/playoffs/2013/fisher-hobart-match-up-in-backyard

Hobart, Fisher square off in other's backyard

More news about: Hobart | St. John Fisher
Steven Webb had another strong game on Saturday, including ripping off a 58-yard touchdown run on the first snap of the second half.
Hobart athletics photo by Greg Searles

By Joe Sager
for D3sports.com

Backyard football games are a tradition for many during Thanksgiving week.        

For St. John Fisher and Hobart, they’ll take that to a new level when they clash Saturday, Nov. 30, at noon on the Statesmen’s home turf at Boswell Field.

However, these two geographic rivals – located about an hour apart in Upstate New York – have more than territorial bragging rights are on the line. The winner advances to the Division III quarterfinals.

“It’s the playoffs, so every game is pretty important. It doesn’t matter who we’re playing,” Fisher’s Mike Guinta said. “It’s pretty cool it turned out this way. We’ve played Hobart in the past. They know us pretty well, too. It’s a neat situation. It definitely makes it more of a rivalry game. We played John Carroll last week and we didn’t really know too much about them.”

Even though the two programs play in different conferences, there is a familiarity for the personnel and coaches.

“My boy from home goes to Fisher. He plays safety (Ryan Ballard). There is a kid (Brandon Fuentes) from Avon I used to play against in high school who is on defense. There are some familiar faces,” Hobart running back Steven Webb said. “It’ll be a Round 3. I played them my freshman and sophomore years and we went 1-1. This is the tiebreaker. It’ll be exciting.”

The close proximity is a bonus for both squads, too. Instead of a long bus ride, the Cardinals merely have to make the short trek to Hobart.

“It’s definitely more convenient to be about an hour away, especially with the weather conditions getting worse. We don’t mind a shorter trip,” Fisher’s Sean Preish said. “It’s definitely a little more personal with the close proximity and we know some of the guys and they know us. A playoff game is a playoff game, though. Both teams have their backs up against the wall.”

In addition to the rivalry, both sides expect a challenging game. The teams are coming off strong first-round victories. Fisher (9-2) went on the road to upset John Carroll, 25-16, while the Statesmen (10-0) rolled past Gallaudet, 34-7. 

“It is great that two of the top teams in the East moved on; to be playing in the Sweet 16 is a great feeling because there are so many talented players on both sides,” Hobart coach Mike Cragg said. “This matchup is really neat and the guys are excited for it.”

St. John Fisher quarterback Tyler Fenti is well-known to Hobart coach Mike Cragg. By first name, in fact.
St. John Fisher athletics photo 

The Cardinals rallied from a 13-0 deficit against John Carroll to earn the upset win.

“Our kids felt good about themselves. They hung in there and persevered,” Fisher coach Paul Vosburgh said. “It’s always tough to win on the road, especially against a good opponent like John Carroll.”

Fisher gained Hobart’s attention by forcing six turnovers and scoring 25 points against John Carroll, which boasted D-III’s top scoring defense.

“First of all, Coach Vosburgh does a great job. That defense has been coming up with a huge amount of turnovers, both fumbles and interceptions. They’ve been doing a really good job at that,” Cragg said. “Offensively, with (quarterback) Tyler (Frenti) and all the weapons they have, they are a very good football team on both sides of the ball. I expect a great game.”

The Cardinals’ defense has emerged as a force. Over the past three games, the unit has produced 15 turnovers. That’s a huge point of concern for the Statesmen.

“We have stressed that to anyone who controls the ball this game. They’re going to be looking to strip it, especially if the bad weather keeps up because that makes it easy to fumble,” Webb said. “Ball control will be a big key part to the game.”

Guinta has been one of defensive ringleaders. Against John Carroll, the senior defensive back recorded his fifth interception in his last six games.

“I am just doing whatever I can to help the team win,” he said. “Turnovers are a big deal for us. We have a little game where we have to get 5 turnovers in practice. If you win the turnover battle, you’re more likely to win the game so we do stress that.”

Guinta is part of an all-new starting secondary for the Cardinals.

“We didn’t have anyone returning in our back five. They are kind of just getting settled in,” Vosburgh said. “I think our defensive coaching staff is doing a great job. I think they have jelled together. We’re not doing anything special, but we’re just playing good football right now.”

