Engineers sacrifice Saints in second half

The Engineers secured a 10‒6 come-from-behind victory over the St. Lawrence Saints, scoring on a touchdown reception by Shane Allison and a field goal by Aleksander Maric. The Rensselaer defense shut down the Saints after giving up a touchdown in the first quarter, holding them to just 153 yards of total offense.

After both teams punted on their first drives, St. Lawrence advanced 41 yards in four plays to enter the red zone. On second and 10 at the RPI 18-yard line, quarterback Daniel Lawther threw a bullet toward receiver TJ Cornacchia in the end zone. Cornacchia rose above RPI defensive back CJ Lyons to make the catch, putting the Saints up 6‒0. The subsequent extra-point attempt sailed wide right, keeping the lead at six points.

ST. LAWRENCE'S TJ CORNACCHIA CATCHES his touchdown. Andrew Days/The Polytechnic

Both defenses held firm for the rest of the half. Specifically, the Engineers’ coverage forced an incompletion on fourth down at the RPI 17 with 31 seconds left on the clock to turn the ball over on downs. The score remained 6‒0 heading into the second half, with the Engineers receiving the kickoff.

St. Lawrence kicker Clayton Fogler’s kickoff sailed back to the RPI 12-yard line, with Sterling Walker-Sutton returning it up to the RPI 43. On the first play of the drive, running back Dylan Burnett took the handoff and rushed for 16 yards, bringing the Engineers into St. Lawrence territory. Coming up short on the next three downs, the Engineers faced fourth and 2 at the 33. Quarterback Jake Kazanowky handed the ball off to Burnett once again, who rushed up the gut for a first down.

After a gain of two yards on the next play, a targeting penalty on RPI’s Colton Niedzielski pushed them back to second and 22 at the 42. Kazanowsky immediately launched a 15-yard pass to Walker-Sutton in a gap in the middle of the field, who ran for an additional 12 yards to bring the Engineers into the red zone. RPI continued to march upfield, working their way to second and goal at the three-yard line. Kazanowsky received the snap, spotted Allison at the top of his curl route, and darted the ball into Allison’s hands for a touchdown. With Maric’s accurate extra-point, the Engineers took a 7‒6 lead.

The RPI defense forced a three-and-out on the Saints’ following drive, giving the offense the ball back at the St. Lawrence 46. After nine plays, the Engineers were stopped at the 15. The field goal unit took the field on fourth down, and Maric drilled a career-long 32-yard kick through the uprights to put the Engineers up 10‒6.

ALEKSANDER MARIC DRILLS a field goal through the uprights to put the Engineers up 10‒6. Andrew Days/The Polytechnic

Three punts on the next three drives returned possession to RPI at the St. Lawrence 46 with less than eight minutes remaining. On the only play of the Engineers’ drive, Burnett gained 18 yards before several Saints knocked the ball loose and recovered the fumble. The RPI defense continued to stuff the St. Lawrence offense, not giving up a first down for the rest of the game with Lyons crucially breaking up a pass on fourth down. The Engineers ran out the final minute on the clock, securing the 10‒6 victory.

Click here for the box score and here for the RPI TV broadcast.