TROY, N.Y. - Senior wide receiver Pat McCarthy had 111 yards and two receiving touchdowns to lead Rensselaer Polytechnic University to a 21-7 Liberty League football victory over local rival Union College Saturday night at East Campus Stadium in the annual Dutchman Shoes Trophy Game.
With the victory, RPI improved to 4-3 overall and 2-2 in the Liberty League, while Union fell to 2-5 overall and 2-3 in the league. It was the first time Union has lost four straight games since the 1980 season. RPI took home the famed trophy for the fourth time in five years in this, the 61st year it has been contested. This was the 108th meeting between the schools in New York State's oldest collegiate gridiron rivalry.
Union senior running back Chris Coney rushed for 144 yards on 28 carries, posting his 17th career 100 yard game and his fourth in his six games this season. Senior receiver Justin Gallo had 56 yards for the Dutchmen, while junior linebacker Andrew Trochanowski had a game best 10 tackles.
Junior linebacker Ray Pasco and senior linebacker Jeff McCormick had nine tackles each for the Engineers.
The first quarter was scoreless but with just under six minutes remaining in the stanza, Union starting quarterback Drew Connolly left the game with an injury on a sack and was replaced by sophomore Nick Hayes.
The Engineers got on the board with just 1:54 elapsed in the second quarter. Sophomore quarterback Mike Hermann hit McCarthy in the back of the end zone for a nine yard touchdown pass and the 7-0 lead. The drive took 12 plays and 63 yards, and featured an 18 yard pass to McCarthy on a fourth and four from the Union 28 to keep it alive.
On the ensuing drive, on the fourth play, Union punter Blaise Ancona got a high snap and scrambled but got a low punt off that was blocked, and the Engineers took over on downs at the Dutchman 10 yard line. But the Union defense held and on a fourth and goal at the 1, Alex Macchio sacked Hermann at the Union 13.
The Dutchmen were held again to fourth downs and RPI took over on its own 47 with 5:15 left in the second quarter. Nick Costa had a two yard touchdown run with 1:46 left in the half and a 14-0 RPI lead. The nine yard drive took 53 yards in 3:29 and the big play featured a 30 yard run up the middle from Hermann on third and four from the Union 36.
Justin Hasselkus ended a Union threat with 47 seconds remaining when he intercepted a Union pass at the RPI 18, and the Engineers took a knee to end the half with the 14-0 advantage. The Engineers had 137 yards in offense in the first half and Hermann had completed 10 of his 11 passes while Coney had 61 yards rushing for the Dutchmen.
RPI had a long and productive drive but it was halted with 4:25 left in the third quarter. The 13 play drive took 5:37 and went 52 yards but was stopped on downs at the Union 34 when the Dutchmen stopped a six yard run by Hermann.
On a 20 yard run with 3:58 left in the third quarter, Coney moved into second all-time in Union career rushing annals, passing George Beebe (3,615, 1999-02). He also posted his 17th career 100 yard rushing game and fourth in his six-game 2010 season.
Union went on it on fourth and eight at the RPI 22 to start the fourth quarter, and Coney ran left outside and got the first down. But later, RPI's Mike Kukesh blocked an Ancona 29 yard field goal attempt two minutes into the fourth quarter. The Dutchmen defense held RPI and got the ball back with 11:36 left at the RPI 40 after a 21 yard punt return from Cam Johnson. Four downs later, on a fourth-and-three at the RPI 33, Connor Gallo, the third Union QB of the night, was held for no gain and the Engineers took over.
On the fourth play of the ensuing drive, Hermann found McCarthy for a 41 yard touchdown pass that made it 21-0 Engineers. RPI's Nick Herrera intercepted Connor Gallo at the RPI 1 with 4:52 left to end a major threat. But Union snapped the shutout bid with a 33 yard touchdown pass from Connor Gallo to Justin Gallo with 3:14 remaining for the 21-7 score. It was a three play, 46 yard drive.