Records fall as Hobart tops Union in 2OT

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GENEVA, N.Y.–The Hobart football team survived a wild shootout with Liberty League rival Union at Boswell Field today. The Statesmen broke or tied seven game records in the 41-35 double overtime win.

In his first collegiate start, sophomore quarterback Nick Strang (John Jay/Hopewell Junction, N.Y.) was 19-of-29 for 405 yards and tied the Hobart record with five touchdowns passes. He also rushed for 93 yards and another touchdown. His 498 yards of total offense are a single game record as is his 12.4 yards per play average. Strang's passing yards total on the single game list. 

Strang's top target was sophomore wide receiver Junior Woodward (Whitesboro/Marcy, N.Y.), who caught five passes for 182 yards, including touchdown receptions of 61 yards and 70 yards. His total ranks third on the single game receiving yards list.

Defensively, first-year safety Devin Worthington (Worcester Academy/Rochester, N.Y.) led the way with 12 tackles, including 2.5 tackles for loss and a sack. Senior outside linebacker Kyle O'Laughlin (Onondage/Syracuse, N.Y.) and junior inside linebacker Reggie Robinson (Amityville/Amityville, N.Y.) each had 11 tackles.

Union senior running back Chris Coney (Westminster Academy/Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) produced his 20th career 100-yard rushing game, finishing with 120 yards and a touchdown. Junior quarterback Drew Connolly (Foxboro/Foxboro, Mass.) was 12-of-28 for 236 yards and three touchdowns. Senior wideout Justin Gallo (Lansingburgh/Troy, N.Y.) caught six passes for 141 yards and two TDs.

The Dutchmen defense was led by Anthony Cassese's 11 tackles, while Alex Macchio and JP Sticco each logged two interceptions. Sticco also recovered a fumble and ran it back 49 yards for a touchdown.

After a scoreless first quarter, Strang found Woodard for a 61-yard touchdown with 12:31 left in the first half to give the Statesmen a 7-0 lead. He followed that with a 20-yard touchdown to junior wide receiver Garth Muratori (Briarcliff/Briarcliff Manor, N.Y.), who made an exceptional catch in the end zone for a two TD lead with 7:23 left in the half.

Union responded with a 46-yard touchdown pass from Connolly to Coney that cut the Hobart (3-2, 1-1) lead to 14-7 at the 4:25 mark.

Strang answered with a 42-yard completion to junior tight end Greg Clifford (Rivers School/Holliston, Mass.) on a seam route. Clifford looked up to see a clear path to the end zone and a 21-7 advantage.

A 65-yard Connolly touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Justin Gallo made the score 21-13. The Dutchmen (2-2, 2-1) missed the extra point, sending the teams into halftime separated by eight points.

Coney found the end zone again on a 5 yard run for the only touchdown of the third quarter. Union followed that with a 14-yard Connolly to Gallo touchdown. The two-point conversion, a Coney run, gave Union its first lead of the game, 28-21, with 12:47 left in regulation.

Strang found Woodard for another long touchdown, this time 70 yards, to tie the game. Woodard stepped out of one tackle near the 20-yard line and out ran another defender to the pylon for the score.

Sticco's fumble return put Union in front 35-28 with 2:58 remaining in the fourth quarter.

Strang led the Statesmen on the final scoring drive of regulation, moving the team 59 yards in five plays, capped by his fifth touchdown pass, this one to Muratori from 10-yards away, to make it a 35-34 game. Strang hit Muratori on a two-point conversion pass that would have given Hobart the lead, but the Statesmen were called for an illegal formation. After the walk-off, Hobart kicked the PAT to tie the game.

Union got close enough for a 55-yard field goal attempt as time expired, but the try was well short, sending the game into overtime.

The first overtime was scoreless, with Hobart throwing an interception and Union missing a 37-yard field goal.

In the second OT, Union had the ball first and fumbled at the 13. Junior cornerback Drake Woodard (Whitesboro/Marcy, N.Y.) pounced on the loose ball, setting the stage for Hobart's winning drive.

Strang runs of 4 and 14 yards took Hobart down to the 7-yard line. Webb rushed for no gain on first down, but Strang won the game with a quarterback draw that covered 7 yards for the 41-35 victory.

Following an off week, the Statesmen will return to action on Saturday, Oct. 23 at Merchant Marine. Union will return to Schenectady to host St. Lawrence on Saturday, Oct. 16.

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