MIT survive second half Old Gold rush

Teams:MIT vs Old Gold FRC
Played:11/10/2018 @ MIT
Score: 29 - 19 MIT win

On November 10, 2018, MIT hosted Old Gold at Briggs Field for their final match of the fall season. With a playoff spot still up for grabs, MIT needed a win and some help from other teams to squeeze into the last playoff spot. Knowing that they could only control their own result, they set out to get the W at home. Playing in front of their largest crowd (not just Greg and Ashley!), and with their largest available player pool, and with the wind at their backs, and with the sun popping out just before kickoff, MIT were primed to get off to a quick start.

MIT indeed got off to a good start when the pack stole an Old Gold scrum. Brian took a strong carry into the Old Gold defense. MIT rucked over and scrum-half James spun the ball to winger Erik on the opposite side of the field. Erik outpaced the defense and touched down for a try. MIT added to their lead after Andrew took down a lineout throw from Teddy. James fired the ball out to Frank who was positioned in the backline. Frank beat 2 defenders for the try. Old Gold threatened near the MIT goal line, but the forwards were able to stave off the attack with big hits from Andrew, Kenniel, Nick, and Teddy.

MIT had a solid effort at 8-man from Cody, who answered the beaver signal after hearing that all the cool kids were returning from retirement. Not long into his first game back, Cody was forced to leave the field with a bloody scrum cap. Zane used his fatherly wisdom and recently upgraded vision to fill in while Cody rinsed out his cap on the sideline. MIT worked the ball back into Old Gold territory and John G. ran a hard line near the goal line for the third try of the half. John G. added a penalty kick to put MIT up 22-0 at the half. A dead leg would force John G. off in the second half. Newcomer Nolan filled in well at fly-half in his first minutes with the club.

At half time veteran Frank urged the team to remain calm and continue driving down the field. MIT had their opportunities early in the second half but were unable to convert them to points. Outside-center Alex S. had a breakaway run from a switch move. Erik also had a long breakaway along the right sideline. Old Gold hung around and mounted a comeback. MIT attempted to get out of their 22 but an errant kick into the wind found its way into the Old Gold hands for their first score. Old Gold followed this up with another try after several MIT penalties and poor defense. More poor defense allowed a gap on the left sideline for the Old Gold center to touch down for their third unanswered score. The conversion brought Old Gold within 3 with time running out.

With momentum shifting in Old Gold’s favor, it appeared as if they were poised to complete their second half comeback until John L. intercepted a pass from the Old Gold fly-half at center field. With nothing but green grass in front of him, it looked like a sure-fire try. But he took the ball from the Corridor of Power down to the Alleyway of Disappointment as he was tackled just a few meters shy of the try line by the opposing fullback. Many people were saying that the fullback was the fastest kid alive. Absolutely no one was saying that John L. was old, slow, and had a bad haircut. Despite the superhuman speed tackle by the fullback, MIT were awarded a penalty within the 5 meter line. After a few attempts, Caleb barreled over for the game sealing try as time expired. James drop-kicked the conversion and the referee blew the whistle.

Unfortunately the other results did not go their way and MIT ended up narrowly missing out on the playoffs by point differential. MIT finished the season at 7-2, an identical record to 2 of the other playoff bound teams. MIT look to carry their momentum over to the spring season.

This was the last match (for now) for fullback/center/wing/flanker Erik. Erik was known for his flowing locks, rock hard abs, unrelenting motor, and meandering runs. While the team is sad to see him go, they are also excited that someone else will finally be able to win a goddang practice sprint for once. Best of luck to Erik with his move heading out to Californie Way.

Man of the Match: Andrew

Next Match: spring season