- Score: MIT 31, Merchant Marine 24
- Records: MIT (5-0, 2-0 NEWMAC); Merchant Marine (3-1, 1-1 NEWMAC)
- Location: Cambridge, Mass. (Roberts Field at Steinbrenner Stadium)
- The Lead: Led by a 362-yard, four-touchdown effort from senior quarterback Udgam Goyal (Frisco, Texas), the MIT football team moved to 5-0 overall and 2-0 in the NEWMAC with a 31-24 home win over Merchant Marine on Saturday.
THE WAY IT HAPPENED:
- In a game that featured 24 points off of turnovers, the Mariners took advantage of an early MIT fumble for the game's first touchdown as Wiley Martin scored from two yards out with just 3:13 off the clock.
- The Engineers got on the board with 4:46 left in the first on a 33-yard field goal from freshman Hayden Rome (Houston, Texas). That field position was set up by a 35-yard punt return by sophomore Keithen Shepard (Vancouver, Wash.). MIT went in front for the first time in the final moments of the first as senior Eddy Garcia-Montes (Miami, Fla.) pulled down a great catch in the corner of the end zone from six yards out. Shepard kept that drive going with a 27-yard reception on third down and 14.
- The lone scoring in the second quarter came from Merchant Marine as Gavin Gartner converted from 31 yards out to send the game into halftime tied at 10-10.
- MIT was the beneficiary of an early USMMA third-quarter turnover as a bad pitch on a running play gave the Engineers the ball on the five-yard line. Goyal found fellow senior Eric Bradford (Dublin, Ohio) for the four-yard touchdown and a 17-10 MIT lead.
- With 5:44 on the clock in the third, Tyler Reihs scored off the left side on a four-yard rush to tie the game for the final time at 17-17.
- The next two scoring plays came from 48 yards out as Shepard caught a ball across the middle and outran the defense for the 24-17. Freshman Jack Montinaro (Riverside, Conn.) caught a 48-yard TD of his own straight up the middle with 7:05 remaining in the game for a 14-point cushion at 31-17.
- The Mariners kept things interesting until the final play though as Krystian Abbott found Luke Jamison for a 17-yard TD with 1:27 left. That play capped a five-play, 80-yard drive that took just 39 seconds. Shepard recovered the ensuing onside kick attempt though and after USMMA got the ball back, a desperation pass as time expired was intercepted in the end zone.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Goyal was 25-for-43 with 362 yards and scoring plays of 48, 48, six and four yards. Shepard had a team-high 139 yards on six catches, while Garcia-Montes pulled down nine passes for 77 yards.
- For the Mariners, Abbott completed 13 passes for 216 yards and a touchdown as Jamison finished with a game-high 156 receiving yards on seven receptions. USMMA finished the game with 134 rushing yards as a team while holding MIT to just 40 yards on the ground.
- Shepard ended the game with 265 all-purpose yards as he added 62 kick return yards and 67 punt return yards.
- Defensively, sophomore Tyler Ray (Suwanee, Ga.) led the Engineers with a game-high 11 tackles that included seven assisted stops. Overall, MIT had nine tackles for a loss of 26 yards and four turnovers (two fumble recoveries and two interceptions).
- Noah Newburgh was the defensive leader for the Mariners as he finished with nine total tackles.
- MIT returns to action on the road as the Engineers travel to Maine Maritime for a Noon start on Saturday, October 6th in Castine, Maine.