/seasons/2018/contrib/201809227p0zki

No. 20 RPI Improves to 4-0 With 44-14 Victory

TROY, N.Y. - Behind 501 total yards of offense, including 343 rushing, the No. 19/20 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) football team defeated Buffalo State College, 44-14, in a non-league contest at East Campus Stadium to improve to 4-0. The Bengals drop to 0-3.

Senior running back Nick Cella led the Engineers as he compiled 131 yards on the ground on only 12 carries for a 10.9 per rush average. His biggest gain was a 65-yard touchdown. Freshman Joe Scaglione ran for 72 yards and a touchdown on eight carries (9.0 average) and senior J.T. Kelly had 67 yards and a score on 11 attempts (6.1 average). In total, Rensselaer's ball carriers rushed 48 times for 343 yards (7.1 average) and four touchdowns as the team increased its home winning streak to seven straight games over the past three seasons.

The Engineers used 10 plays – nine of which were on the ground – to go 67 yards and take a 7-0 lead at 7:27 of the first quarter. midway through the first quarter. Cella carried for the first five plays, gaining 34 yards, and Scaglione the next four for 14 yards, before sophomore quarterback George Marinopolous hit Danny Calabro on a short pass in the middle of the field, which the senior wide receiver turned into a 19-yard touchdown.

Following a Sanjay Krishnan 26-yard field goal five minutes later, the Engineers made it a 16-0 lead when senior Rob Law rushed into the end zone from 13 yards out just 2:20 into the second quarter. 

The Bengals got on the board with 6:57 left in the half on a Jordan Evert leaping catch in the right corner of the end zone to cap a 13-play, 67-yard drive. Rensselaer needed just 10 seconds to answer, however, as Cella broke through on the first play of the ensuing drive. He took the hand off, got through the line of scrimmage, cut to the left and outran the defense for a 65-yard touchdown and a 23-7 lead. The long run gave the senior 108 yards on only eight carries to that point. He finished the first half with 110 yards on nine attempts.

RPI got the ball back immediately on a Joey Gutkowski interception on Buffalo State's first play from scrimmage on its drive and Marinopoulos found senior Keaton Ackermann on a 27-yard pass in the end zone for a 30-7 edge with 6:26 left in the second quarter. Gutkowski set the Engineers from 27 yards out with his 36-yard return. The interception was the 12th of the season for Rensselaer.

The Engineers held a 304-151 advantage in total yards in the first half, including 162-45 on the ground. In addition to Cella's 110 yards, Scaglione had 29 yards on six attempts. Marinopolous was 7 of 9 for 142 yards and the two scores. Kevin Torrillo completed 14 of 23 passes for 106 yards and the touchdown in the first half for the Bengals. Jamar Rutledge caught six passes for 33 yards and Paul Tonic had 24 rushing yards on 10 attempts. 

A 2-yard touchdown run by Scaglione opened the third quarter and made it 37-7 for RPI, which drove 74 yards on six plays, highlighted by a 41-yard rush by the freshman.

Buffalo State got a touchdown in the fourth quarter, led by freshman quarterback Tony Maple, who finished the series with a 23-yards pass in the end zone to Evert. Maple had a hand in all but two plays of the 14-play, 83-yard drive that took 7:01 off the clock.

Kelly, who is playing his first season of football after three years of lacrosse, brought the Engineers down the field for their final touchdown, carrying the ball seven times for 56 yards, including a 29-yarder and a 1-yard touchdown with 10:59 to play in the final quarter.

Marinopoulos finished with 158 passing yards, completing 8 of 13 throws with two touchdowns. He was not intercepted or sacked. Calabro had 52 receiving yards on two receptions, while Law had 21 on two catches to go with 15 rushing yards.

Senior Jack Hoggard led all players with 13 tackles (2 unassisted), along with two pass breakups, and Luke Watanbe had eight stops (1 solo). Gutowski had seven tackles with five unassisted and 2.0 for lost yards (6), as well as his interception.

Gino Bonagura had nine tackles (3 solo) and a pass breakup for Buffalo State, who got eight stops (3 solo) from Devin Delmont.

The Bengals, who had 67 rushing yards and 189 passing, saw Torrillo finish 16 of 28 for 118 yards, while Maple was 8 of 9 for 71 yards. Tonic had 32 rushing yards on 11 attempts and Maple gained 20 on six tries. Rutledge led all receivers with nine catches for 43 yards and Evert had 67 on five receptions, including his two touchdowns.

Buffalo State makes its home debut next Saturday against Hartwick College (noon). RPI is idle and returns to the field on October 6 at No. 25 Ithaca College. Both games are league contests.

Dec. 14: All times Eastern
Final
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 24, Mount Union 16
@ Woodforest Bank Stadium; Shenandoah, Texas
Recap Photos Box Score
Dec. 8: All times Eastern
Final
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 31, UW-Whitewater 14
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Mount Union 28, Johns Hopkins 20
Video Box Score Recap Photos
Dec. 14: All times Eastern
Final
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 24, Mount Union 16
@ Woodforest Bank Stadium; Shenandoah, Texas
Recap Photos Box Score