The seventh-ranked Hobart College football team, behind a career day for senior running back Steven Webb and a dominating defense, posted a 30-7 victory over Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pa., to open the 2013 season. Webb ran for a career-high 203 yards and three touchdowns while the Statesmen D limited the Red Devils to just 204 yards of total offense.
Hobart accumulated 470 yards of total offense, including 343 on the ground. The Statesmen averaged 7.0 yards per carry (49-343), the highest rushing average for the team since Oct. 8, 2005, when Hobart averaged 7.5 per carry (53-397).
Webb's big day marked the most rushing yards by a Statesman since Doug Blakowski ran for 214 yards at Merchant Marine on Oct. 14, 2006. Webb was not stopped behind the line of scrimmage on any of his 18 carries. He went over 100 yards for the game on just his fourth rush and finished the day with 11.3 yards per carry average. That's the highest average by a Hobart player since Jack Holleran 11.4 yards against Dickinson on Sept. 14, 2002.
Junior fullback Dominique Ellis and sophomore running back Conner Hartigan combined for 117 yards rushing, with Ellis scoring the team's other touchdown on a 1-yard plunge.
Junior quarterback Patrick Conlan was 8-of-16 for 127 yards, earning the win in his first collegiate start. Junior wide receiver John Fasano was his top target, hauling in three passes for 41 yards.
Defensively, sophomore linebacker Trayvon Toney was credited with a team-high eight tackles. Sophomore linebacker Kenneth Coughlin, junior linebacker Jacob Price, and sophomore defensive end Mark Guarino-Hyde each added seven stops. Junior defensive end Tyre Coleman had one of two Hobart sacks today. He has 31.5 for his career, just 1.5 off the career record set by Dave Russell '98.
Guarino-Hyde was in on the tackle on the first three plays of the season, forcing Dickinson to punt on fourth and 4. Webb took the first down handoff 9 yards out to the Dickinson 43. Ellis followed with a 6-yard gain for a first down and then Webb carried 51 yards to the house for a 7-0 Hobart lead.
The Red Devils got a pair of first downs on their next drive, but were still forced to punt when the drive stalled out near midfield. The Statesmen took over at their own 29. Webb ran 36 yards on first down to move Hobart into Dickinson territory. Handing the ball to Hartigan on five straight plays moved the Statesmen into the red zone, but a pair of incompletions forced Hobart to settle for a 35-yard field goal by first-year Sean Kirshe. It's the longest field goal made by a Statesman since Oct. 1, 2011, when Reyes Guevara hit from 36 yards out.
Hobart led 10-0 at the end of the first quarter.
Dickinson forced the Statesmen to turn the ball over on down on their third drive, but again had to punt near midfield. Hobart countered with a 13-play, 95-yard march that ended with Webb scoring on a 1-yard dive for a 17-0 lead that held up through halftime.
Hobart got the ball coming out of the locker room and used 10 plays to move 65 yards, capped by Ellis' scoring run and a 24-0 lead. Ellis had the big play of the drive, breaking free for 25 yards on a second down an 1 play.
The TD proved to be the only score of the third quarter.
The Statesmen stretched their lead to 30-0 on their first possession of the fourth quarter. Webb finished off an 11-play, 66-yard drive with a 14-yard scamper.
The Red Devils finally broke through on their final possession of the game. They used 14 plays to cover 66 yards, reaching the end zone on junior quarterback Cole Ahnell's 2-yard keeper. The drive ran 6:41 off the clock, leaving just 2:18 in the contest.
Hobart needed just to gain one first down to run out the clock and secure the victory.
Ahnell was Dickinson's top producer on offense, finishing with 46 yards rushing and 77 yards passing (10-of-18). Senior linebackers Michael Miller and Shane Mitchell each recorded a game-high 12 tackles for the Red Devils.
Hobart is off next week and will make its 2013 Boswell Field debut on Saturday, Sept. 21 when Utica comes to Geneva for Homecoming. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m.