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RPI Secures NCAA Playoffs Berth With Shoes Trophy Victory

More news about: RPI

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's (RPI) defense allowed only 245 yards of offense - just 28 rushing - and forced four turnovers as the Engineers defeated Union College, 20-14, in the Dutchman Shoes Trophy Game at Frank Bailey Field. Not only did RPI improve to 8-2 overall and retain the coveted trophy for the fifth straight season, it won a share of the Liberty League title (4-1) and secured the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Playoffs. 

Senior defensive back Sean Egan led the way with six tackles, including two unassisted, and a pair of interceptions. His second pick came at midfield on the game's final play. Linebacker Jack Hoggard had a team-high seven tackles, including four unassisted and one for a loss (2 yards), while Jack Fallon, another linebacker, had six stops (2 solo). Rory McCarthy also had an interception, on a pass originally broken up by Egan, while Amaechi Konkwo recovered a fumble forced by Alec Hazard on a sack. 

On offense, senior Mike Tivinis rushed for 131 yards on 21 carries for the Engineers, who outgained Union, 386-245. He had 67 yards on back-to-back plays (22, 45) late in the fourth quarter as RPI attempted to run out the clock. Freshman George Marinopoulos completed 19 of 28 passes for 166 yards and two touchdowns, including the go-ahead score from 15 yards out to Keaton Ackermann with 5:19 left in the fourth quarter. Ackermann finished with a team-high five receptions for 48 yards.

Union (7-3; 3-2) had only 28 rushing yards on 27 carries with 217 through the air. Quarterback Nick Cascione completed 16 of 25 passes and a 63-yard touchdown to Griffin Beal. A wide receiver, Beal had six catches for 118 yards. Jake Lombardo made 16 tackles, including 12 solos, a two-yard sack and 1.5 for lost yards (3) to lead the Dutchmen defense.

Rensselaer opened the game with a 24-yard field goal from Christian Kapp on the game's opening drive and then took advantage of a short field when Konkwo recovered a fumble at the Union 16-yard line. Marinopoulos capped the drive with a two-yard touchdown pass to Rob Law for a 10-0 lead with 4:37 left in the first quarter.

Union pulled to within three points, 10-7, when senior running back Connor Kinzelmann scored on a two-yard run up the middle early in the second quarter. Kapp got three points back with a 42-yard field goal with 5:23 to play in the half. The Dutchmen then took the lead on the long pass play from Cascione to Beal with just over a minute remaining in the second quarter.

The only points of the second half was the Marinopoulos to Ackermann touchdown as RPI's defense held Union to just 62 yards of offense - 13 rushing, 49 passing - in the final 30 minutes.

Rensselaer, which is making its fifth NCAA Playoffs appearance and first since 2007, finds out its opponent on Sunday. The first round game will be played next Saturday.

Nov. 18: All times Eastern
Final
Husson 23, at Springfield 21
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Final
at Berry 34, Huntingdon 20
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Final
at Delaware Valley 35, Western New England 0
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Final
at Brockport 66, Plymouth State 0
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Final
Frostburg State 35, at Wittenberg 7
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at Mount Union 21, Washington and Lee 0
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Final
at Wesley 45, RPI 27
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Final
at Washington and Jefferson 31, Johns Hopkins 28
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at Trine 63, Monmouth 24
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Final
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 50, Chapman 6
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Final
Case Western Reserve 28, at Illinois Wesleyan 0
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Final
at UW-Oshkosh 63, Lakeland 0
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Final
at St. Thomas 47, Eureka 8
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Final - OT
at Wartburg 35, Franklin 34
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Final
at North Central (Ill.) 17, St. John's 7
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Final
at Linfield 27, Hardin-Simmons 13
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Nov. 25: All times Eastern
12:00 PM
Wesley at Brockport
12:00 PM
Case Western Reserve at Mount Union
Video Live stats Audio Tickets
12:00 PM
Frostburg State at Washington and Jefferson
Video Live stats Audio
12:00 PM
Husson at Delaware Valley
Live stats
1:00 PM
Berry at St. Thomas
Audio
1:00 PM
North Central (Ill.) at UW-Oshkosh
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Linfield at Mary Hardin-Baylor
1:00 PM
Trine at Wartburg
Nov. 17: All times Eastern
Final
Merchant Marine 35, at Buffalo State 20
@ Newark, Del.
Video Box Score Photos
Nov. 18: All times Eastern
Final
Muhlenberg 32, at Carnegie Mellon 6
@ Newark, Del.
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Final
at Franklin and Marshall 21, Widener 7
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Final
Susquehanna 28, at Albright 9
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Final
at Berry 34, Huntingdon 20
Video Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Brockport 66, Plymouth State 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Mount Union 21, Washington and Lee 0
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Trine 63, Monmouth 24
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Wesley 45, RPI 27
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Washington and Jefferson 31, Johns Hopkins 28
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Frostburg State 35, at Wittenberg 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Delaware Valley 35, Western New England 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Husson 23, at Springfield 21
Box Score Photos Recap Video
Final
at Framingham State 48, Curry 14
Video Box Score
Final
Cortland 35, at Union 28
Box Score Recap
Final
Case Western Reserve 28, at Illinois Wesleyan 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final - OT
at Wartburg 35, Franklin 34
Video Preview Box Score Live stats Photos
Final
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 50, Chapman 6
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at UW-Oshkosh 63, Lakeland 0
Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at North Central (Ill.) 17, St. John's 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at St. Thomas 47, Eureka 8
Video Video Box Score Recap Photos Photos
Final
at Linfield 27, Hardin-Simmons 13
Box Score Photos
Final
at Ithaca 27, Salisbury 17
@ Newark, Del.
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at WPI 17, SUNY-Maritime 3
Box Score Recap
Nov. 19: All times Eastern
Final
at Alfred 29, Stevenson 16
@ University of Delaware
Video Box Score Recap