Last Minute TD Lifts Curry Past MIT, 31-28

Sophomore Brad Goldsberry
Sophomore Brad Goldsberry

MILTON, Mass. – MIT scored 14 unanswered points to start the second half to wipe out a 10-point halftime deficit, but Curry came back to take the lead twice, the last on a 23-yard scoring play with 23 seconds left that lifted the Colonels to a dramatic, 31-28, win over the Engineers. Sophomore Brad Goldsberry (Elizabeth, Colo.) sparked MIT all night, tying the school record with 14 catches and accounting for 325 all-purpose yards and three scores.

It turned into a battle between a pair of passing/receiving combinations, with Goldsberry hauling in 14 of sophomore Peter Williams' (Portland, Ore.) passes for 174 yards and one score while Curry counted with its duo of quarterback Kevin Fruwirth and receiver Robert Bambini who combined on 13 completions for 221 yards and a score.

Curry (2-2, 1-0 NEFC) took and early lead when Tim Crowley booted a 25-yard field goal with 3:57 left in the first quarter. MIT (1-2, 0-1 NEFC) countered with a drive that brought the ball down to the Curry 16, but there the Engineers were stopped on a fourth-and-one and the Colonels drove back down the field. The drive was kept alive on a 25-yard pass play from Fruwirth to Bambini and with 9:45 left in the half an eight-yard run by Phil Bigelow capped off the 83-yard drive and made it 10-0.

MIT again drove into Curry territory, but was thwarted this time when Jeff Janoski intercepted a Williams pass. The Engineers stopped the Colonels on the ensuing drive when Bigelow was thrown for a one-yard loss on a pass play by junior Matt Merlino (Vancouver, Wash.). Four plays into a drive that started on the MIT 19 with 1:56 left in the half, Williams found Goldsberry open behind the Curry secondary for a 65-yard score that put the Engineers back into it. 

But just a quickly as MIT turned momentum on its side, Curry took it back when Richard Johnson returned the MIT kickoff 85 yards down the right sideline for a score, pushing the Colonels lead back to 10 at 17-7 at the half.

It looked as if it might be a battle of defenses at the beginning of the second half as MIT was stopped on its first drive before the two sides traded fumbles on ensuing plays. The Engineers offense started to click and the defense came up with big plays when needed as MIT put together a pair of scoring drives in the third quarter. Goldsberry eluded a number of defenders on a nine-yard scoring run with 9:33 left before Williams hit freshman Karson Ota (Katy, Texas) with a 50-yard scoring strike over the middle with 2:14 to play in the third for a 21-17 MIT lead.

Early in the fourth Curry regained the lead on a short drive that was highlighted by a 60-yard, Fruwirth to Bambini pass that set up three-yard scoring toss by Fruwirth to Jordan Shairs with 11:01 to play. MIT answered with its next drive, as Williams hit on a pair of key third down pass plays, one to Goldsberry and the other to freshman Samuel Inman (Stilwell, Okla.), to keep the drive alive. Goldsberry finished it off with an 11-yard scamper to the end zone and the Engineers regained the lead at 28-24 with 7:28 to go.

It looked as if MIT might have put it away when sophomore Cameron Wagar (West Richland, Wash.) picked off Fruwirth with 5:04 left. The Engineers could only take less than three minutes off the clock, however, as they were stopped at the Curry 40-yard line and forced to punt. Taking over on their own 19 with 2:16 left and no timeouts, the Colonels drove to near midfield where a roughing the passer penalty put the ball into the MIT end of the field. As the seconds ticked away Curry got down to the MIT 23 for a first down where Fruwirth spiked the ball to stop the clock. A pair of incomplete passes brought up fourth down and 10 and on their last play Fruwirth looked for Bambini down the left side and found him open after an MIT defender had slipped. He lofted the pass into Bambini's hands to complete the dramatic comeback. 

The two teams combined for nearly 1,000 yards of offense, with MIT outgaining Curry, 536 to 441. There was nearly 700 yards of passing, with Williams completing 25 of 37 for 366 yards, just 23 yards short of the school record. Goldsberry had a career night, catching 14 passes for 174 yards, rushing for 79 and gaining 72 more on kick and punt returns. Ota also went over 100 yards in receiving, gaining 115 on five catches. Sophomore Justin Wallace (Palatine, Ill.) led the ground attack with 83 yards.

Fruwirth completed 28-of-49 for 325 yards, with Bambini catching nearly half of his completions (13) for 221 yards. Bigelow led the Colonels with 82 yards on the ground.

MIT will return home for its next game, hosting UMass-Dartmouth on Saturday, September 29 at Noon at Steinbrenner Stadium. Curry will also play at Noon, traveling to Endicott.