Fisher’s defense faces another challenge in Webb and the Statesmen. Last week, Webb continued to his running mastery. He racked up 161 yards on the ground. His three touchdowns gave him 20 on the year, which is a program record.

“We game planned like we have all season. Our coaches stress a body on a body and it’s what our linemen do the best. If they can just keep a body on a body and not allow penetration, we will most likely win the game,” he said. “Once when we start getting the running game going, we can go to the air. We just did what we’ve been doing all season and we don’t plan on stopping. Hopefully, it’ll continue.”

The Statesmen got a scare when junior quarterback Patrick Conlan, a son of former NFL standout Shane Conlan, left last week’s game with an injury.

“He is back. He’ll be fine. He sprained an ankle,” Cragg said. “We gave him a couple of days off and he’ll be ready to go.”

Preish, who had a career-high 21 tackles against John Carroll, two shy of the program record, knows the Cardinals face a tough test.

“The 24-hour rule was in play with that win. It was a great win, but we’re looking ahead .We don’t want to focus on the past too much,” he said. “Hobart has a good offense. They are good up front. They have an underrated quarterback and receivers, but their running back (Webb) is their focal point. We know we have a challenge this week. We’re up for it. We can’t ask for more coming from an at-large berth. We just wanted a shot at the tourney. We got all we can ask for right now.”

Both teams were happy to see Ithaca, which plays in the Empire 8 with Fisher, advance to the Sweet 16 as well.

“I heard from a lot of people that the East was down,” Cragg said. “To have three in the Sweet 16 is pretty nice. It shows there is very good football in the East.”

The squads hope to put on a good display Saturday.

“This is a great time to be playing football and it’s always great to practice on Thanksgiving morning,” Vosburgh said. “It should be a great atmosphere. I think the people that do go to the game will enjoy it.”

