Tech Allows Two Touchdowns in Last Five Minutes, Loses 17-10

521 football
MIT defensive back Steven M. Nunez ’09 tackles Framington State College’s freshman running back Shawn Miller during the second quarter of the Engineer’s 10-17 home opener loss on Saturday at Steinbrenner Stadium. The football team’s next home game will be Saturday, Sept. 29.
David M. Templeton—The Tech

Framingham State sophomore Roland Gervais hauled in a 19-yard touchdown pass from senior Eian Bain with 1:53 left in regulation to cap a late fourth-quarter rally as the Rams upended the MIT football team 17-10 on Saturday at Steinbrenner Stadium. After being kept out of the end zone for the first three quarters, Framingham State (1-1, 1-0) scored 14 points in the final five minutes to push past MIT (0-2, 0-1) in the New England Football Conference opener for both schools.

Saturday’s home opener featured more defense than offense, although MIT wasted no time in lighting the board after rushing for 27 yards on its opening drive to set up a 20-yard field goal for kicker Corey Garvey ’10. Joseph T. Goldschmid ’08 set the stage for the Engineers’ first score of the afternoon after recovering a Framingham State fumble at the Rams’ 30-yard line.

Framingham State responded with a field goal of its own midway through the second quarter. As the Engineers punted from deep in their own territory, a stiff wind enabled the Rams to take advantage of a short field. A 33-yard pass from Bain to James Hanafin put Ashley Baker in great position for the 25-yard try. Earlier in the drive, a potential Hanafin touchdown reception was negated after a penalty. Baker had a chance to put Framingham State in the lead just before the half, although two attempts from 23 yards both sailed right.

A great defensive effort by MIT, including a 10-yard sack by Brian H. Mickle ’10, ignited the Engineers’ lone touchdown drive in the third quarter. Showcasing a balanced attack, MIT picked up 33 yards on four carries by four different backs for the go-ahead score. Robert C. Utz ’09 provided the highlight of the drive with a 23-yard scamper through the middle of the defense, while Benjamin L. Grannan ’09 plowed three yards up the middle with 8:18 on the clock for the touchdown.

The Engineers protected their lead until midway through the final quarter when the Rams responded to MIT’s ground attack with a clock-eating possession of their own. Shawn Miller, who finished the afternoon with 89 yards on 27 carries, sparked the Framingham State offense, while Bain’s push from one-yard out knotted the score at 10 with 4:44 left in the tilt.

On MIT’s next possession, the Rams received a huge defensive lift after Bruce Rich picked off a pass in the middle of the field on Tech’s second play of the drive. Framingham State capitalized on the unfortunate turnover as Bain connected with Corey Steele for a 13-yard strike before finding Gervais on a slant for the game-winner.

MIT out-rushed Framingham by seven yards, 184-177, although the Rams won the aerial battle with two quarterbacks commanding the play. Starter Patrick Franey finished 8-of-21 for 82 yards, while Bain closed 4-of-7 for 69 yards and a touchdown. Anthony Kewley paced the Rams’ receiving unit with five catches for 41 yards. On the ground, Miller led the charge for Framingham, although Luke Guarino averaged over nine yards a carry en route to 84 yards.

Thomas C. Scotton ’08 rushed for 75 yards on 17 carries to captain MIT’s ground game, although the Engineers looked comfortable with their other options in the back. Grannan picked up 39 yards on 10 carries and DeRon M. Brown ’10 had 35 yards on 10 carries to add to the totals. Michael P. Fitzgerald ’10 and Kevin T. Vogelsang ’09 each hauled in three catches for a total of 60 yards to account for all of MIT’s receiving production.

MIT retakes the field in an away game against Nichols College on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2007 at 1 p.m.