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Statesmen defense breaks down Engineers for victory on Senior Day

  • / Updated:
  • Kyle Evans 

The Hobart College football team sent the Class of 2024 off with a 31-21 victory over Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in their final regular season home game this afternoon. The Statesmen defense came up big, limiting the Engineers to season lows in rushing yards and total offense while recording a season-high six sacks.
 
Hobart held RPI to 18 yards rushing and just 230 yards total in the contest. The Statesmen were plus-2 in turnover margin thanks to sophomore defensive back Alex Smith, who made his first collegiate interception with under three minutes remaining and recovered a RPI fumble on the final play of the game.
 
The Statesmen brought relentless pressure in the second half, posting five of their six sacks after halftime. Senior defensive lineman Connor Gunn led the charge into the backfield. He had a team-high two sacks among his five tackles. Junior linebacker Jaimen Bliss added 1.5 sacks and a team-high seven tackles. Junior linebacker Anthony Romano (1.0), senior defensive lineman Caleb Pulver (1.0) and junior defensive lineman Alex Karpawich (0.5) also got to the quarterback.

RPI led 14-10 at halftime and extended its lead with the first touchdown of the second half. The Engineers took the first possession of the third quarter 60-yards in seven plays, scoring on a 26-yard pass from first-year quarterback Justin McCormack to graduate student wide receiver Gil Goldsmith.

THE COMEBACK

  • Hobart answered with a methodical, 14-play, 77-yard. The Statesmen earned six first downs on the drive, three on the ground, two through the air and an unsportsmanlike penalty against an RPI coach that gave Hobart a first and goal at the 10. Two plays later, senior Rayshawn Boswell ran 8 yards to the end zone. Junior Tobias Wefering’s extra point made it a 21-17 game.
  • After the Statesmen defense forced a three-and-out, the offense went right back to work, putting together a 12-play, 82-yard soul crushing march. Junior quarterback Johnny Colombi rolled out right and launched himself over a tackler for a 6-yard touchdown and Hobart’s first lead of the game.
  • Another three-and-out ended in disaster for the Engineers. The snap on the punt attempt was high and sophomore Anderson Burke had to fall on the ball at his own 17, leaving Hobart a short field.
  • Colombi got his second rushing TD six plays later, going in from 1-yard out for a 31-21 lead with 6:32 remaining.
  • RPI managed to move into Hobart territory one more time, but Smith intercepted McCormack’s deep pass over the middle to snuff out the threat.

HOBART HIGHLIGHTS

  • Denham got a season-high 27 carries, gaining a season-high 100 yards. It was his ninth career 100-yard game and raised his career rushing total to 2,539 yards, moving him past Doug Blakowski ’07 into ninth place in Hobart history.
  • Boswell’s third quarter touchdown was his 36th career rushing TD, taking sole possession of fifth place on Hobart’s all-time list. He also shared team-high honors with three receptions for 22 yards.
  • Colombi was 16-of-25 passing for 162 yards and a touchdown. He also ran for 43 yards on 10 carries.
  • First-year wide receiver Marcus Peterson also caught three passes for a team-high 35 yards.

RPI LEADERS

  • Sophomore wide receiver Hayden Faraday was the visitors’ most productive threat, pulling in eight passes for 136 yards, including a 76-yard touchdown to open the day’s scoring.
  • McCormack was 13-of-17 passing for 200 yards with two TDs.
  • Junior linebacker Anthony D’Agostino produced a game-high 13 tackles.

FOR THE RECORD

  • Rensselaer falls to 7-2, 3-2 in the Liberty League.
  • Hobart improves to 7-2, 3-2 in the Liberty League.
  • With the win, the Statesmen take the series lead with RPI, 33-32-1. Today marked the seventh straight time the home team has won in the series.

THAT’S ODD

  • Hobart finished the 2023 regular season with a 6-0 record on its home field.
  • The Statesmen have gone undefeated at home in each of the past three odd-numbered years: 2019 6-0, 2021 5-0, 2023 6-0.

FOR THE CUP

  • Hobart will close out the regular season at Liberty League rival University of Rochester on Nov. 11.
  • The annual Centennial Cup rivalry game honors one of the oldest rivalries in the Liberty League.
  • It will be the 115th meeting between the schools since the Statesmen and Yellowjackets first squared off in 1892.