Oct. 20: All times Eastern
Final
at Johns Hopkins 52, Gettysburg 0
Video Video Box Score Recap
Oct. 21: All times Eastern
3rd - 01:19
14 Westfield State
29 Framingham State
Live stats Video
4th - 11:26
10 Moravian
17 Juniata
Video Live stats
4th - 12:41
7 Endicott
28 Salve Regina
Video Preview Preview Live stats Audio
Start of 4th
7 St. Vincent
56 Thomas More
Video Live stats Audio
Halftime
3 Hobart
7 Union
Video Live stats Audio
2nd - 00:05
24 Colby
20 Hamilton
Live stats Video Preview
1:00 PM
William Paterson at Christopher Newport
Video Live stats Audio
HALFTIME
10 St. John Fisher
7 Ithaca
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Kenyon at Allegheny
Video Live stats Audio
End of 2nd
7 SUNY-Maritime
7 Mount Ida
Video Live stats
End of 2nd
27 Middlebury
7 Bates
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End of 2nd
7 Catholic
48 Springfield
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Wesleyan at Amherst
Video Live stats
2nd - 00:45
7 Bowdoin
49 Trinity (Conn.)
Video Live stats
2nd - 00:08
14 Husson
7 Gallaudet
Video Live stats
2nd - 15:00
7 Wabash
14 Oberlin
Video Live stats Audio Audio
2nd 5:14
6 Buffalo State
13 Utica
Video Live stats
Start of 3rd
0 Ohio Northern
6 Muskingum
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2nd - 15:00
0 Montclair State
24 Frostburg State
Video Live stats
End of 2nd
3 Rowan
20 Wesley
Video Preview Live stats Audio Audio
2nd - 01:19
10 Albright
5 Stevenson
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2nd - 00:52
38 Wittenberg
3 DePauw
Video Preview Preview Preview Live stats Audio Audio
2nd - 00:18
14 Alma
14 Albion
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2nd - 01:41
13 Shenandoah
21 Guilford
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End of 2nd
20 Plymouth State
0 Massachusetts Maritime
Video Preview Live stats
2nd - 04:06
30 Wooster
12 Hiram
Preview Audio Live stats Video
Halftime
28 Washington and Lee
0 Hampden-Sydney
Video Live stats Audio
2nd - 00:03
7 Alfred State
16 Anna Maria
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Start of 3rd
25 Bridgewater
10 Emory and Henry
Video Live stats Audio Audio
Halftime
7 Wilkes
28 FDU-Florham
Video Live stats
Halftime
10 Lebanon Valley
0 Misericordia
Video Live stats Audio
Halftime
7 Rochester
27 St. Lawrence
Video Live stats Audio Audio
1:00 PM
RPI at Alfred
Video Live stats
2nd - 00:23
7 Nichols
18 Curry
Video Live stats
End of 2nd
0 Southern Virginia
28 Salisbury
Video Preview Live stats Audio
2nd - 10:53
10 Ferrum
14 Brevard
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Randolph-Macon at Apprentice
Audio
End of 2nd
0 Ursinus
7 Susquehanna
Video Live stats Audio
End of 2nd
20 Cortland
13 Morrisville State
Video Live stats
2nd - 00:36
14 Hope
36 Trine
Live stats Audio
Start of 3rd
17 Trinity (Texas)
0 Sewanee
Video Preview Live stats
Halftime
7 Wartburg
7 Luther
Video Live stats
1:30 PM
Dickinson at Franklin and Marshall
Video Video Live stats
2nd - 09:58
0 Tufts
0 Williams
Video Live stats
2nd - 12:54
35 Mount Union
0 Wilmington
Live stats Preview Audio Video Preview
Start of 2nd
7 MIT
0 Coast Guard
Video Live stats Audio
2nd - 13:08
7 Maine Maritime
14 Norwich
Video Preview Live stats
14:44, 2nd quarter
7 Heidelberg
14 Marietta
Video Preview Live stats Audio
2nd - 12:45
14 Franklin
9 Rose-Hulman
Video Preview Preview Live stats
3:00 (1st)
14 John Carroll
0 Capital
Video Live stats Audio
2nd - 11:08
7 Bluffton
14 Manchester
Video Live stats
1:30 PM
Mount St. Joseph at Anderson
Video Live stats
1:35 PM
UW-Whitewater at UW-River Falls
Video
2:00 PM
Kean at TCNJ
Video Live stats
1st - 09:42
0 Greensboro
7 LaGrange
Video Live stats Audio
1st - 10:36
0 Mass-Dartmouth
0 Worcester State
Video Live stats
1st - 10:55
6 Muhlenberg
0 McDaniel
Video Preview Live stats
1st - 07:49
7 Western New England
0 Becker
Video Live stats
1st - 09:43
0 Methodist
7 Maryville (Tenn.)
Video Live stats
1st - 10:24
0 Adrian
0 Kalamazoo
Video Live stats Audio Audio
2:00 PM
Denison at Ohio Wesleyan
Video Preview Live stats
2:00 PM
Westminster (Pa.) at Washington and Jefferson
Video Live stats Audio Audio
2:00 PM
Berry at Millsaps
Video Live stats Audio
1st - 10:24
0 Olivet
0 Benedictine
Video Preview Live stats Audio
1st - 08:24
7 Birmingham-Southern
0 Austin
Video Preview Live stats
2:00 PM
Belhaven at Mary Hardin-Baylor
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
UW-Stevens Point at UW-Stout
Audio
2:00 PM
Eureka at MacMurray
Video Preview
2:00 PM
Carthage at Illinois Wesleyan
Video Live stats Audio Audio
1st - 10:17
