CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Western New England kept its perfect football season intact tonight against MIT, using a balanced offensive attack and a stingy defense to come up with a 35-3 win over the Engineers. Junior Tucker Cheyne (Avon, Conn.) scored MIT's only points on a 47-yard field goal, setting a new school with the length of his boot.
Freshman Udgam Goyal (Frisco, Texas) saw his first action at quarterback this season on MIT's first possesion and completed his first four pass attempts for 20 yards before the drive stalled. Neither team could get much going early on, with the first five drives of the game coming up empty. Western New England (7-0, 4-0 NEFC) then put together a seven-play, 57-yard drive to put the first points of the game on the board. Junior Nick Connell (East Marion, N.Y.) keyed the drive with a 34-yard run and senior Kevin Degnan (Irvington, N.Y.) took it in from two-yards out with 2:32 left in the quarter.
The Golden Bears defense held MIT (1-5, 1-3 NEFC) to -1-yard rushing and 48 yards of total offense in the first half to keep the Engineers off the scoreboard. Western New England put up 270 yards and scored twice more in the second quarter, getting a nine-yard run from Connell and a 24-yard pass from senior Tyler Ward (Wycoff, N.J.) to junior Trent Vassey (Cumberland, R.I.). MIT had a chance to get on the board midway through the quarter after the teams traded interceptions, but Cheyne's 36-yard attempt was wide left.
MIT looked to have gained some momentum early in the second half when freshman Ben Boldt (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) recovered a fumble by Ward on a bad handoff. The Engineers turned it into points when Cheyne booted his school-record kick, but Western New England came back and quickly regained the momentum when Ward connected with junior Mohamed Camara (New York, N.Y.) on a 70-yard pass play to make it 28-3 with 10:05 left in the third.
MIT just could not get its offense on track against the Golden Bears, and Western put the game away with a 23-yard pass play from Ward to sophomore Mark Dietrich (Cheshire, Conn.) at the 4:31 mark of the third. The Engineers put together their best drive of the night midway through the fourth quarter, going from their own 21 down to the Western New England 18, but on a fourth-and-two play Goyal's pass fell incomplete.
Connell finished with 119 yards on the ground for the Golden Bears, with Ward completing 18 of 26 in the passing game for 268 yards and three scores along with one interception. Freshman Miguel Wagner (El Segundo, Calif.), in his first significant playing time of the season, led MIT on the ground with 36 yards. Goyal completed 15-of-27 for 139 yards and was intercepted once. Senior Seve Esparrago (St. Louis, Mo.) led all receivers with eight catches for MIT. He also returned five kickoffs for 118 yards, including one for 44. Junior Obi Etuka (Middletown, Conn.) had a 40-yard punt return for Western New England. Junior Tremaan Robbins (Long Beach, Calif.) led MIT with 11 tackles, while senior Dean Soucie (North Easton, Mass.) led the Golden Bears with 10 stops.
MIT will be home again next week, hosting Salve Regina University at Noon on October 31. Western New England will be home as well, hosting Endicott College at 1:00 p.m.