Courtesy of Western New England College Sports Information
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - The Western New England College football team defeated MIT, 27-10, for its school record sixth consecutive victory Saturday afternoon. The Golden Bears raised their overall record to 6-1 and remained unbeaten in the New England Football Conference (NEFC) Boyd Division with a 4-0 mark.
Junior quarterback Bryce Brown continued his fine play by rushing for a season high 111 yards on 14 carries and two touchdowns. He also completed 12-of-18 passes for 113 yards and no interceptions.
MIT (1-5, 0-4 Boyd) provided a strong challenge taking a 3-0 lead on its second possession when Matthew Peterson kicked a 22-yard field goal at 5:24 of the opening period. The Engineers thwarted a scoring drive near the end of the quarter stopping the hosts on a fourth down play at the MIT 18.
Western New England College scored its first touchdown when Phil Tsopanides recovered a fumble and returned it two yards to the MIT 36 with 1:18 left in the stanza. Six plays later, Mike Graham (14 carries, 74 yards) scored from the one just seven seconds into the second quarter.
After forcing a punt, the Golden Bears scored again on their next possession to take a 13-3 advantage when Brown raced 35 yards on fourth down for a score at the 8:05 mark.
The Engineers quickly answered going 61 yards in two plays starting when Mike Fitzgerald caught a nifty 57-yard pass from freshman quarterback John Wenzel who then ran four yards to cut the margin to three just 39 seconds later.
The hosts entered the break with a slim 13-10 advantage.
MIT again stopped a scoring drive when a fourth-down pass by Brown from the visitors' four fell incomplete in the end zone on the first possession of the third quarter. Brown later found the end zone on a three-yard run which capped a four-play, 53-yard drive with 6:13 left in the period.
Western New England College scored its final touchdown when Brody Brandstatter burst through the middle and rambled 20 yards for his first collegiate touchdown on his first collegiate carry with 6:29 left in the contest.
Junior running back JJ Jachym added 74 yards rushing on 11 carries while Brandstatter had 46 yards on three carries. Kenny Muhlack had a game-high seven receptions for 56 yards. The Golden Bears put together another solid defensive showing as Kevin Soule compiled eight tackles, which included a sack. Brandon Ormsby added seven tackles while Dylan Chandler and Rob Kampson both contributed five tackles.
MIT finished with 269 total yards as Wenzel was 9-of-15 passing for 129 yards as he and senior Kyle Johnson alternated at quarterback. Johnson started the contest and ran for a team high 32 yards on 10 carries while completing 5-of-8 passes for 74 yards. Fitzgerald had five catches for 117 yards. Jake Laux compiled a game-best 14 tackles as Peter Gilliland had 13 stops. Matt Merlino chipped-in with 11 tackles and a pair of pass breakups.