Rensselaer Runs Past Rochester, 35-21

More news about: RPI

TROY, N.Y. - Senior Nick Schlatz rushed for a career-high 115 yards and two touchdowns and the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) football team had a total of 239 yards on the ground in defeating the University of Rochester 35-21 in a key Liberty League matchup at East Campus Stadium. The Engineers improve to 5-2 overall and 3-1 in the league, keeping their hopes for a league championship alive. The Yellowjackets fall to 4-2 and 2-2.

Schlatz (Bridgewater, MA / Bridgewater-Raynham) carried the ball 27 times for 115 yards and the two scores. He had 47 yards and a 15-yard touchdown in the first half and 68 yards and a two-yard score in the second half. His first TD put the Engineers ahead 14-7 with 4:08 left in the first quarter and his second made it a 35-21 lead with 4:20 left in the fourth quarter. 

The game was tied at 21-21 in the fourth quarter, thanks to two quick touchdowns by the visiting Yellowjackets. RPI regained the lead on a drive that began on the Rochester 29-yard line after the U of R was stuffed on a 4th-and-1 play. Sophomore Mike Tivinis (Middleton, MA / Masconomet Regional) rushed for seven yards and senior Jeff Avery (White Plains, NY / White Plains) found classmate Pat Hogan (Mt. Sinai, NY / Mt. Sinai) for 16 yards before Tivinis ran in from six yards out.

On the very next series, Rochester was again stopped on a fourth down play and this time RPI went 55 yards on 11 plays, capped by Schlatz's two-yard run up the middle. The Engineers had kicked a field goal on a 4th-and-goal play, but was awarded a first down on a roughing the kicker call. Schlatz scored on the next play for the final points of the contest.

The Yellowjackets were the first to get on the scoreboard when they went 98 yards in only seven plays, using just 1:46, early in the first quarter. After starting the drive on its own two yard line, Rochester picked up 14 yards on two runs by Shane Saucier (Oceanside, NY / Oceanside). Senior quarterback Justin Redfern (Harrisburg, NC / Cannon School), starting his second straight game in place of an injured Daniel Bronson (Lockport, NY / Lockport), then connected on a 13-yard completion to David Angie (Webster, NY / Webster Thomas), a 49-yard connection to Farid Adenuga (Brooklyn, NY / Samuel J. Tilden) down the middle of the field and a 13-yard completion to Kyle Allegrini (Ringwood, NJ / Lakeland Regional) on successive plays to get the visitors to first and goal on the RPI nine yard line. Saucier ran for seven yards and then two for the score and a 7-0 lead.

RPI needed only 19 seconds to tie the game when sophomore Johnny Ramsdell(Haverhill, MA / Haverhill) took the ensuing kickoff in the middle of the field, cut to the right and ran up the sideline untouched for an 84-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. Rensselaer took the lead on its next possession, which was set up by an interception at midfield by junior Alexander Greenidge (Miller Place, NY / Miller Place). On RPI's ninth play of the sequence, Schlatz ran a counter play to the left from 15 yards out on a 3rd and 11 play.

The Engineers opened the third quarter with an impressive drive, using 15 plays and 6:43 of the clock before senior Matt Lane (Hanover, MA / Hanover) scored from the two-yard line. Thirteen plays were runs with Schlatz carrying nine times for 36 yards. Rochester's Saucier was equally impressive on the next play from scrimmage as he broke away from several tackles and a pack of defenders, racing down the left sideline for a 69-yard touchdown just 17 seconds later. The U of R then followed an RPI 3-and-out with a three-play drive that covered 23 yards, culminating with a 26-yard touchdown pass from Redfern to Allegrini on a 3-and-13 play. 

Tivinis finished with 80 rushing yards on 12 carries, while Lane had 23 yards on the ground along with a team-high six receptions for 64 yards. Avery completed 16 of 33 passes for 161 yards. he was not sacked nor intercepted.

Defensively, the Engineers forced four turnovers, including three interceptions. They were led by sophomore Bryan Hayes (Boylston, MA / Tahanto Regional) and senior Mark Grimes (Hackettstown, NJ / Hackettstown), both of whom had 10 tackles. Hayes, a safety, had six unassisted tackles with a forced fumble, while Grimes, a linebacker, had three solo stops with one being for a loss of a yard. Junior Malik Joseph (Bronx, NY / Iona Prep) had nine stops (4 solo) including 2.5 for lost yards (6) from his down lineman position and senior Philip Lanieiri III (Miller Place, NY / Earl L. Vandermeulen) had two interceptions, along with a pair of tackles.

Rochester was paced defensively by junior linebacker David Wolff (Fairfield, CT / Fairfield Warde), who had 11 tackles, including seven unassisted and 2.5 for lost yards (2). Senior linebacker Thomas Marone (Manorville, NY / Eastport South Manor) also had 11 tackles (4 solo).

Saucier finished with 113 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries, while Redfern completed 17 of 34 passes for 224 yards and a touchdown. He was intercepted three times and sacked once. Adenuga led all receivers with 83 yards on six receptions.

Rensselaer and Rochester both return to league play on Saturday when they play Hobart College and Union College, respectively. The Engineers are on the road, while the Yellowjackets play at home.

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