TROY, N.Y. - Senior quarterback Jessie Maynard came off the bench to throw for a touchdown and run for another to help the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) football team to a 20-7 victory over Norwich University in a non-league game at East Campus Stadium that opened the season for both teams. The game marked the debut for RPI head coach Ralph Isernia.
Maynard (Orwell, VT / Fair Haven Union), who entered the game in the second quarter due to an injury to the starter, threw a 61-yard scoring strike in the third quarter and sealed the victory with a 91-yard run up the middle late in the fourth quarter in what was the first signifcant game action of his career. He finished with 89 yards passing (5-for-14; 1 INT) and 125 yards on the ground (25 carries).
The Engineers opened the scoring when senior running back Andrew Armato (Staten Island, NY / St. Joseph by the Sea) scampered to the right pylon from five yards out at 4:36 of the first quarter. The drive covered 47 yards, all on the ground, on nine plays. Armato had 23 of the yards, while starting quarterback Brendan McGlynn(Sleepy Hollow, NY / Fordham Prep.) ran for the other 30 yards on four attempts. The extra point was wide and the Engineers held a 6-0 lead.
McGlynn, a senior, accumulated 64 yards on eight carries to that point in the game but left after throwing an incomplete pass on RPI's next series. He did not return.
The Cadets took the lead in the second quarter when junior running back Al Georgio (West Greenwich, RI / Exeter-West Greenwich) plunged in from two yards out with 1:20 to go in the half. The drive covered nine plays and 85 yards and came immediately after the Norwich defense held Rensselaer scoreless on a series that began on the visitors' 16 yard line. The Cadets got the ball following a failed field goal attempt due to an errant snap.
Georgio ran for 26 yards on six carries on Norwich's scoring drive, but the highlight of the series was a 37-yard burst up the middle on a fourth and one play from senior running back Mike Cavanaugh (Raymond, NH / Manchester Central). That jaunt brought the ball to the eight yard line and Georgio finished things from there.
Norwich attempted to increase its lead with a 37-yard field goal attempt as the half ended but RPI's Connor Young(Burnt Hills, NY / Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake) came off the right corner and batted the ball down.
The Cadets held a 180 to 113 advantage in total yards in the first half, despite a 96 to 92 edge for Rensselaer in rushing.
The score remained 7-6 until 2:28 was left in the third quarter, when RPI sophomore Pat Hogan (Mt. Sinai, NY / Mt. Sinai) caught a short pass from Maynard while cutting across the middle and broke through the defense and down the right sideline for a 61-yard touchdown. Andrew Franks (Carmel, CA/ Carmel) added the extra point for a 13-7 lead.
After the Engineers' defense held the Cadets out of the end zone from inside the 10-yard line with under two minutes to play, Maynard ran a quarterback keeper, running through the middle of the defense and down the right hashmarks for the long touchdown run. Franks added the extra point for the final score of 20-7.
The RPI defense had four players with 10 total tackles, led by junior Nick Borkowski (Fort Salonga, NY / Kings Park), who finished with six solo hits. Senior captain Ted Abriel (Slingerlands, NY / Bethlehem) had nine tackles, including two for a loss. Junior Addison Nye (Hooksett, NH / Manchester Central) led the Norwich defense with nine total tackles, including three for a loss.
The Cadets offense saw Cavanaugh finish with 43 yards rushing on five attempts with 49 receiving yards on four receptions. Junior Jon Queen (Peterborough, NH / ConVal) completed 22 of 43 passes for 243 yards and an interception. Maynard was RPI's top rusher, while Hogan had two receptions for 68 yards and the score.
The Engineers return to action next Saturday at Alfred University, while the Cadets host St. Lawrence University at 1:30pm the same day.