MIT football falls just short of win over Curry College

Engineers look to recover after their bye week

MIT had a first and goal with just a little more than a minute to play, but the Curry College defense held the Engineers out of the end zone as the Colonels held on for a 26-21 win in New England Football Conference play this afternoon. Junior Justin Wallace (Palatine, Ill.) led MIT (2-2, 0-2 NEFC) with 104 yards on the ground while Curry (1-3, 1-1 NEFC) saw Phil Bigelow ’14 and Trae Weathers ’15 run for 86 and 85 yards respectively and a touchdown each for the Colonels.

Curry had good field position to start the game when the MIT kickoff sailed out of bounds, giving the Colonels the ball on their own 35. From there they drove the length of the field, scoring when quarterback Kevin Fruwirth ’14 tossed a nine-yard scoring pass to Robert T. Williams ’14. Derek E. Vaughn ’14 blocked the extra point try, leaving it a 6-0 Curry lead.

After a Curry missed a field goal on its next possession, MIT took over at its own 20 and put together its first sustained drive of the afternoon. Wallace had a key 27-yard rush that, combined with a penalty on the Colonels, gave MIT a first down at the Curry 34. Moving into the second quarter junior quarterback Peter Williams (Portland, Ore.) hit a pair of passes to get the Engineers down to the 14. After a short run by Brad L. Goldsberry ’15, Williams found the mark again, this time to Seve A. Esparrago ’16 for a 10-yard score to put MIT on top, 7-6.

Curry answered with an 11-play, 77-yard drive that saw Fruwirth complete six of seven passes for 38 yards, including a six-yard scoring toss to junior Tyler Thomann. Fruwirth then hit junior Jordan Shairs for the two-point conversion to pull the Colonels back in front, 14-7. Curry held MIT to 15 yards on its next possession and Colonels got the ball back on their own nine after the Engineers punted. The running game came up big for Curry on its ensuing drive as the Colonels picked up 79 yards on the ground as they went 91 yards in 11 plays, with Bigelow eluding the MIT defense for 21 yards and a score with 1:25 left in the half.

A short punt early in the third quarter set up MIT’s first score of the half. Taking over on the Curry 48 after an eight-yard punt return by Goldsberry, Wallace scampered up the middle for 29 yards. Williams hit Goldsberry for 13 more to give MIT a first and goal on the one after a facemask penalty on Curry. Goldsberry then finished it with a one-yard plunge to make it 20-14.

A special teams mistake by MIT in the third quarter was turned into a Curry score as the Colonels built a 26-14 lead. With less than five minutes remaining the MIT defense forced a Curry punt, but Goldsberry dropped it and junior Kyle McKay recovered to give the Colonels the ball on the MIT 20. Curry picked up a first and goal at the MIT five, and finally punched it in from a yard out on a run by Weathers.

MIT drove to the Curry 26 on its next possession, but Williams pass on fourth and seven fell incomplete. Curry then drove over midfield, but on a third and six John C. Wenzel ’14 stepped in front of a Fruwirth pass and zipped down the sideline for 59 yards and a score, pulling MIT back to within five at 26-21 with 8:39 left.

MIT’s defense held Curry on its next possession, and the Engineers got the ball back with 5:55 left on its own 20. MIT drove into Curry territory, but faced a fourth and four on the Curry 42. Williams converted, hitting Chris G. McPherson ’16 for 32 yards to give the Engineers a first and goal at the 10. The Colonels defense held MIT to a total of four yards on three rush attempts, forcing a fourth and goal from the six with less than a minute to play. After an MIT timeout, Williams hit Goldsberry with a swing pass but sophomore Curtis Davila stopped him after just a two-yard gain. Curry then ran out the clock to preserve the win.

MIT was held to 284 yards of offense, while Curry totaled 370. Williams completed 15 of 24 for 142 yards and one TD for MIT, while Fruwirth was 21-of-30 for 169 yards and a pair of scores. Goldsberry led MIT with nine catches for 66 yards, while Shairs pulled in seven passes for Curry, totaling 65 yards.

Jacob N. Laux ’14 and Cameron L. Wagar ’15 led MIT with 11 tackles each, with Laux’s total pushing him to 335 for his career to set a new MIT record, passing Darcy Prather ‘91 who held the previous mark with 332. Junior Jose Rodriguez was in on 10 stops to lead Curry.

MIT has another by week coming up and will not return to action until Friday, Oct. 18 when it will host Nichols College at 7:00 p.m. Curry will be back in action next week, hosting Coast Guard at 1:00 p.m. on Oct. 12.