NORTHFIELD — The Norwich University football team suffered a 20-0 loss to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Engineers on Saturday afternoon in New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference action.
Both offenses struggled out of the gate, as the weather at Sabine Field deteriorated more and more as the game progressed. A torrential downpour was worsened by wind gusts throughout the contest.
Late in the first quarter, a Norwich drive stalled out in three plays, giving MIT the chance to open the scoring. 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, keeping the score at 6-0.
The teams traded punts for the next few series before MIT put together a seven-play, 56-yard drive that was capped by an Ashton Robinson 2-yard rushing score. Mark Wright hit the extra-point attempt for a 13-0 lead late in first half.
MIT forced a turnover on Norwich’s first drive of the second half, regaining possession on the Norwich 47-yard line. The Engineers put together a seven-play drive that ended with a 15-yard touchdown pass from Udgam Goyal to Eric Bradford after Goyal escaped pressure on a third-and-9 situation and found his man in the back of the end zone for a 20-0 lead.
Norwich quarterback Matt Dunn went 15 of 31, totaling 134 yards with two interceptions. Teammate Manni Romero did not catch a pass until the second half but he ended up with four receptions for a team-high 52 yards.
Jacob Burke and Chris Ryan led the defense with 10 tackles apiece, while Brasean Stewart recorded six tackles, a forced fumble and a couple of bone-rattling hits on MIT wideouts. Bo Phillips recovered a fumble and recorded four tackles in the loss.
Norwich falls to 3-6 overall and 2-4 in the conference, while MIT improves to 8-1 overall and 5-1 in league play. The Engineers are in a three-way tie for the top spot in the conference with Merchant Marine and Springfield.
Norwich will finish up the season at WPI at noon Saturday.