Curry Edges Engineers, 20-10

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – A 33-yard field goal by Matt Alksninis coupled with a 12-yard touchdown run from Jamaal Woods in the fourth quarter helped propel Curry College to a 20-10 win over host MIT in a New England Football Conference (NEFC) Boyd Division match-up on Saturday. With the win, the Colonels improved to 4-2 on the year and 3-0 in conference action while the Engineers’ dipped to 1-4 overall and 1-2 in the Boyd Division.

Each side put together drives of 10 plays before a three-and-out by Curry gave MIT the ball at its own 31. Runs by DeRon Brown, including a 15-yard scamper, paired with a seven-yard strike from Kyle Johnson to Justin Kresz put the ball at the Colonels’ eight-yard line. Kenniel Velez and Curtis Ushry pushed the Engineers back two yards on a rushing attempt by Johnson before he suffered a nine-yard sack by Scott Driscoll. Corey Garvey then converted a 36-yard field goal attempt to put the Cardinal and Gray on the board with 1:26 remaining in the opening frame.

Curry quickly evened the contest on a seven-play, 32-yard drive that spanned less than three minutes. Ignited by a 15-yard kickoff return from Taylor LeClair, Zach Cavanaugh completed passes of nine and 19 yards to Samuel Victoria and Jamaal Woods that put the ball at the MIT 26. Bruce Vieira’s six-yard dash put the Colonels’ in the red zone, however, Woods lost three yards on his next rushing attempt as Russell Spivak made the stop for the Engineers. After an incomplete pass, Alksninis booted a career-long 41-yard field goal attempt to knot the game with 13:40 left to play in the half.

MIT reclaimed the lead on its ensuing drive as a 30-yard kickoff return by Brian Doyle put the Engineers just past midfield. On a third-and-eight, Nate Forbes snagged a nine-yard pass before a one-yard loss by Brown placed MIT at Curry’s 39. Johnson then launched a pass to Mike Fitzgerald who made a diving grab for the touchdown. With 6:29 on the clock and the ball at the Engineers’ 27, an incomplete pass was followed by a quarterback keeper by Cavanaugh that tied the game at 10.

The deadlock would hold for the remainder of the half and through the third quarter. Curry had a chance to take the lead midway through the third period as Jon Chattman registered a trio of catches that netted 53 yards and helped moved the Colonels to the MIT 19. The Engineers thwarted the scoring attempt when Brian Mickle forced a fumble and recovered the loose ball one yard back.

Curry mounted its go-ahead drive late in the third frame as a 25-yard run from Cavanaugh and then a 19-yard reception by Woods moved the visitors to the MIT 19. A fumble that was recovered by Woods resulted in an eight-yard loss, but he along with Cavanaugh combined for 11 yards on the next two rushes which put the ball at the 16. Alksninis then capped what proved to be the game-winning drive with the 33-yard boot.

Alksninis followed with a 52-yard kickoff which Nate Forbes returned for 38 yards and put the hosts at the Curry 44. Brown registered a 14-yard run, but a fumble and its recovery by Brown moved the Engineers back to the 25. After an incomplete pass, Mike Murray recorded a five-yard sack of Johnson to end the scoring threat.

The Colonels extended their margin on their next drive, as a 14-yard rush by Cavanaugh put his squad at midfield. Jon Sughrue made the next three carries which yielded 34 yards. After a penalty pushed Curry back five yards, Chattman completed a nine-yard pass to Robert Bambini. Woods then sprinted 12 yards for the touchdown.

The ensuing kickoff was fumbled by Nate Forbes and then recovered by Curry’s Patrick Hannon at the MIT 15. On the first play of the Colonels’ drive Chattman was picked off by Doyle at the one-yard line. The Engineers moved the ball to their own 33 but could go no further.

Brown finished with a game-high 203 yards on the ground, marking the second week in a row he has surpassed the 200-yard mark. Johnson went 9-of-17 for 105 yards as Fitzgerald notched three catches for 58 yards. Pete Gilliland posted 14 tackles while KC Weaver and Patrick Jupe each registered 10. Alex Rubino racked up eight tackles including 1.5 for a loss of six yards.

Cavanaugh tallied 87 rushing yards on six attempts to go along with 163 yards in the air, including a 46-yard catch by Chattman that closed the first half. Sughrue totaled 100 rushing yards on 15 carries while Chattman caught five passes for 111 yards. Driscoll amassed 13 tackles (11 solo), including a nine-yard sack, as Murray collected 12 tackles (eight solo) and a five-yard sack. Kevin McCarthy put up eight tackles with two for a loss of three yards while Daniel Dawson recorded six tackles that featured a six-yard sack.

Both squads continue divisional play next Saturday, Oct. 17. MIT will travel to Western New England College while Curry will host Endicott College.