Unbeaten Statesmen stop Saints, clinch 3rd straight league title
GENEVA, N.Y.—The nationally ranked Hobart College football team held visiting St. Lawrence University to a season-low 155 yards of offense and senior running back Steven Webb broke three career records as the Statesmen posted a 37-7 victory on Boswell Field this afternoon.
Coupled with WPI's 31-21 upset of Rochester, Hobart (8-0, 6-0) clinched the Liberty League Championship outright, its third consecutive title. St. Lawrence slips to 6-3 overall, 4-2 in the league. The Yellowjackets (5-3, 3-2) will host the Statesmen at noon on Saturday, Nov. 16 in the annual Centennial Cup game to wrap up the regular season. Hobart is No. 6 in the AFCA poll and No. 7 in the D3football.com ranking.
Webb ran for a game-high 90 yards and a pair of touchdowns to lead a Hobart ground game that produced 238 yards. Junior quarterback Patrick Conlan threw for 140 yards and two touchdowns. He was also intercepted twice. Classmate John Fasano was his top target with three catches for 74 yards. Hobart's 155 yards passing today are the second highest total allowed by the SLU defense, which leads the league in pass defense, this season.
The Saints managed just 155 yards of total offense, gaining a mere 29 on the ground. SLU's rushing attack was hampered by a pair of sacks by Hobart junior defensive endTyre Coleman and a botched punt that resulted in a loss of 13 yards. Maurice Irby ran for 32 yards on 15 carries to lead the visitors. Senior quarterback Zane Fish managed just 96 yards passing with a TD. Max Johnson pulled in a game-high four passes for 56 yards. Mike Tateosian, who came into the game leading the league in receiving yards (573), had just one catch for nine yards.
Sophomore defensive end Mark Guarino-Hyde recorded a game-high nine tackles for Hobart. Coleman had five tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, plus his two sacks. He was also credited with four quarterback hurries.
SLU first-year outside linebacker Alec Dietsch had a team-high eight stops, including 1.5 for loss.
The Saints' opening possession ended with Worthington stripping Fish at the SLU 20. Four plays later, first-year Sean Kirshe booted a 24-yard field goal for a 3-0 lead.
The teams traded punts through the middle of the quarter, but, after Hobart got a hand on the Saints' first punt (it traveled just 12 yards), the visitor's dipped into their bag of tricks the next time they lined up in punt formation, completing a 30-yard pass to keep the drive alive. Ultimately, St. Lawrence had to line up to punt again, and this time Brodie Corless mishandled the snap and was tackled and stripped of the ball by first-year Gabriel Smith. First-year Matt Cragg recovered for Hobart at the Saints' 28.
Five plays later, Webb burst right up the middle for a 17-yard touchdown run. It was his 48th career rushing touchdown, his 52nd overall TD and raised his career points total to 312, eclipsing in one play three career records established by Hobart Hall of Famer Rich Kowalski '76 (47 rush TD/51 TDs/308 pts).
The Statesmen added to their 10-0 lead early in the second quarter, when sophomore Trayvon Toney blocked a Saints punt and senior Connor Garrett scooped up the loose ball at the SLU 20 and ran it in for a touchdown and a 17-0 lead.
On the ensuing possession, the Hobart defense forced another St. Lawrence punt. The Statesmen continued to pad their lead, using five plays to cover 79 yards. Conlan completed a 16-yard fade to junior wideout Elvin Souffrant in the end zone for a 24-0 lead with 7:16 left before halftime.
The Saints got on the board just before the half with an efficient execution of the two-minute drill. The five-play 36-yard scoring drive ended with a 6-yard TD pass from Fish to first-year running back Mitch Gallagher, 38 seconds before halftime.
Hobart added a 6-yard scoring run by Webb in the third quarter and a 10-yard Conlan to junior wideout Troy Robinson pass in the fourth to complete the day's scoring. The Statesmen dominated time of possession in the second half (21:03-8:57), limiting the Saints to just four drives. The first three failed to reach midfield, while the fourth ended with an incompletion on fourth and goal from the 5.