Football drops second straight in league play

The Engineers suffered yet another divisional loss against the Hobart College Statesmen last Saturday by a score of 10-0 in Geneva, N.Y. The loss drops RPI’s overall record to 4-4 and Liberty League record to 2-4, while the Statesmen improved their Liberty League record to 4-2. The offense that turns the ball over less usually wins, and on Saturday, that was the case.

The Engineers and Statesmen each held their own against their opposing offenses. However, Rensselaer turned the ball over four times and two of those turnovers led to Hobart points. The first turnover came in the first quarter when the Statesmen recovered a dropped punt by the Engineers at the RPI 12-yard line. The Statesmen ended up kicking a field goal for an early 3-0 lead. The next Hobart score came when freshman quarterback Mike Hermann threw an interception in the second quarter. The Statesmen were able to punch it in for six points, and following the point-after-touchdown, it was 10-0 in favor of Hobart.

The Engineer offense faltered against a tough Statesmen defense as RPI was forced to punt the ball 10 times. Hermann and junior Nick Costa led the ground game with 41 yards and 36 yards, respectively, but it was held in check by the Statesmen defense all game. Even with the emergence of freshman wide receiver Austin Caswell in recent weeks, the Engineer passing attack was stifled. Hermann threw three interceptions and completed less than 40 percent of his passes for a total of 87 yards. Caswell had four receptions for 37 yards, and sophomore wide receiver Bryan Carmody had two receptions for 19 yards. The Engineers leading receiver junior Pat McCarthy was shut down again with only two receptions for 14 yards.

The Engineers defense kept the team in the game and had some excellent individual performances. They matched the Statesmen defense step-for-step as they limited the Hobart offense to 47 yards passing and harassing sophomore quarterback Doug Vella into a rough 5-18 passing day, intercepting and sacking him once. They also forced a fumble. The defense forced the Statesmen into nine punts and the only scores they allowed were after they had horrible field positions following offensive turnovers. The defense was dominant and was led by seniors Stefan Schulz (14 tackles), Colton Hill (12 tackles), Colin Elliott (10 tackles), Bobby Stutz (three tackles, one interception), and junior Darryl Brown (five tackles, one sack).

Overall, this was another tough loss for the Engineers. The game drops them to a tie for fifth place in the Liberty League with the United States Merchant Marine Academy and guarantees a Liberty League record of under .500. The Statesmen defense shut down the high-powered Engineer offense and Hobart’s offense had too many costly turnovers. The Engineer defense kept the game close with an equivalent performance against the Statesmen, but in the end, Hobart triumphed. Next Saturday, the Engineers close out their regular season at the East Campus Stadium against Merchant Marine in hopes of finishing the season on a good note and having something to look forward to next year.