Endicott Defeats MIT, 39-18

Nov. 8, 2008

Box Score

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Endicott freshman running back Mike Lane totaled 237 yards of total offense, including 151 yards rushing, and the Gulls spoiled MIT’s Senior Day and 30-year celebration of its football history with a soggy, 39-18 victory over the Engineers in Cambridge on Saturday night.

Lane delivered a spectacular performance in leading Endicott (3-7, 2-5 NEFC) to the surprising New England Football Conference Boyd Division road win. The Engineers (5-5, 3-4) were looking for their first six-win season since 1999, but fell down by 13 early in the tilt and never quite recovered.

Sophomore Matt DeOliveira completed 8-of-13 passes for 151 yards and three touchdowns, including a 33-yard pass to Lane that pushed the Gulls ahead, 26-6, early in the third quarter. Lane finished with 86 yards receiving and two touchdowns to pace the attack, although four different players caught a touchdown pass for Endicott.

MIT junior running back DeRon Brown put the finishing touches on the greatest single-season rushing performance in team history during the loss, rushing for 177 yards on 35 carries. Brown failed to score a touchdown for the first time this season, but he still closed out the campaign with a school-record 1,816 yards rushing and 22 touchdowns.

MIT’s first possession of the game totaled 16 plays and nine minutes of game time, although MIT turned the ball over on downs as sophomore Jordan Fields stopped Robert Utz just short of the goal. Endicott responded with an 11-play, 98-yard drive that lasted into the start of the second quarter. DeOliveira capped the drive with an 18-yard pass to rookie Mike Fimiani.

Endicott stretched its lead to 13-0 just 10 seconds later. Trying to field a bouncing kick in the rain, MIT fumbled the return and set the Gulls up in great position. On the first play of the drive, Lane scampered 33 yards through the defense for the crowd-silencing score.

Brown went to work on Tech’s next drive, which resulted in MIT’s first points of the night. The nation’s leading rusher took the hand-off on nine consecutive plays, before junior Rick Mancuso hooked up with senior tight end Thomas Franklin from 23-yards out.

Taking the field for its final possession of the half with 48 seconds left in the frame, Endicott grabbed firm control of the contest by driving the distance en route to a score on the last play of the quarter. DeOliveira came through again, this time finding senior Angelo Ortiz in the far corner of the end zone from 10 yards out as the Gulls built a 20-6 halftime lead.

The Engineers pulled within 14 after Ben Grannan’s first touchdown of the evening slashed MIT’s deficit to 26-12 midway through the third quarter. Freshman Nathaniel Forbes set up the short drive with a 34-yard kick-off return following Lane’s touchdown reception.

Grannan punched in another two-yard score with six minutes left in regulation, but not before junior Tim Viall hauled in a one-yard pass after a pitch to running back Drew Cusato that left MIT little time to trade touchdowns. With MIT trying to mount the improbable comeback, sophomore Kyle Capsalis delivered the final blow with a 40-yard interception return for a touchdown with just over two minutes remaining in the game.

Despite the lopsided result, the teams were statistically even. Endicott out-gained MIT, 406-389, although MIT boasted a 20-17 advantage in first downs. The Gulls benefitted by converting on key third downs and both of their fourth-down attempts.