Rose-Hulman rallies, wins in overtime

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Rose-Hulman takes the field and took the win, to boot.

Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology defended a two-point conversion attempt in overtime to cap a 35-34 come-from-behind victory over the Austrian National Team in a football exhibition game on Sunday in Vienna, Austria.

The Engineers rallied from a 28-21 deficit to force a 28-28 tie on a fourth-down touchdown pass from Mitch Snyder to Kyle Kovach with four minutes left in regulation to knot the score. Rose-Hulman forced a punt from the Austrian National Team on its final possession to set the stage for overtime.

In the extra session, Rose-Hulman had the first possession and scored on a touchdown pass from Snyder to Andrew Huddleston, with Nick Schneider booting a key extra point that put the Engineers ahead 35-28.

On Austria's possession, Florian Gross connected with Mario Nerad for a touchdown that brought the score to 35-34. Team Austria decided to go for the win on a two-point version, but Armando Ponce de Leon was stopped shy of the goal line on a running play by several Rose-Hulman defensive players to secure the dramatic victory.

Kovach led the offensive effort with two rushing touchdowns and a receiving touchdown. Snyder tossed two touchdown passes, and Craig Voges provided a key early touchdown on an interception return to provide Rose-Hulman's scoring for the day.

Austria jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the first quarter on a scoring run by Ponce de Leon and were driving for a second score late in the first quarter. Gross was intercepted by Voges, however, who returned the interception for a touchdown to tie the score at 7-7.

Austria gained a 14-7 lead on a score by Andrej Kliman in the first quarter. Kovach capped the first quarter with his longest run of the day, a 60-yard scamper to force a 14-14 tie after the opening 15 minutes.

Nerad scored on an 18-yard run early in the second quarter to give the Austrian squad a 21-14 edge. Late in the second quarter, Jordan Martin snagged an interception to give Rose-Hulman one last chance to tie the score at halftime. Kovach scored from 20 yards out to force a 21-21 tie at intermission.

Team Austria claimed a 28-21 lead late in the third quarter on a touchdown catch from tight end Daniel Stanzel. Rose-Hulman ended the third quarter on a strong drive in an effort to tie the game.

After a strong defensive stand by Team Austria, the two teams exchanged two scoreless possessions each until late in the fourth quarter. Rose-Hulman marched for the fourth down touchdown pass from Snyder to Kovach to tie the score and force the extra session.

The result also marked a victory for Rose-Hulman in the first sideline appearance for new head coach Jeff Sokol and the Fightin' Engineers new coaching staff.

Rose-Hulman will spend two more days in Austria before returning home. The team opens the 2011 home season against DePauw on Sept. 3.