NORTHFIELD, Vt. - The Norwich University football team fell to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Engineers on Saturday afternoon, dropping the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) matchup by a 20-0 final score.
Both offenses struggled out of the gate, as the weather at Sabine Field deteriorated further and further as the afternoon wore on. A torrential downpour was aided by wind gusts over 50 miles per hour throughout the contest.
Late in the first quarter after a Norwich drive stalled out in three plays, Keithen Shepard got the Engineers on the board with a 58-yard punt return for a touchdown. The ensuing point after attempt hit the right goalpost and bounced out, holding the score at 6-0.
The teams traded punts for the next couple of series, before MIT finally put together a seven play, 56-yard drive that was capped by an Ashton Robinson two-yard rushing score. Mark Wright hit the point after, and it was 13-0 with under seven minutes in first half.
MIT forced a turnover on Norwich's first drive of the second half, regaining possession on the Norwich 47-yard line. They put together a seven-play drive that ended on a 15-yard touchdown pass from Udgam Goyal to Eric Bradford after Goyal escaped pressure on 3rd and 9 and found his man in the back of the endzone to put MIT up 20-0.
The score would hold throughout the remainder of the game, as the Engineers walked away with the NEWMAC victory.
Matt Dunn (Rockland, Mass.) went 15-31 for Norwich under center, totaling 134 yards and two interceptions. Manni Romero (Phillipsburg, N.J.) didn't see a reception until the second half but still ended up with four for a team-high 52 yards.
Jacob Burke (River Edge, N.J.) and Chris Ryan (New Milford, Conn.) led the defense with 10 tackles apiece, while Brasean Stewart (Bronx, N.Y.) collected six tackles, a forced fumble, and a couple of bone-rattling hits on MIT wideouts. Bo Phillips (Chappaqua, N.Y.) recovered the fumble and recorded four tackles on the day.
With the loss, Norwich falls to 3-6 on the season and 2-4 in the conference, while MIT rises to 8-1 and 5-1 to remain in a three-way tie for the top spot in the conference with Merchant Marine and Springfield.
Norwich will finish up their season at WPI next Saturday, a game scheduled to start at 12:00 PM.
Today's game was preceded by a senior day ceremony honor the contributions of Norwich's 11 graduating seniors. Garrett Chapell (Byron, N.Y.), Dustin Spatz (Bernville, Pa.), Bo Phillips, Clay Faris (Montgomery, N.Y.), Stephen Ohsberg (Cranston, R.I.), Paul Biello (Cranston, R.I.), John Lemay, Jr. (Wolfeboro, N.H.), Frank Reale (Carmel, N.Y.), Jared Barton (Colorado Springs, Colo.), D'Andre Morgan (Saco, Maine), and Nick DeSilvio were all honored before today's game for their contributions to Norwich University and it's football program over the past four years.