Oct. 20, 2007
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - MIT set a school record with 477 yards rushing as the Engineers pulled away from Salve Regina University midway through the second quarter en route to a 40-20 victory at Steinbrenner Stadium in a New England Football Conference Boyd Division game. MIT dominated time of possession, controlling the ball for nearly 42 minutes while DeRon Brown and Robert Utz paced an explosive ground attack as each back topped 100 yards.
MIT (2-5, 2-4) lit the scoreboard on the opening drive of the game, rotating a series of backs for two first downs before Utz ripped off a 31-yard touchdown run just three minutes into the game.
Salve Regina (1-6, 1-5) answered right back behind the arm of Jeff St. Onge. The Seahawks' sophomore quarterback completed 20-of-34 passes with two touchdowns and two picks during Saturday's tilt, including a four-yard TD pass to Matt Shubert. The Seahawks picked up their first points of the afternoon after Brown fumbled the ball on MIT's second possession at the Engineers' 29-yard line.
Salve Regina expanded its lead to 13-6 after stitching together its best drive of the game to open the second quarter. The Seahawks marched down the field on a drive that covered 95 yards and took nearly five minutes off the frame. Running back Matt Wierzbicki received the nod on the final two plays of the drive, including the one-yard score up the middle that provided the seven point lead.
The teams traded touchdowns after Wierzbicki's initial score. Ben Grannan tied the game for the Engineers with a 24-yard run in MIT's first attempt to respond, while the Seahawks countered with a score of their own as St. Onge connected with Wierzbicki for a 35-yard touchdown pass.
The offensive assault continued for both teams as MIT re-tied the score at 20 after freshman quarterback Brian Doyle hooked up with Grannan for a 29-yard score. Before the half was over, the Cardinal and Gray struck again. Brown shouldered most of the work on Tech's last scoring drive of the half, rushing three times for 38 yards including a two-yard go-ahead run.
The Engineers moved in front, 33-20, on their first drive of the second half. Utz sparked the attack with an 83-yard run on a second-and-seven, while Grannan capped the drive with an eight-yard run for his second touchdown of the day.
Each team remained off the board for the rest of the quarter, although MIT opened the final frame with a scoring drive that devoured the clock. The Engineers ran 15 plays on the drive and utilized nearly nine minutes of game time. Doyle finally put an end to the stretch with a three-yard keeper to the left side.
The Engineers ran the ball 71 times on Saturday and broke an Institute record which stood for 12 years. MIT set the previous mark with 428 yards against Western New England on Oct. 14, 1995. Brown led all rushers with 144 yards on 26 carries, while Utz needed only eight attempts to secure 133 yards on the ground. Grannan carried the ball 12 times for 77 yards and two scores, while senior Thomas Scotton finished with 74 yards on 14 attempts. Grannan finished with three touchdowns on the afternoon, but it was really the tremendous effort of the MIT offensive line that allowed the Engineers to pick up the key conference win.