ONEONTA, NY – Hartwick trailed by just a point, 21-20, at halftime but visiting Hobart out-scored the Hawks 28-7 in the second half for a non-conference victory on Saturday at Wright Stadium. The loss leaves the Hawks with an overall record of 3-4. The Statesmen improve to 5-2.
The Hawks would score on four of their five possessions of the first half. Following a touchdown on their opening possession of the second half, they didn't score again with two picks, a punt, and a turnover on downs on their final four possessions of the contest.
The two teams combined for 897 yards of offense. Hobart held a slim advantage, 454-443.
Koree Reed (Baldwinsville, NY/Baldwinsville) led all players with nine catches, 156 reception yards, and three touchdown catches. Chase Weichman (Rochester, NY/Rush Henrietta) registered eight catches for 58 yards and Dylan Mucci (Cortlandt Manor, NY/Iona Prep) caught seven balls for 88 yards.
Quarterback Billy Pine (Hoosick Falls, NY/Hoosick Falls) went 29-for-46 passing with three touchdowns to Reed and two interceptions. Running back Ronald Ballard (Deposit, NY/Deposit HS) ran the ball 16 times for 61 yards.
For Hobart, quarterback Shane Sweeney threw for 305 yards and four touchdown passes. Brandon Shed made four catches for 111 yards, including a 63-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter. Joe Letizia had 71 rushing yards and two scores.
Hartwick opened the game with 10 straight points. Pine found Reed for a 22-yard touchdown reception to complete a 7-play, 99-yard drive. Later, Brian McGovern (Warwick, NY/Warwick Valley) hit a 31-yard field goal to stretch the margin to 10-0.
After punts on their first two drives of the game, Hobart got on the scoreboard at 1:53 of the first quarter on the big Shed touchdown catch. It would mark the first of seven touchdowns on the Statesmen's next eight possessions of the game.
Reed's second touchdown came on a 28-yard pass from Pine 1:19 into the second quarter to build the lead back up to 10. Letizia answered with a 54-yard scamper to the end zone less than a minute later for Hobart.
Another McGovern field goal, this one from 28 yards out, made it 20-14 with 4:46 remaining in the first half. But a Sweeney to Zach Withers 33-yard touchdown play tied the score and Hobart connected on the PAT for the one-point halftime lead.
Hobart received the kickoff to begin the second half and it converted after seven plays on Letizia 1-yard run for a 28-20 lead. The Hawks came back with an 8-yard Pine-to-Reed effort to pull within two. McGovern's extra point made it 28-27.
Sweeney and receiver Matthew Woods would hook up for the next two Statesmen scores in a 6:06 span. The second came on the heels of a Hartwick interception.
The Hawks drove to the Hobart 25 on a five-minute possession as they looked to trim into the 15-point deficit. A sack gave the ball back to Hobart and it capitalized on another score with 2:51 remaining to put the game out of reach.
On defense, Mark Hackett (Hoosick Falls, NY/Hoosick Falls HS) led all players with 11 tackles. Connor Vlasaty (Yorktown Heights, NY/Somers) and Nick Richard (Greenwich, NY/Schuylerville) contributed six hits each. Richard also had the Hawks' lone sack. Eugene Allen (Laurel, NY/Mattituck), Patrick Skidgell (Pine Plains, NY/Stissing Mountain), and Chris Goudy (Queensbury, NY/Queensbury) all had four tackles for the Hawks.
Hartwick travels to play undefeated Brockport next Saturday. The Golden Eagles are currently ranked 13th in the latest D3football.com poll. Game time is slated for 4 p.m.