Hobart (6-0, 4-0) had a season-high 23 first downs while RPI managed just eight. The Statesmen also dominated time of possession, holding on to the ball for a season-high 40:25, more than 10 minutes longer than their previous high. Hobart also got it done on third down, converting 8-of-17 (8-of-14 through three quarters), and limiting the Engineers to 4-of-12 (1-of-9).
Junior quarterback Patrick Conlan
completed a season-high 16 passes on a season-high 27 attempts for 191 yards and a season-high three touchdowns for the Statesmen. He spread the ball around, completing passes to eight different receivers. Junior Troy Robinson
had three catches for a team-high 45 yards. Senior Yosh Karbowniczak
and junior John Fasano
each registered three receptions for 35 yards. Junior tight end Mike Berkowitz
finished with a pair of TD receptions and 24 yards.
On the ground, Hobart got a game-high 129 yards and two touchdowns from senior running back Steven Webb
. It's his 13th career 100-yard game and came on a season-high 23 carries.
RPI (3-4, 0-4) used two quarterbacks, seniors Jessie Maynard and Brendan McGlynn, who combined for 131 yards passing. Maynard was the starter and was 5-of-9 for 62 before yielding to McGlynn, who was just 3-of-10 for 69 yards with a pair of interceptions. Maynard also had a team-high 10 carries for 16 yards, while sophomore running back Austin Amery gained a team-high 21 yards and a touchdown.
The game got off to a good start for RPI. The Engineers punt away their first possession, but Hobart fumbled on its first play from scrimmage, giving Rensselaer new life near midfield. Maynard went for the home run on first down, completing a 48-yard pass to sophomore Logan Gaddar (3 recs, 86 yds). Amery denied the Statesmen a goal line stand, scoring on a 1-yard sweep right, after Hobart had stopped consecutive quarterback keepers from the 1. The extra point was no good, leaving RPI a 6-0 lead.
Hobart evened the score before the first quarter was up with a 12-play, 56-yard drive that ended with a 7-yard Conlan to Berkowitz TD pass. Kirshe gave the Statesmen the lead by converting the extra point.
The game turned in Hobart's favor late in the first half. With the Statesmen leading 7-6, the Engineers took at their own 20 following a Hobart punt with 1:56 left in the second quarter. A delay of game penalty set the visitor's back 5 yards and after a pair of runs faced a third-and-4. Sophomore defensive end Mark Guarino-Hyde
got pressure on Maynard, forcing an incompletion. Andrew Franks got off a 50 yard punt that Robinson returned to 10 yards to start the Hobart drive at its own 34 with 38 seconds to go.
Webb got the carry on first down and picked up 13 yards before stepping out of bounds to stop the clock. On the next play, the senior got the ball again and this time broke free down the right sideline for 43 yards, stepping out at the RPI 10. It was Hobart's longest play of the game, marking the first time this season that the Statesmen haven't had a touchdown of 50-plus yards. Conlan threw a fade to back corner of the end zone intended for Karbowniczak, but it fell incomplete. On second down, he repeated the throw, this time to junior Elvin Souffrant
with better results. First-year Sean Kirshe
booted the extra point to send Hobart into halftime with a 14-6 lead.
The Statesmen won the coin toss to start the game and deferred, giving them the ball to start the second half. Hobart leaned on Webb (7 carries on the drive) and got a pair of first move-the-chains completions from Conlan on the way to a 21-6 lead with just over 10 minutes left in the third quarter. The first big completion was a 30-yard hookup with Johnson on a third-and-10 from their own 38. The second was an 11-yard pass to Souffrant on second-and-11 that was good for a first down at the RPI 11. Two plays later, Webb scored on a 1-yard dive.
After both teams traded punts, the Engineers got backup deep in their own territory. Punting from his own end zone, Franks got off a 30-yard kick that Robinson returned 12 yards to the RPI 22 with 5:33 left in the third. Five plays and 22 yards later, Webb scored on another 1-yard plunge for a 28-6 lead. He now has 45 career rushing touchdowns, tied with Keith Brandon '01 for second place on Hobart's all-time list. Rich Kowalski '76 holds the Hobart record with 47.
On the very next play from scrimmage, first-year linebacker Zach Thornton
stripped the RPI ball carrier and Guarino-Hyde recovered at the RPI 25. Facing a third-and-14 from the 17, Conlan fired at pass toward the end zone. The ball went right through the hands of an Engineer, changing course slightly, but Berkowitz was able to adjust and make the catch for his second TD of the game with 11 seconds left in the third quarter.
Rensselaer engineered its final scoring drive midway through the final frame. RPI went 76 yards in eight plays capped off by a 3-yard run by sophomore Nick Schlatz (5 rush, 16 yds). The big play of the drive was a 31-yard McGlynn to Joe Cozzolino completion on third-and-10 from the Hobart 42.
The Statesmen defense was once again stellar without any one player putting up huge numbers. Junior defensive end Tyre Coleman
led the team with six tackles, including one for loss and forced a fumble. Junior tackle Troy Johnson
was second with four stops. Senior Jolyon Davis
and first-year Gabriel Smith
each recorded an interception.
The Engineers got a game-high 12 tackles from sophomore linebacker Mark Grimes while senior lineman Ted Abriel added eight takedowns, including two for loss and a sack. RPI logged four sacks on the day against a Hobart offensive line that had allowed just one in its previous five contests.
Coupled with Springfield's 21-20 win over St. Lawrence, the Statesmen are alone in first place in the Liberty League. Hobart will be back in action on Saturday, Nov. 2, when they visit Union (2-5, 2-2). Kickoff in Schenectady is scheduled for noon. The Engineers will return to Troy to host Merchant Marine on the same day at 1 p.m.