Oct. 2, 2010
CAMBRIDGE, MA-The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's football team took a 14-3 halftime lead and went on to defeat host MIT, 14-6, in a New England Football Conference Boyd Division game at Roberts Field Saturday.
The Corsairs used a short drive and a long drive to score. They jumped on top late in the first quarter after sophomore defensive end Ben Mitsmenn (West Greenwich, RI/West Greenwich HS/Exeter) intercepted a pass from MIT quarterback John Wenzel and returned it to the Engineer 13 yard line. Three plays later, senior running back Eric Pacy (Rowley, MA/Triton HS/Salve Regina/Dean) scored from the two-yard line, putting UMD ahead, 7-0, with 4:41 left in the first quarter.
MIT came right back, as Brian Doyle returned the ensuing kickoff 60 yards to the Corsair 25. BUT UMD held MIT to 20 yards in seven plays, and Matt Peterson kicked a 28-yard field goal to make it 7-3.
The Corsairs struck again in the second quarter, driving 94 yards to score after a Kyle Johnson punt left them at their own six-yard line. The Corsairs gambled on fourth down and one at their 15 yard line, picking up the first down on a keeper by sophomore quarterback Brendan McNeish (Springfield, MA/Bridgton Academy). Later in the drive, McNeish hit sophomore wide receiver Joe Luiz (New Bedford, MA/Bishop Stang HS) with a 33-yard completion to the MIT 20. Three plays later, Pacy scored his second touchdown of the game from 13 yards out to make it 14-3. MIT then drove to the Corsair 32, but was forced to punt and time ran out in the first half.
"That was a great drive," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Mark Robichaud. "We were able to convert on third down on that drive, and that drive and the first one, where we took the lead, were huge. It helped us psychologically to get on the board first."
The Engineers scored again on their first drive of the third quarter, moving 44 yards in 14 plays before stalling at the UMD 16. Peterson's second field goal of the game, from 36 yards out, made it 14-6.
Neither team would score again. The Engineers took over at their own 47 after recovering a fumble with 6:16 remaining. They drove to the Corsair 30 yard line, but a fourth down completion from Wenzel to Mike Fitzgerald was stopped four yards short of a first down by junior defensive back Ross O'Toole (Weymouth, MA/Weymouth HS) and freshman defensive lineman Dante Davis (Brookline, MA/Brookline HS). Neither team was able to move the ball again.
"Our defense was absolutely outstanding," said Robichaud. "Offensively, we struggled in the second half, and even though we couldn't take any time off the clock, the defense kept them off the field. Ben Mitsmenn had a great game, and we had a lot of tackles for lost yardage. (Defensive coordinator) Steve Faniel and our staff did a great job getting them ready." McNeish was nine of 16 for 89 yards, and also rushed 14 times for 74 yards. Luiz caught three passes for 57 yards. Johnson was nine of 14 passing for 57 yards for MIT, while Wenzel rushed nine times for 53 yards. Mike Fitzgerald caught eight passes for 50 yards.
Defensively, Mitsmenn had 11 tackles, including five solo stops. He had a sack, one and a half tackles for lost yardage, and an interception to set up the first score. Sophomore defensive lineman Jake Walsh (Foxboro, MA/Foxboro HS) had nine tackles, including eight solos and a tackle for loss, while senior linebacker Mike Fraser (Peabody, MA/Bishop Fenwick HS/Saint Anselm) had seven stops, including three and a half for lost yardage. Patrick Jupe led MIT with 16 stops, including 10 solos, a sack, one and a half tackles for lost yardage, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.
"The last six quarters, our defense has given up just six points," said Robichaud. "This was a huge win for us after three losses. Our staff did a great job of keeping our team motivated."
The Corsairs improved to 2-3 and 1-1 in the Boyd Division with the victory, while the Engineers dropped to 1-3 and 0-2 in the Boyd Division with the defeat. UMass Dartmouth will return to action when they host Salve Regina next Saturday.
UMASS DARTMOUTH FOOTBALL