Nichols Drops MIT In Conference Opener, 33-19

Nichols Drops MIT In Conference Opener, 33-19

Sept. 23, 2006

Box Score

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Sophomore Josh Harris had 113 yards receiving with two touchdowns and rookie Chris Patterson added two scores on the ground in addition to 103 yards rushing as Nichols College avenged last season's loss to MIT with a 33-19 victory at Steinbrenner Stadium.

MIT (1-2, 0-1) jumped on the board first as T.C. Scotton capped a 12-play, 80-yard drive with a four-yard run to give the Engineers a 6-0 lead. The Bison offense was kept at bay in the first frame, although Nichols (2-1, 1-0) responded by scoring touchdowns on three consecutive drives in the second quarter.

Anthony Pillari set up Nichols' first score with a 60-yard punt return. That return, which negated an otherwise outstanding day for MIT freshman punter Corey Garvey, gave the Bison a first and goal start from the five. Two plays later, Patterson delivered his first score of the afternoon although the touchdown put Nichols ahead for good.

After forcing a quick out, the Nichols offense went 84 yards in eight plays to secure its second touchdown and a 14-6 advantage. Harris capped the drive with a 43-yard catch.

The Engineers responded with a scoring drive of their own behind the arm of sophomore Rick Mancuso, who enjoyed his best game of the 2006 campaign. Mancuso rolled left and found Marcus Carson for a nine-yard strike to cap a 63-yard drive, although the two-point conversion failed.

Nichols closed out the first half scoring with another lengthy drive. Harris hauled in a 24-yard reception from quarterback Michael Carven and the Bison went to the locker room holding a 20-12 lead.

Nichols stretched its lead to 15 less than two minutes into the third stanza as Shane West recovered a fumbled snap in MIT's end and returned the loose ball 24 yards for the score. Chris Patterson put the Bison ahead 33-14 early in the fourth with another two-yard run. Nichols enjoyed great field possession on its final scoring drive as the Engineers lost the ball on downs in their own end.

Refusing to go away quietly, MIT scored again with 7:29 left in the tilt as Mancuso connected with Carson on a five-yard pass. Despite the unwavering effort, Nichols closed the lid on any comeback hopes by following up the MIT score with a 13-play drive.

Carven was great behind center for Nichols finishing 13-of-24 for 223 yards and only one interception. Mancuso threw for 219 yards on 14-of-34 passing.

Nichols held a 402-275 advantage in total offense which was paced by the tandem of Harris and Patterson. Defensively, Nichols received contributions from a number of players, including Bryan Meuse, who finished with a game-tying high of eight tackles, and Brendan Bonn, who had 3.5 tackles for loss including a sack. Tyler Liechty finished with eight tackles to lead Tech's defensive corps, while Samuel Jasinski and David Kalk tied Liechty with a game-best six solo stops.