7 Nebraska Wesleyan
0 Buena Vista
Video Preview Live stats Audio
1st - 10:58
7 Lakeland
0 Wisconsin Lutheran
Video Preview Live stats
1st - 09:11
0 Rockford
0 Aurora
Video Live stats
1st - 10:42
0 Concordia (Wis.)
7 Concordia-Chicago
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Carleton at St. Olaf
Video Live stats Audio
13:08 1st
0 Gustavus Adolphus
7 St. John's
Video Live stats Audio
1st - 08:57
7 Augsburg
0 Concordia-Moorhead
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
St. Thomas at Hamline
Video Live stats Audio
1st - 06:56
6 Westminster (Mo.)
0 Greenville
Live stats Video
2:00 PM
Coe at Loras
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Monmouth at Cornell
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Wheaton (Ill.) at North Park
Live stats
2:00 PM
Northwestern (Minn.) at Martin Luther
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Hardin-Simmons at Texas Lutheran
Video Live stats Audio Audio
2:00 PM
Grinnell at Lake Forest
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Carroll at Millikin
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
Ripon at Macalester
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Lawrence at St. Norbert
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
St. Scholastica at Crown
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Minnesota-Morris at Iowa Wesleyan
1st - 13:38
0 UW-Platteville
0 UW-Eau Claire
Live stats Video Preview Audio
2:30 PM
Merchant Marine at WPI
Video Live stats
2:30 PM
Rhodes at Centre
Video Preview Live stats
2:30 PM
Hanover at Earlham
Video Preview Preview Live stats Audio
2:30 PM
Beloit at Chicago
Video Preview Live stats
3:00 PM
UW-Oshkosh at UW-La Crosse
Video Preview Live stats Audio Audio
3:00 PM
Simpson at Dubuque
Video Live stats Audio
3:00 PM
Augustana at North Central (Ill.)
Video Live stats Audio
3:00 PM
East Texas Baptist at Louisiana College
Live stats
4:00 PM
Hartwick at Brockport
Video Live stats
4:00 PM
Western Connecticut at Bridgewater State
Video Live stats
4:00 PM
Chapman at La Verne
Video Preview Preview Live stats
4:00 PM
Pacific at Lewis and Clark
Video Live stats Audio Audio Tickets
4:00 PM
Pacific Lutheran at Willamette
Video Preview Live stats
4:00 PM
Puget Sound at Whitworth
Video Preview Live stats Audio
4:00 PM
Redlands at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps
Video Preview Audio
4:30 PM
George Fox at Linfield
Video Preview Live stats Audio
5:00 PM
Sul Ross State at Howard Payne
Video Live stats
6:00 PM
Dean at Castleton
Video Preview Live stats Tickets
6:00 PM
N.C. Wesleyan at Averett
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
Baldwin Wallace at Otterbein
Video Preview Live stats Audio
7:00 PM
Case Western Reserve at Geneva
Video Preview Live stats
7:00 PM
Carnegie Mellon at Thiel
Video Preview Live stats
7:00 PM
Knox at Illinois College
Video Live stats
10:00 PM
Whittier at Cal Lutheran
Video Live stats
Cancelled
Occidental at Pomona-Pitzer
Oct. 20: All times Eastern
Final
at Johns Hopkins 52, Gettysburg 0
Video Video Box Score Recap
Oct. 21: All times Eastern
End of 2nd
3 Rowan
20 Wesley
Video Audio Preview Live stats Audio
2nd - 15:00
0 Montclair State
24 Frostburg State
Video Live stats
2nd - 00:56
38 Wittenberg
3 DePauw
Live stats Preview Preview Preview Audio Audio Video
End of 2nd
7 Catholic
48 Springfield
Video Live stats
Halftime
7 Wartburg
7 Luther
Video Live stats
2nd - 12:54
35 Mount Union
0 Wilmington
Live stats Preview Audio Video Preview
14:44, 2nd quarter
7 Heidelberg
14 Marietta
Video Preview Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
Westminster (Pa.) at Washington and Jefferson
Video Live stats Audio Audio
2:00 PM
Hardin-Simmons at Texas Lutheran
Video Live stats Audio Audio
2:00 PM
Belhaven at Mary Hardin-Baylor
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
St. Thomas at Hamline
Video Live stats Audio
13:08 1st
0 Gustavus Adolphus
7 St. John's
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
Carthage at Illinois Wesleyan
Video Live stats Audio Audio
1st - 08:57
7 Augsburg
0 Concordia-Moorhead
Live stats Audio Video
2:00 PM
Berry at Millsaps
Video Live stats Audio
Start of 1st
0 UW-Platteville
0 UW-Eau Claire
Live stats Video Preview Audio
3:00 PM
UW-Oshkosh at UW-La Crosse
Video Preview Live stats Audio Audio
3:00 PM
Augustana at North Central (Ill.)
Video Live stats Audio
4:00 PM
Hartwick at Brockport
Video Live stats
4:30 PM
George Fox at Linfield
Video Preview Live stats Audio
7:00 PM
Case Western Reserve at Geneva
Video Preview Live stats