Update: The MIT Engineers football team’s record-breaking season concluded on Saturday, November 29, with a 59-0 loss to Wesley College in the second round of the 2014 NCAA Division III Football Championship tournament. The 2014 team set a program record with 10 wins, won their first New England Football Conference (NEFC) title, made their first appearance in the NCAA tournament, and were ranked in the top 25 of the American Football Coaches Association poll for the first time.
For more information, read recaps of the Engineers’ second-round loss to Wesley and the team’s first-round win over Husson, which featured a last-second 38-yard field goal from Tucker Cheyne ’17 and a game-winning touchdown in overtime from wide receiver Seve Esparrago ’16.
MIT isn’t known as a sports powerhouse, but the Institute football team is receiving national attention. The undefeated Engineers (10-0), who play in the second round of NCAA tournament on Saturday, have been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Yahoo!, and ESPN.
Are you new to—or a few years removed from—MIT football? No problem! Consider this a crib sheet on all things MIT football. You’ll be an Engineers expert before Saturday’s kickoff.
The game: MIT Engineers versus Wesley College Wolverines (10-1), NCAA Division III Football Championship tournament, second round.
Kickoff: Saturday, November 29, noon, Miller Stadium, Dover, Delaware. (If MIT wins, they will play the winner of Johns Hopkins–Hobart in the second round on Saturday, December 6.)
- In person: Tickets for Saturday’s game, which are $10, will be available in-person at Wesley’s Miller Stadium (400 Clara St., Dover) on game day.
- Watch: Tune in at noon to view a live stream of the game, organized by Friends of MIT Football.
- Listen: Dover-area WDEL 1150 AM will have the radio play-by-play on the station’s website.
Tailgate: Fans attending Saturday’s game are invited to an MIT alumni tailgate, beginning at 10:00 a.m., beneath a large MIT banner in the tailgating area near Miller Stadium. Beverages and snacks will be provided, and MIT fans and alumni are encouraged to wear Engineers gear. RSVP for the tailgate to see who else may be attending.
The 10-0 Engineers set a team record for wins and earned their first-ever New England Football Conference (NEFC) title. In their first NCAA playoff game in program history, MIT defeated host Husson University, 27-20, on November 22. The Engineers secured the victory thanks to Esparrago’s game-winning touchdown, plus key defensive plays from Matt Iovino ’17, Anthony Emberley ’17, and Cameron Wagar ’15.
Their regular seasons victories included a 34-29 win over Endicott, which gave the Engineers sole possession of first place, and a 35-34 win over Western New England, preserved by a blocked extra point by Emberley in the game’s final minute. While the undefeated seasons was unprecedented, the team’s success was not unexpected. 2014 was the Engineers’ third winning season in a row and last year’s team was featured in the Boston Globe.
Fifth-year Head Coach Chad Martinovich was selected as the NEFC Coach of the Year and a record 12 Engineers earned All-NEFC Honors, including Offensive Player of the Year Justin Wallace ’15, Offensive Lineman of the Year Elliot Tobin ’17, and Defensive Rookie of the Year Mitch Turley ’18. Eight more players were named to the All-NEFC first and second teams. [View the full roster.]
Running back Wallace is MIT’s all-time leading in career rushing yards (4,425) and touchdowns (46). In 2014, he ran for 1,425 yards and 16 touchdowns, including 261 yards and a MIT-record six touchdowns in a 55-37 win over Maine Maritine. He rushed for 144 yards in the win over Husson.
Quarterback Peter Williams ’15 threw for 1,761 yards and 18 touchdowns, including a five-touchdown performance in a 52-20 win over Nichols. He is MIT’s all-time leader in career passing yards (5,491) and touchdowns (26). He passed for 291 yard and two touchdowns in the first-round victory.
Williams’ receiving corps includes Brad Goldsberry ’15, who had 36 catches and is MIT’s all-time leading receiver (191), and two more Engineers who finished the regular season with more than 20 receptions: Esparrago (39) and Nathan Varady ’16 (20).
On defense, linebacker Wagar led the team with 76 regular seasons tackles plus one sack and one interception. Emberley added 70 tackles, four sacks, and two forced fumbles, including 13 tackles and a sack in a 28-18 win over Pomona-Pitzer. Mitch Turley and Kodiak Brush ’17 each finished with more than 40 tackles, and defensive backs Rob Disanto ’18 and Ryan Karnish ’17 tied for the time lead in interceptions (2). [View all 2014 stats.]
The opponent: The 10-1 Wesley Wolverines scored 42 first quarter points en route to a 52-7 victory over Hampden-Sydney in the tournament’s first round. Quarterback Joe Callahan passed for 336 yards and five touchdowns in the playoff win. On defense, the Wolverines held Hampden-Sydney to only 52 rushing yards and six different Wesley players had an interception.
- MIT played in perhaps the first playoff game in college football history, losing to Williams, 18-10, in 1885.
- The Engineers, then known as the Techmen, won back-to-back Northeastern Intercollegiate Football Association (NIFA) league titles in 1887-1888.
- The modern era of MIT football dates back to the formation of a club team in 1978 that later became part of NCAA Division III in 1988.
- MIT’s football alumni includes a Rhodes Scholar (Darcy Prather ’91), a Marshall Scholar (Brad Gray ’98), 11 NCAA Post-Graduate Scholars, and 38 Academic All-Americans.