WORCESTER ― Spencer Herrington (Clearfield, PA) connected on two fourth-quarter field goals in adverse conditions — one from 41 yards and one from 31 — with less than six minutes left, and Julian Nyland (Melrose, MA) connected with Nic Rossi (Howell, NJ) for a 19-yard touchdown in the second quarter, and WPI defeated MIT, 13-6, on Homecoming at Alumni Stadium.
WPI, who has won the last nine games in this matchup, moves to 5-3 and 3-2 in the NEWMAC, while MIT, ranked number one in New England, suffers its first defeat and drops to 7-1 (4-1). Worcester's Engineers have now won nine straight games in the series, with MIT's last victory coming back in 1900.
Nyland, who opened the scoring in the second quarter with the perfectly-placed ball in the back corner of the end zone, finished with 90 yards and a touchdown on 8-of-16 passing, while rushing for 77 yards on 11 carries. Nyland, deservedly, earned the Bob Pritchard Award for Offensive Player of the Game on Homecoming.
Linebacker Nick Ostrowski (Charlton, MA) tied for a team-high eight tackles and forced two fumbles. For his efforts, Ostrowski won the Bob Pritchard Award for Defensive Player of the Game on Homecoming.
With wind gusts touching 41 miles-per-hour, both teams elected for a run-heavy approach.
WPI outrushed MIT, 163-119, with Brandon Winn (Melrose, MA) getting a bulk of the carries. The freshman ran for 70 yards on 22 carries.
MIT ran the ball 34 times, which meant the front seven and the safeties were busy for WPI. Sam Casey (Winchester, MA) registered eight tackles, while Blayne Merchant (Sanderson, FL) had seven tackles.
Quarterback Ugdam Doyal (Frisco, TX) netted 62 yards on seven carries on the ground while throwing for 48 yards on 5-of-23 passing, and John Robertson (Brentwood, TN) carried 15 times for 40 yards for MIT. Sam Cantrell (Seattle, WA) led all players with 10 tackles for the visitors while Kevin Lyons (Weymouth, MA) made eight stops and Andrew DeNucci (Newton, MA) amassed seven, including 1.5 tackles-for-loss.
Joe Kerkach (Ashland, MA) had five tackles, and Sam Malafronte (Abington, MA) and Mike McGoff (Ashland, MA) had three tackles apiece, respectively, for WPI.
WPI allowed just 28 rushing yards in the first half while shutting out MIT in the first 30 minutes. It's the sixth time this season that WPI has shutout an opponent in the first half. As a team, WPI has held opponents to single digits in 11 of its last 19 games.
The only score for MIT came on a defensive fumble recovery in the end zone by Ben Bennington (Harrisonburg, VA) early in the fourth quarter. After Herrington's second fourth quarter field goal, MIT got the ball as far the WPI 48 before only gaining seven yards on four pass attempts.
For the game, WPI held edges in both total offense (253-167) and time of possession (35:13-24:47) while only committing two penalties on the day.
Next week, WPI travels to Coast Guard and MIT visits Norwich, both slated for a for a noon kickoff.
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