The football game against the United States Merchant Marine Academy finally took place this past Saturday—after the government shutdown required it to be postponed from October 5—and resulted in a ‘W’ for the Engineers, as they plowed past in a 28-13 win. This lifted RPI out of its four-game losing streak and brought them to a conference record of 1-4 and an overall record of 4-4, while the Mariners fell to 1-2 and 4-2.
The game started slowly for Rensselaer that afternoon as the sun attempted to poke its way through the blanket of clouds, and fans stirred nervously as the threat of a storm hung over their heads and the team seemed as if they were staying in the rut they’d gotten themselves into from the previous competitions. A fumble at 8:46 at the RPI 22-yard line on offense was recovered by the opponent, and a three-yard touchdown was eventually scored on a run just two and a half minutes later by Mariner Zachary Boucher. The kick was no good, and the score was brought to 6-0 by the end of the first quarter.
The Engineers responded with three touchdowns in the second, beginning their domination at 12:28 when senior quarterback Brendan McGlynn’s rush to the endzone and junior kicker/punter Andrew Franks’ kick put seven points up on the board, giving RPI a one-point lead. Then, after killing another MMA offense, sophomore running back Matt Lane sprinted the ball 38 yards upfield into Mariners territory, ultimately setting up McGlynn for a 16-yard pass to senior tight end Joe Cozzolino for the RPI touchdown at 10:36. For the third and final touchdown of the second quarter, sophomore running back Nick Schlatz topped off a 66 – yard drive with a one-yarder into the end zone. RPI entered the half with the 21-6 lead and their heads held high despite the inevitable rain.
The Mariners fired back with their final touchdown of the game early on in the third quarter when quarterback Kristopher Meyer completed a 70-yard pass to Connor Kennedy, bringing the score to 21-13 after a good kick for the extra point. Neither team accomplished much after that until 2:26 of the fourth quarter with a five-yard carry by Lane followed by a rocket through the posts by Franks to adjust the final score to 28-13.
The Engineers played exceptionally well, considering the Mariners came into the game averaging 285.2 rush yards on the ground while RPI only averaged 176.9. In this game, the home team outrushed the USMMA 284-175—quite an impressive feat—but fell short in passing yards, as the Mariners held a 161-93 deficit. As for the defensive side, senior lineman Ted Abriel led RPI’s line with eleven tackles, two sacks, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery. Junior defensive back Nick Borkowski totaled ten tackles and one broken pass. Freshman lineman Malik Joseph accomplished ten blocks and 0.5 sacks (two yards were lost).
This Saturday at noon, the Engineers host Springfield College in the last home game of the 2013 season, followed by their final regular season game on November 16 against Union College in the Dutchman Shoes Trophy Game.