SCHENECTADY, NY – Junior running back Connor Kinzelmann rushed for 234 yards and three TDs and senior running back Jermaine Carn had 146 rushing yards and a score to lead Union College to a 42-16 Liberty League victory over the United States Merchant Marine Academy at Frank Bailey Field Saturday afternoon.
The Dutchmen improved to 3-6 overall and 2-4 in the Liberty League, while the Mariners are now 4-4 for the season and 3-3 in league play. Prior to the game, Union honored 23 seniors along with their families before the last home game of the regular season for the Dutchmen.
It was the second time this season that both running backs eclipsed 100 yards, and Kinzelmann set a career high in yards. It was the eighth best yardage total for a running back in Union history and Kinzelmann's total was the most rushing yards by a Union player in a game since November 19, 2005 when Tom Arcidiacono had 264 vs. Ithaca. Both Kinzelmann and Carn recorded their fourth career 100 yard games.
Union posted season highs in rushing yards (409) and total offense yards (525). The Mariners had 278 yards on the ground and 287 total yards. Blake Geller was 10 for 12 with no interceptions and 116 yards with two touchdowns for the hosts, and Alex Kaplanovich had five catches for 86 yards and two TDs for the Dutchmen. Brice Moore had 108 yards on 28 carries with a touchdown for USMMA. Jake Lombardo had a game and career high high 17 tackles for the Dutchmen while Conor O'Malley had 14 stops. Brooks Cannell led USMMA with 14 tackles and Patrick Keyes added 12.
Jake McDonough put the visitors on the board with a 3-0 lead with 8:36 left in the first quarter. His 36 yard field goal capped a long, 17 play, 57 yard drive that consumed 6:24. But with 2:36 left in the first, Kinzelmann ran in from 10 yards out and it was 7-3 Union after a seven play, 74 yard drive that took 3:33.
The Mariners took the lead 4:50 into the second quarter with a drive that went seven minutes and 21 seconds. It was a very long, 20 play drive in 77 yards that ended on Moore's three yard scoring run. The 10-7 lead would prove to be the final lead of the day for Merchant Marine. With 6:11 remaining in the half Kaplanovich caught a 36 yard scoring strike from Geller and it was 14-10 Union after a seven play, 72 yard drive in 3:52. After a four-and-out by the defense, the Union offense made it 21-10 when Carn, on a first down from the Union 32, went the distance for the 68 yard TD run with 4:03 left in the half. USMMA went for it on fourth down at the Union 34 but was stopped with 1:48 left in the half, then the Dutchmen offense went back to work. The final play of the eight play, 75 yard drive came as the clock ran out and Geller's 21 yard pass to Kaplanovich sent into the half with a 28-10 lead. Carn had 108 yards by halftime.
USMMA kicked off to the hosts to open the second half and three plays into the drive, Union's running game was at it again. Kinzelmann, on a third and seven from the Union 19, broke through a crowd and outraced defenders for a career best 81 yard touchdown run. Thus with 13:32 left in the third quarter, Union had a 35-10 lead. Just 1:08 later, Union took over at its own 41 and on the third play, Kinzelmann had another score, this from 45 yards out for a 42-10 lead. The drive went 1:24 and 59 yards in three plays.
The final points came on the next drive by the Mariners. Once again, they had a long drive, this was with 16 plays and 65 yards in 5:32. Luke Tiefenthaler rushed in from two yards out for the eventual final, 42-16 as the two point pass play failed.
Union wraps up the 2016 season November 12 at RPI at 12 p.m. It is the annual Dutchman Shoes Trophy Game in New York State's oldest collegiate football rivalry. Merchant Marine closes out the 2016 season at home vs. Springfield November 12 at 2 p.m.