On November 15, Rensselaer faced off against Union College for the annual Dutchman’s Shoes Trophy Game. RPI has faced the Dutchmen 112 times, making the rivalry the oldest within the State of New York.
Rensselaer came out on top of this contest with a last minute scoring drive, winning 31 to 28. RPI’s offense produced 375 yards of combined offense, 255 yards rushing, and 120 yards through the air. With this win, the Engineers finished their season with six wins and four losses.
Junior quarterback Jeff Avery was still injured; therefore, starting in this contest was sophomore Tommy Morgan. Morgan completed nine of his 17 passing attempts for 120 yards. He also accumulated 34 yards on the ground.
The Engineers’ rushing attack was led by freshman running back Mike Tivinis, who rushed for 89 yards. Following closely behind was junior Nick Schlatz, who rushed for 77 yards. Rensselaer’s passing attack, led by junior Matt Lane with 48 yards receiving, wasn’t as dominant as their running attack.
RPI won the coin toss but elected to defer possession to the second half. Union immediately drove down the field to RPI’s 18-yard line where they elected to kick a field goal. Union missed the field goal and gave the ball back to Rensselaer. The rest of the quarter proved to be full of intensity, where neither team would budge as the ball exchanged hands multiple times.
Sadly, with 13:41 left in the first half, Union found the end zone as they rushed the ball in from two yards out. The Engineers tried to regroup after this scoring drive, but Union regained possession and scored their second touchdown of the game giving them a 14 to nothing lead. However, Rensselaer’s senior leadership shined through as senior receiver Reggie Colas caught a 10-yard pass from Morgan to score the Engineers their first points of the game. The following possession Union drove the ball down to the Institute’s 34 yard line. The following play, the Dutchmen threw an interception to senior defensive back Nick Borkowski, who returned the interception 75 yards for a Rensselaer touchdown tying the game at 14. Rensselaer regained momentum, and after forcing Union to turn the ball over, Morgan completed a touchdown pass to junior Logan Gaddar to give the Engineers a 21 to 14 lead.
However, Union regained possession at the beginning of the third quarter and found the end zone after a 4-yard rush to again tie the score at 21. The Engineers began to put together a drive until they fumbled the ball on the Union 45-yard line. The Dutchmen drove down the field and scored with 3:44 left in the third quarter to take a 28 to 21 lead.
Both Union and Rensselaer came out for the fourth quarter with a lot of excitement and emotion. RPI obtained the ball with 13 minutes left on the clock. The Engineers put together a strong drive concluded by a Morgan rush for eight yards to tie the game at 28. With 8:24 left in the game the Engineers pulled some trickery as they ran an onside kick which they recovered giving them back possession. The Institute drove the ball down to the Union 8-yard line where senior kicker Andrew Franks kicked a 25 yard field goal. The Engineers fended off any further Union attacks as they won 31 to 28.
With this win, the Engineers advanced their record to six wins and four losses. The Engineers were just recently selected to the Eastern College Athletic Conference bowl game, where they will face Framingham State College on Saturday, November 22 at Bowditch Field.