Following a 34-21 win over Utica College on Saturday, the Hobart College football team moved up one spot to No. 7 in the latest edition of the D3football.com poll and debuted at No. 5 in the first American Football Coaches Association poll.
Junior linebacker Nolan Toran
was tabbed the Liberty League Defensive Performer of the Week, senior punter Yosh Karbowniczak
received the Special Teams Performer of the Week award, and senior running back Steven Webb
earned a spot on the league's weekly honor roll.
Toran was responsible for all three Hobart takeaways against the previously unbeaten Pioneers. He intercepted Utica's first pass of the game and returned it 21 yards, ripped the ball away from a Pioneer running back for a force and recovery that led to Hobart's second touchdown of the game, and forced another fumble on Utica's first drive of the second half. Toran also recorded five solo tackles.
Karbowniczak averaged 35 yards per punt on Saturday. He punted five times for 175 yards, pinning the Pioneers inside their own 20 once. Karbowniczak's kicks allowed Utica to attempt just two punt returns for an average of just 9 yards.
Webb produced his fourth consecutive 100-yard rushing game picking up 150 yards and two touchdowns against the Pioneers, who came into the game allowing just 73.5 rushing yards per game. He carried the ball 21 times for a 7.1 yard per carry average. Webb scored on a 2-yard plunge to give the Statesmen a 13-7 lead midway through the second quarter and broke free for a 56-yard scoring run in the third quarter, putting Hobart in front 27-7.
Webb has 38 career rushing TDs, nine shy of the Hobart record. He also caught a team-high three passes for 14 yards. Webb is fifth in the nation in scoring (15.0 ppg), sixth in all purpose yards (218.0/g), and sixth in rushing yards (178.5/g).
The Statesmen (2-0) have never been ranked in the top 5 in the nation by the AFCA and Hobart's No. 7 ranking in the D3football.com poll matches the program's high-water mark.
The Statesmen will begin their Liberty League title defense at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy on Saturday, Sept. 28. Kickoff at Brooks Stadium is scheduled for 2 p.m.
The Mariners are also undefeated, moving to 3-0 for the first time since 1997 with a 7-6 win over SUNY Maritime on Saturday. Hobart leads the all-time series with Merchant Marine 9-4 and has won nine in a row since the Mariners joined the Liberty League in 2004.
WEOS-FM (89.7/90.3 in Geneva) will broadcast the game live. Live stats and streaming video of the contest can be accessed online at usmmasports.com.