GENEVA, N.Y.—The eighth-ranked Hobart College football team bottled up one of the top offenses in the nation on its way to a 37-7 Liberty League win over Springfield College. Junior linebacker Trayvon Toney and sophomore linebacker Marcus Jemison led the charge, producing career-highs with 15 and 12 tackles, respectively.
The Pride (4-2, 2-1) came into the game third in the nation in rushing (417.2 yds/g), 12th in scoring (45.4 ppg), and 19th in total offense (505.0 yds/g), but fell well short of its averages against the Statesmen. Springfield gained a season-low 145 yards on the ground, a season-low 175 yards of total offense, a season-low nine first downs, and just a solitary trip to the end zone.
Hobart (6-0, 3-0) had more rushing yards than the Pride had total yards, gaining 186 on the ground and another 137 through the air for 323 on the day. Senior fullback Dominique Ellis pounded out a game-high 58 yards on 10 carries and scored three touchdowns. Junior fullback Christopher Holoman added 41 yards on nine carries.
Senior quarterback Patrick Conlan completed 72 percent of his passes for 137 yards and two touchdowns. Senior Elvin Souffrant had a game-high four catches for 63 yards and a TD. Senior tight end Mike Berkowitz caught the other touchdown pass.
Hobart controlled the clock, holding the ball for 34:15, converted 40 percent of its third downs and was 2-for-2 on fourth down.
Springfield went three-and-out on the game's first possession. Hobart's ensuing drive stalled out at the Pride's 15-yard line, so the home team settled for a 32-yard Sean Kirshe field goal and a 3-0 lead.
The team's traded punts on the next two possessions, but Parker Thelander's 44-yard punt pinned Springfield back at its own 7. On first down, Toney stripped Pride quarterback Jonathan Marrero and recovered the loose ball to give the offense a short field. Two plays later, Ellis scored on a 4-yard run to make it 10-0 with 1:41 to go in the first quarter.
Springfield answered with its only scoring drive of the game, moving 79 yards in 16 plays. First-year halfback Stephen Speidel finished off the drive, punching it in the end zone from 1 yard out on fourth and goal with 9:26 remaining in the second quarter. The big play of the drive was a 30-yard completion from Marrero to junior Tim O'Brien, the only completion on five attempts for the Pride in the game.
On the following kickoff, Hobart got a 32-yard return from senior John Fasano to set up the offense at its own 43. Nine plays and 57 yards later, Ellis capped the drive, scoring on fourth and 1 from the 1 for a 17-7 lead with 4:02 left in the half.
Senior defensive end Tyre Coleman registered his 42nd career sack (6th in NCAA Division III history) on Springfield's next play from scrimmage. Jemison dropped the Pride for a 2-yard loss on second down and Marrero's third down pass was broken up by senior cornerback Fajri Jackson. Springfield punted the ball back to Hobart and sophomore Sean Cunningham's 6-yard return put the Statesmen in business at the Pride's 49.
Conlan executed the two-minute drill to perfection, connecting with Berkowitz on a 3-yard scoring pass with 12 seconds left in the half. The throw capped a 7-play, 49-yard drive and sent the home team into the break with a 24-7 lead.
Hobart got the ball coming out of the locker room and marched 67 yards in 10 plays, scoring on a 14-yard rumble by Ellis to build a 31-7 lead.
The Statesmen completed the day's scoring on a 22-yard pass from Conlan to Souffrant early in the fourth quarter. The 10-play drive covered 60 yards and ran 5:40 off the game clock. Kirshe's extra point try hit the upright, snapping a string of 26 consecutive makes and leaving Hobart a 37-7 lead.
Marrero and junior fullback Keith Rodman each had a team-high 56 yards rushing for Springfield. Senior linebacker Danny Macalena led the Pride defense with 13 tackles.
Hobart, which has won 26 consecutive regular season games, is off next Saturday before traveling to Rensselaer on Oct. 25. Springfield returns home to host Merchant Marine on Oct. 18.