October 12, 2013

Hobart wins 5th straight by outrushing Liberty League rushing leader

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The nationally ranked Hobart College football team outrushed the Liberty League's top rushing offense on its way to a 49-21 conference win at Springfield College this afternoon. The Statesmen rushed for 323 yards and six touchdowns while limiting the Pride to 248 yards rushing, more than 80 yards below its season average.

Senior running back Steven Webb gained 203 yards rushing and scored three touchdowns to lead Hobart, which is ranked No. 5 by the AFCA and No. 7 in the D3football.com poll. He carried the ball 17 times, averaging 11.9 yards per carry. Webb scored on TD runs of 25, 21, and 61 yards. Junior fullback Dominique Ellis added 68 yards on the ground and a TD. 

Sophomore linebacker Trayvon Toney paced the Hobart defense with a game-high 11 tackles. The race to break the Hobart career tackles for loss record got a little tighter. Junior defensive end Tyre Coleman had two takedowns behind the line of scrimmage today to raise his career total to 54.5, 2.5 behind senior linebacker Devin Worthington, who was credited with half a tackle for loss. Worthington is just two off the record of 59 set by Rob Gould '01.

The Statesmen (5-0, 3-0)  held Springfield's leading rusher, Joe Morreno (117.4/g), to a mere 11 yards rushing. Louis Fenaroli produced a team-high 70 yards and a TD on 18 carries. Kenny Calaj and Mike Dublin shared team-high honors with seven tackles each for the Pride.

Hobart charged out of the gate reaching the end zone on its first four drives of the game. The defense forced a three-and-out to start the game and the Statesmen offense took over at its own 20. Junior quarterback Patrick Conlan's 5-yard TD pass to sophomore tight end Nick Liverio capped a 12-play, 80-yard march that put the visitors in front 7-0. Hobart's defense came up big again, this time giving the offense a short field. Springfield tried to put, but first-year Gabriel Smith broke through and blocked the kick and classmate Matt Cragg recovered at the Springfield 20. The Statesmen were flagged for delay of game, backing them up to the 25, but Webb took the first down handoff into the end zone for a 14-0 lead with 4:17 left in the first quarter.

Just 1:12 into the second quarter, Webb made it 21-0 on a 21-yard scoring run that capped a 7-play, 45-yard drive.

Springfield (3-3, 0-3) started to move the ball on its ensuing drive, reaching the Hobart 16, but fumbled on an option pitch and junior linebacker Nolan Toran recovered for Hobart. On first down, Ellis rumbled 52 yards to put the ball at the Springfield 32. Conlan completed a fourth-and-7 at the Springfield 29 to senior wideout Yosh Karbowniczak for 12 yards to keep the drive alive and four plays later, sophomore Conner Hartigan scored on a 2-yard plunge for a 28-0 lead.

The Pride finally cracked the scoring column with 19 seconds remaining in the half. Fenaroli scored on a 1-yard dive to complete a 16-play, 68-yard march. Hobart carried a 28-7 lead into the break.

The Statesmen had the first possession of the second half, and didn't need long to add to their lead. Webb got the call on first down and ran 61-yard to paydirt for a 35-7 lead. It was his 43rd career rushing touchdown, third on the all-time list. Keith Brandon '01 is second with 45, two behind record holder Rich Kowalski '76.

Hobart scored once more before the end of the third quarter, taking a 42-7 lead on Ellis' 2-yard scoring run with 2:24 left on the clock.

Springfield scored on back-to-back possessions to start the fourth quarter, closing the gap to 42-21 with 6:01 remaining in the game. After the second score, Hartigan took the ensuing kickoff 84 yards to the Springfield 12. First-year Brad Burns got back-to-back handoffs and gained 4 and 8 yards for his first career touchdown, completing the day's scoring.

Hobart was an efficient 6-of-9 on third down. Springfield was just 5-of-13 on third down, but did convert all four of its fourth down tries.

The Statesmen are off next Saturday, and will return to action on Saturday, Oct. 26, when they host Rensselaer in a Liberty League contest scheduled to start at noon at Boswell Field.

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