November 30, 2013

#8 Hobart's playoff run halted by #25 St. John Fisher

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GENEVA, N.Y.—St. John Fisher College converted three turnovers into 17 points on the way to a 27-6 victory over Hobart College in an NCAA Division III Football Championship second round game played at Boswell Field today. Cardinal quarterback Tyler Fenti threw for 244 yards and two touchdowns to lead his team into the national quarterfinals.
 
In cold and windy conditions, St. John Fisher recorded 354 yards of total offense and did not commit a turnover. The Statesmen had 241 yards of offense, 121 rushing and 120 passing.
 
Hobart had the ball to start the game and converted a fourth and 1 play at their own 43, but lost a fumble at midfield on the next play. Safety Bryant Moore stripped fullbackDominique Ellis and linebacker Sean Preish pounced on the ball. Seven plays and 51 yards later, running back Cody Miller rushed into the end zone from 3 yards out for a 7-0 lead. He finished the day with a team-high 60 yards on 23 carries.
 
The Statesmen put together a promising drive that spanned the first and second quarters, but turned the ball over on downs when quarterback Patrick Conlan's shovel pass was dropped on a fourth-and-8 play from the Fisher 18.
 
The Cardinals responded with an eight-play, 82-yard march that put the visitors in front 14-0. Fenti's 37-yard completion to wide receiver Nathan Nigolian (6 rec., 77 yds) was the big play of the drive. The duo also connected on a 17-yard pass play for the touchdown at 7:31 of the second quarter.
 
St. John Fisher led 14-0 at halftime and got the ball coming out of the locker room. The Cardinals got a 51-yard kickoff return from Brandon Fuentes to start with good field position. The drive stalled out at the Hobart 10, but Brendan Carey's 27-yard field goal made it a 17-point game.
 
On Hobart's ensuing drive, Conlan was intercepted by free safety Mike Guinta. On the first play after his 22-yard return, Fenti found wide receiver Kevin Francis in the left corner of the end zone for a 24-0 lead. Francis finished the day with game-highs of eight receptions and 133 yards.
 
The Cardinals' final scoring drive was setup by another interception, this one by safety Ryan Ballard at his own 37. St. John Fisher used a clock draining 12-play, 46-yard drive to take a 27-0 lead. The drive was aided by an offsides penalty against Hobart's punt return unit, after the Statesmen D had stopped the Cardinals 4 yards short on third down near midfield. After running 6:57 off the game clock, Carey booted a 34-yard field.
 
Hobart cracked the scoring column with its final possession. Webb broke free for a 26-yard run to move the Statesmen into the red zone and Conlan completed a 4-yard pass to tight end Mike Berkowitz (3 rec., 34 yds) for the touchdown with 57 seconds remaining. The extra point hit the upright and bounced back onto the field. Conlan was 13-of-30 for 120 yards and the TD. Wideout Troy Robinson had a Hobart-high four catches for 23 yards.
 
Hobart linebacker Cory Davis produced a game-high 10 tackles, including half a sack. Defensive end Tyre Coleman added nine stops, including a game-high 3.0 tackles for loss, and 1.5 sacks.
 
Cornerback Ryan Seymour logged a team-high nine tackles for Fisher. Preish added seven and Moore had six.
 
St. John Fisher will play the winner of the Rowan at Mary-Hardin Baylor game. Kickoff of that quarterfinal will be at noon local time. The host team will be announced on NCAA.com on Dec. 1.
 
 
GAME NOTES
 
Hobart's senior class compiled a 34-8 (.810) record over the past four seasons, a record for most wins by a graduating class and the highest winning percentage since the Class of 1959 left Geneva with an .828 winning percentage (23-4-2) … Webb finished the season with 1,443 rushing yards, the second highest total by a Statesman (Don Aleksiewicz '73, 1,616 in 1971) … Webb scored a season record 20 rushing touchdowns, one more than the previous mark … Webb scored 120 points this season, second behind Aleksiewicz's 122 in 1971 … Webb holds the Hobart career records for rushing touchdowns (53), points (342), and touchdowns (57) … Devin Worthington completed his career second in career tackles for loss (62.5, behind Coleman's 66.0) and third in sacks (30.5) … Conlan's 16 passing touchdowns are tied for fourth on Hobart's single season list … Hobart set a team record, averaging 5.56 yards per carry (471-2620) this year … The Statesmen's 53 touchdowns this season are second only to the 2012's 66 … The loss was Hobart's first at home since Nov. 5, 2011, snapping a 13-game winning streak on Boswell Field.

 

 

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