Rensselaer ends Hobart’s undefeated season

THE ENGINEERS UPSET Hobart College, winning 21 – 17 to end their formerly undefeated season.

Saturday, October 8th, Hobart College more than doubled Rensselaer’s offensive yardage output. The Engineers’ defensive grit inside their own 20 kept them in the game. RPI’s offense looked outmatched by Hobart’s fast and physical defense for the majority of the game. Engineer rushers struggled against a stout Hobart line, gaining just 83 yards on 42 carries. In the fourth quarter, RPI found their rhythm, scoring touchdowns on two of their final three possessions and came out on top over previously undefeated Hobart, 21–17.

Hobart running back Tynard Barfield rushed 11 times for 72 yards during the game. Half of these yards came on Hobart’s third drive of the game when he rattled off runs of 28 and nine yards, respectively, to position the Statesmen in RPI territory. Hobart quarterback Shane Sweeney took care of the rest, rushing once for seven yards and then completing a 15-yard touchdown pass to receiver Jack Pfohl to put the Statesmen up 7–0.

Later, with just under five minutes remaining in the first half, Hobart took possession at its own 48. Sweeney completed three passes for 30 yards and led his team to the RPI 10. Two plays later, junior linebacker Brandt Beck and junior defensive back Bryan Hayes combined to stop Hobart rusher Zach Withers at the RPI one. This play forced Hobart to settle for a field goal and kept the Engineers within striking distance, down 10–0, going into halftime.

Freshman return man Delano Munoz Whatts ran the second half kickoff back 71 yards to the Hobart 29. After a pass interference on Hobart moved RPI to the Hobart 14, sophomore Ed Trimpert passed to junior running back Johnny Ramsdell for a touchdown, putting the Engineers back within three points.

Sweeney moved his offense down the field effectively for most of the game, completing 27 of his 44 pass attempts for 370 yards. Twice in the third quarter the Statesmen’s drives stalled inside the RPI 20 and each time Hobart kicker Will McCool failed to convert on his field goal attempts. The first of his attempts came on the drive following RPI’s first touchdown. From 34 yards out, McCool was blocked by RPI sophomore defensive back DJ Stefonsky.

Early in the fourth quarter, RPI moved the ball into Hobart territory, setting up a 37-yard field goal try by junior kicker Christian Kapp. Kapp missed wide, but Hobart was penalized for roughing him, setting up the Engineers with a first and goal from the Hobart 10. After a two-yard rush by sophomore running back Nick Cella, Trimpert threw an eight-yard dime to senior running back John Costello to give Rensselaer a 14–10 lead.

Hobart responded with a late touchdown drive, orchestrated by Sweeney, who completed seven of nine passes for 60 yards, capped off with a seven-yard touchdown pass to Hobart wide receiver Matthew Woods with 1:10 remaining in the game.

Down 17–14, RPI earned excellent field position thanks to a 34-yard kickoff return by junior running back Nick Esposito and a 15-yard personal foul penalty against the Statesmen during the return. Trimpert completed passes of nine and 14 yards to put the Engineers inside the Hobart 20. But then RPI hopes were almost dashed when Trimpert’s next pass over the middle sailed high and was intercepted. But the play was negated by a pass interference call against the Statesmen who held Trimpert’s intended target.

With RPI hopes restored and a first and goal at the Hobart five, Trimpert weaved his way through the Hobart front and sped into the end zone to put the Engineers in front for good, 21–17.

RPI sophomore quarterback Ed Trimpert turned in his best passing performance of the season, completing 14 of 20 passes for 109 yards. Beck led RPI with nine total tackles, while senior linebacker Alexander Greenidge compiled seven.

In defeat, Hobart wide receiver Sean Cunningham caught nine passes for 149 yards and defensive tackle AJ McFarlane and linebacker Almamy Conde each recorded nine total tackles.

Next up for the Engineers is a road game at the United States Merchant Marine Academy this Saturday, October 15.