CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Junior quarterback Peter Williams threw for 264 yards and a school record five touchdowns to lead MIT to a 56-36 victory over Maine Maritime in a New England Football Conference clash in Steinbrenner Stadium. The Engineers had to hold off the potent ground attack of the Mariners that generated 462 yards, led by senior Billy Wetherbee's (Vezie, Maine) 217 yards. The victory clinched a winning season for the Engineers for a second straight year.
MIT (5-3, 3-3 NEFC) took the opening kickoff and used its ground game to quickly score the first points of the contest. Junior Justin Wallace (Palatine, Ill.), who finished with 150 yards and a pair of scores, ran five times for 48 yards on the drive that took just 2:51 and put the Engineers on the board with his two-yard run. Maine Maritime (1-7, 1-5 NEFC) then coughed up the ball on its first drive, with freshman Kevin Kusch (Mobile, Ala.) recovering for MIT on the MIT 46. Six plays later the Engineers were in the end zone again as Williams hit sophomore Samuel Inman (Stilwell, Okla.) from 13 yards out to make it 14-0.
MIT made it three for three on its next drive as the Engineers covered 50 yards in 2:13, with Wallace carrying it in from the 11 to make it 21-0 with four minutes left in the quarter. Maine Maritime got its triple-option attack rolling on its next possession, grinding out a 15-play, 84-yard drive that consumed 7:33 to put its first points on the board. Sophomore quarterback Michael Fahey (Union, Conn.) did most of the damage, carrying seven times for 41 yards, including a five-yard scoring run. Fahey's two-point attempt was good, making it 21-8 with 7:22 left in the half.
A 45-yard kick return by sophomore Seve Esparrago (St. Louis, Mo.) put MIT in business on the Maine Maritime 30 on the next Engineer drive, and three plays later Williams hit junior Brad Goldsberry (Elizabeth, Colo.) from 15 yards out for the score. The catch was the 147th of his career, lifting him past Tom Kilpatrick '05 as MIT's all-time receptions leader. The Engineers added a one-yard plunge by Williams with 1:05 left in the half to increase their lead to 35-8.
Maine Maritime started the second half with another long scoring drive; this time going 93 yards in 12 plays, all on the ground. Fahey, who scored all of the Mariners touchdowns in the contest, finished it off with a one-yard run to make it 35-14 after a failed two-point attempt.
Sparked again by another long return by Esparrago, MIT answered with another three-play scoring drive as Williams hit sophomore Eric Gan (College Station, Texas) from 27 yards out. The Engineers came right back with another score after sophomore Alex Noakes (Watkinsville, Ga.) recovered another Mariner fumble, with Williams tossing a 26-yard scoring strike to Goldsberry to make it 49-14.
Maine Maritime came back with back-to-back touchdown drives. Fahey scored on a pair of one-yard runs to cap off drives of 71 and 75 yards to pull the Mariners back to 49-28 with 5:37 left. It was as close as Maine Maritime would get as Gan pulled in another long TD pass from Williams, this time from 38 yards out, just a minute later. Fahey completed the scoring with a five-yard run with 1:28 left.
Maine Maritime rolled up 497 yards of total offense to 448 for MIT. Williams completed 15-of-18 for 264 yards and the five scores for the Engineers, with Goldsberry leading the team with five catches for 87 yards and a pair of TDs. Fahey also hit the 100-yard rushing mark for Maine Maritime, finishing with 170 yards on 31 carries. Senior Jake Laux (Dousman, Wis.) led the MIT defense with 14 tackles, while senior Frank True (Harpswell, Maine) led Maine Maritime with 11.
MIT will close out the 2013 season next week when it travels to Coast Guard for a 1:00 p.m. game on Nov. 16. Maine Maritime will also close out its season next week, hosting Curry College at Noon on Saturday.