Coming off a loss to Alfred State College, RPI football looked to bounce back at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology last weekend. After the MIT Engineers made an early field goal to take a 3-0 lead, the Engineers hit their stride, rattling off 24 unanswered points to put the game out of reach early in the fourth quarter. Rensselaer’s defense overwhelmed the MIT Engineers, intercepting quarterback Udgam Goyal four times and recovering a fumble, and led the Engineers to a decisive 31-10 win.
On the first play of the second quarter, Goyal stepped back to pass and RPI senior defensive lineman Thomas Bennett forced him to rush his throw. Senior linebacker Alex Greenidge hauled in the errant throw and sprinted back 34 yards for an Engineers touchdown. The score put Rensselaer up 10-3.
The Engineers almost handed seven points back to MIT on the MIT Engineers’ next possession when they were penalized for running into MIT punter Tucker Cheyne and gave them a fresh set of downs on RPI’s half of the field. Then, a combination of runs by the MIT Engineers tailback Cole Baker and short passes by Goyal pushed MIT inside RPI’s 10-yard line before the drive stalled out. The ensuing field goal sailed wide right and RPI maintained its 10-3 edge, a lead they would take into halftime.
On their first drive of the second half, RPI extended their lead to 17-3. Sophomore quarterback Ed Trimpert completed two passes for 35 yards and junior Mike Tivinis rushed five times for 22 yards, including the touchdown-scoring rush from seven yards out.
After RPI scored and was up by two touchdowns, MIT moved the ball quickly down the field, setting up a first and goal at the RPI five-yard line. Once again Rensselaer’s defense stood stout in the red zone as sophomore defensive back Brendan Zotti intercepted Goyal to stop yet another MIT drive.
Rensselaer moved the ball methodically down the field early in the fourth quarter, once again mixing the power running of Tivinis with the precise passes of Trimpert. On a second and one from the MIT six-yard line sophomore running back Maliek Kelly hit paydirt for the first time in his collegiate career and gave RPI a 24-3 cushion.
After MIT scored off an RPI turnover to make the score 24-10 midway through the final quarter, the Engineers iced the game with an eight-play, 69-yard drive capped off with a nine-yard rushing score by junior running back Johnny Ramsdell.
Tivinis led all rushers with 123 yards and now has 308 yards in three games this season. Trimpert finished with 83 yards passing and sophomore Keaton Ackermann led RPI with 31 receiving yards.
In addition to Zotti and Greenidge, junior defensive back Sam Barrett and sophomore defensive back DJ Stefonsky also recorded interceptions.
Next up for 2-1 Rensselaer is a return home to take on St. Lawrence University in their Liberty League conference opener this Saturday.