Big Plays Lead Football Past Endicott in 31-26 Final

Big Plays Lead Football Past Endicott in 31-26 Final

THE BASICS:

- Score: MIT 31, Endicott 26

- Records: MIT (2-1); Endicott (1-2)

- Location: Cambridge, Mass. (Roberts Field at Steinbrenner Stadium)

- The Lead: At a packed Steinbrenner Stadium on Alumni Day, the MIT football team used four long scoring plays to build to an early lead, en route to a 31-26 home win over Endicott College on Saturday afternoon. The Engineers scored on plays of 77, 65, 71 and 58 yards to help spark the offense.

HOW IT HAPPENED:

- MIT got on the board just 2:55 into the game as John Robertson (Brentwood, Tenn.) took the ball 77 yards on first down for the early 7-0 edge. The rush was the longest of Robertson's career as he went up the middle and outran two Endicott defenders on the way to the end zone.

- The Gulls answered with an eight-play, 80-yard drive that covered just over four minutes to even the score at 7-7 late in first. After Anthony Whiteley rumbled down to the 11, Lavante Wiggins scored on first down up the middle for the TD.

- The Engineers trailed for just 18 seconds however as Eric Bradford (Dublin, Ohio) pulled in a short pass on a wheel route before outrunning the defense for 65 yards and the 14-7 edge. Freshman kicker Mark Wright (Fort Worth, Texas) capped the first-quarter scoring with 10 seconds on the clock with a 31-yard field goal. That possession was made possible by an Endicott fumble that was forced by Jack Dulsky (Westport, Conn.) and recovered by senior Kyle Pina (South Yarmouth, Mass.).

- On the first drive of the second quarter for MIT, the Engineers extended the lead out to 24-7 as junior quarterback Udgam Goyal (Frisco, Texas) scored on a 71-yard run for his second rushing touchdown of the season. On his career-long run, Goyal went up the near sideline and after the Gull defense closed in, he cut back towards the middle of the field and lunged over the goal line.

- Endicott countered with a 13-play, 74-yard scoring drive of its own as quarterback Joe Kalovsky scored from five yards out to make it 24-14 with 4:10 left before the half. Kalovsky converted a fourth-and-3 play before his touchdown, followed by the five-yard score. MIT seemed ready to add to the lead late in the half, but Endicott's Jesse Simoni picked off Goyal in the end zone with seven seconds remaining.

- With 5:56 left in the third, freshman Keithen Shepard (Vancouver, Wash.) got in behind the Endicott defense, catching the ball at the 30-yard line and running down the sideline for his first career touchdown and the 31-14 lead.

- In the third quarter, MIT's Mitch Turley (Westfield, Ind.) broke up a fourth-down pass from Kalosky to give MIT the ball with 1:45 on the clock, but the Gulls began to gain momentum as the game headed to the fourth quarter. On a second-down play with under 10 minutes left, Sheilan Velazquez caught a seven-yard pass from Kalosky and got his feet down just inside the sideline for the outstanding play and a 31-20 margin. The extra point was no good though, keeping the margin at 11.

- On the next Engineer possession, Endicott's Kevin O'Brien blocked the punt from Andrew Griese (Fairfax Station, Va.) and the Gulls were in business at the MIT 17-yard line. Whiteley scored from three yards to pull Endicott within 31-26, but the two-point conversion attempt was no good.

- Endicott drove into MIT territory twice in the final minutes with a chance to win the game. The Gulls were first stopped on fourth down and 1 with 2:36 remaining, followed by an interception by senior Matt Nicolai (Northport, N.Y.) with 25 seconds left to seal the win.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:

- Robertson finished with 91 yards on 14 rushes as the Engineers posted 174 yards on the ground overall. For the Gulls, Wiggins finished with a 116-yard effort to pace the visitors. Goyal was the second-leading rusher for MIT as he had a career-high 79 yards.

- Goyal was 16-for-27 in the air for 248 yards and two touchdowns, while Kalosky completed 23-of-37 passes for 240 yards and a touchdown.

- Shepard had 77 receiving yards on four catches, while Riley Shanley pulled in a game-best seven receptions for 81 yards.

- Defensively, Turley led four Engineers with double-digit tackles as he ended up with 13 stops and one pass breakup. Andrew DeNucci (Newton, Mass.) added 13 stops, including 10 assisted tackles, while Nicolai had 12 and Sam Cantrell (Seattle, Wash.) ended with 11. William Rivera led the Endicott defense with a nine-tackle outing that included three tackles for loss.

UP NEXT:

- MIT is back in action at home on Saturday, September 23rd as the Engineers travel to Catholic University for the team's NEWMAC opener beginning at Noon in Washington, D.C.

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