Ground Control Lifts UMass Dartmouth Past MIT
Sept. 30, 2006
By UMass Dartmouth Sports Information
NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass.- The University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth's football team rushed for 333 yards and piled up 512 yards of total offense en route to a 41-10 New England Football Conference Boyd Division victory over the MIT at Cressy Field Saturday afternoon. Junior running back Bob Sullivan and sophomore running back J.T. Harold each went over 100 yards as the Corsairs out rushed the Engineers, 333 yards to 36.
Freshman defensive back Bryan Howard sparked UMass Dartmouth before its first possession, returning a punt by MIT's Corey Garvey 50 yards to the Engineers 22 after the Engineers failed to get a first down on their opening possession of the game. On the ensuing play, sophomore quarterback Alex Garro, making his first start of the season, lofted a 22-yard touchdown pass to junior tight end Charles Gryska to give UMD a 7-0 lead. MIT came back and drove 53 yards in 11 plays, culminating in a 35-yard field goal by Garvey. The Corsairs replied, with sophomore quarterback Ryan Walsh hitting Howard twice, and Harold scoring from five yards out to make it 14-3 with 3:09 to play in the first quarter.
Late in the opening frame, UMass Dartmouth took over on its 42 yard line after a 28 yard punt. The Corsairs went 58 yards in 11 plays, and sophomore running back Aaron Russo scored from a yard out to make it 21-3. The Engineers came back to score on a seven-yard run by Robert Utz to make it 21-10 at halftime. Utz was making his first appearance on the season after being sidelined by injuries during the first three weeks of the year.
Junior defensive back Bill Reiss returned the opening kickoff of the second half to the UMD 47, and the Corsairs covered the rest of the distance in seven plays. Harold took it for 17 yards on the final two plays of the drive, scoring from nine yards out to make it 28-10 with 12:06 remaining in the third quarter. Garro hit Gryska with a 24-yard touchdown pass with 55 seconds left in the third quarter, and Walsh completed a one-yard TD pass to sophomore wide receiver John Henry with 10:02 left to account for the final score.
"I was very happy with the result," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Bill Kavanaugh, who won the 101st game of his career. "Our offensive line did a great job, our backs ran well, and our quarterbacks played well. Charles Gryska made some good catches and his blocking really helped our running game. This was definitely our best effort of the year."
For the Corsairs, Sullivan carried 18 times for 123 yards, while Harold rushed 16 times for 107 yards. Garro completed 10 of 15 passes for 148 yards and ran nine times for 66 yards, while Gryska caught seven passes for 99 yards. Utz rushed four times for 32 yards for the Engineers, sophomore Rick Mancuso completed 12 of 25 passes for 153 yards, and Chris Ruggiero caught four passes for 33 yards.
The Corsairs improved to 2-2 and 1-1 in the NEFC's Boyd Division with the victory, while MIT fell to 1-3 and 0-2. UMass Dartmouth will return to action when they visit Western New England next Saturday. MIT will visit Curry next Saturday evening.