided most of the thunder after rushing five times for 47 yards.
Curry had a chance to extend the advantage on its next drive, but the Engineers avoided falling further behind after David Vincent's field goal attempt from 31 yards missed wide left. MIT (0-5, 0-4) capitalized on the missed opportunity by heading 80 yards in the opposite direction en route to the game-tying score. Freshman Brian Doyle connected with wideout Kevin Vogelsang on two passing plays covering 68 yards to key the attack, while Robert Utz plowed into the end zone from two yards out to put MIT on the board just as time expired in the first quarter.
The Colonels answered right back after starting their next drive near mid-field. Junior quarterback Ryan Van De Giesen, who finished 18-of-31 for 242 yards and three touchdowns, completed Curry's second scoring drive with his legs after taking a second-down snap 24 yards.
Continuing to show outstanding resiliency, the Engineers offensive line played well up front while MIT's backfield maintained the pressure on the nation's No. 4-ranked rushing defense. While DeRon Brown, Thomas Scotton and Steven Yablonski all contributed to the rushing attack, Robert Utz rushed three times for 30 yards on MIT's next possession before hauling in a 12-yard touchdown pass from Doyle with 10:08 left in the second quarter. The ensuing extra-point attempt missed left as the Colonels stayed in front, 14-13.
Curry and MIT traded touchdowns during the rest of the half. After giving up a second touchdown to the MIT offense, Curry went right back to work behind the terrific play of Van De Giesen. The Colonels moved ahead 21-13 after Van De Giesen found Felix Borukhov wide open in the end zone for a 12-yard score. The reception, which resulted in Borukhov's ninth TD of the season, tied his own single-season touchdown record at Curry while equaling the Colonels' career record of 21.
MIT responded on its next drive, tightening the lead to 21-20. The Engineers started near mid-field after a short kick, while Doyle scurried for 12 yards on a critical third-and-six to keep the drive alive. Brown rushed for four yards on three straight carries following Doyle's run, the last of which put six more points on the board for the Cardinal and Gray.
Curry got the ball back with only 1:46 left in the half, however, the Colonels' vaunted attack needed just over one minute to put seven more points in the visitor's column. Van De Giesen was brilliant on the final drive of the frame, completing 7-of-8 passes, including a 15-yard touchdown toss to Brian Taylor. The Engineers took the ensuing possession to Curry's 41-yard line, but the halftime horn stalled the drive and left the Colonels ahead, 28-20.
Curry scored 24 unanswered points in the second half to power ahead for the easy win, but the Engineers still managed to move the ball against one of the nation's top defensive teams. The Colonels entered Saturday's tilt giving up 32.8 yards per game on the ground, although MIT rushed 51 times for 193 yards. The previous high for an opponent against Curry was set by Western New England on Sept. 22, which rushed for 78 yards.
Utz paced MIT's effort on the ground with 69 yards, while Brown added 49 and Doyle pitched in 35. Thomas Franklin caught three passes for the second consecutive week, while Doyle also threw for 107 yards as MIT's aerial unit crossed the century mark for the first time this season.
While MIT ran the ball well as a team, the star of Saturday's route was Jamaal Woods, who finished with 140 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries. Van De Giesen added 42 yards rushing, while his top target outside was Taylor, who totaled seven receptions for 106 yards and two scores.
Defensively, Thomas Pinto paced the Colonels with seven solo tackles, including three for loss. Padraic Forry matched Pinto with seven tackles, while Michael Looney cemented the Curry victory with an 81-yard fumble return for touchdown at the start of the fourth quarter. Will Gibson totaled a career-high 12 tackles (seven solo) to lead MIT's defensive effort.