TROY, N.Y. – Senior Marc Meislahn scored two 1-yard touchdowns and junior George Marinopoulos threw two touchdowns and ran for one as the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) football team defeated Allegheny College 52-14 in a non-league football game at East Campus Stadium. The contest was the first of the season for both the No. 19 Engineers and the Gators.
Meislahn, a slot receiver who missed nearly all of 2018 due to an injury, helped RPI to leads of 7-0 and 38-7. He finished with eight yards rushing along with 46 receiving yards on three catches. He was one of 11 Engineers to catch the ball and one of 10 to run with it. Of Rensselaer's 502 yards of total offense, 356 came through the air with Marinopoulos, a quarterback, connecting for 276 yards and two scores on 23 of 35 passing. He had a 1-yard touchdown on the ground.
Senior Nick Smith had a team-high five receptions for 71 yards, followed by Meislahn's 46 yards and 43 from Vinnie McDonald, who had four receptions, including a 1-yard touchdown with only two seconds left in the first half that gave the Engineers a 24-7 lead. McDonald also threw a 76-yard pass to classmate Dennis DeCicco which helped set up the first career rushing touchdown for Marinopoulos.
RPI's first possession came after a sack-fumble by senior Alec Hazard – one of five Allegheny turnovers – that put the Engineers near midfield. Nine plays later, Meislahn leaped over the linemen in front of him for the lead.
A fumble on Allegheny's second possession gave the ball back to Rensselaer at its own 3-yard line. Marinopoulos and McDonald hooked up for 29 yards to get to the 32-yard line and sophomore Dylan Burnett eventually capped the 11-play, 97-yard drive with a touchdown run of four yards.
The visiting Gators began the second quarter with their first scoring drive, which ended with Nazareth Greer finding Austin French from nine yards out. Allegheny appeared to have tied the game at 14-14 when Hunter Cazin intercepted Marinopoulos inside the 20-yard line, but he fumbled the ball out of the back of the end zone and RPI regained possession on a touchback. That drive ended with a 34-yard field goal from Sanjay Krishnan for a 17-7 lead.
Rensselaer outscored the Gators 21-0 in the third quarter with Marinopoulos finding Bryce Todd from 19 yards for a 45-7 lead with 10 seconds remaining in the frame.
Greer got Allegheny back on the board with a 6-yard run five minutes into the fourth quarter and later drove the visitors to the RPI goal line, but a fumble recovery by Ryan Skivington two yards deep in the end zone was returned all the way down the field for a 52-14 lead with 4:47 to play.
Greer completed 30 of 47 passes for 318 yards with eight passes going to Ben Bachik, who had 112 receiving yards. Alex Victor caught seven passes for 54 yards for the Gators, who managed only 31 rushing yards.
Senior John Sadak led the Engineers in tackles with eight, along with an interception, while Joey Gutowski had seven stops. Twenty-nine players had a hand in at least one tackle.
Corey Laskey had 16 tackles for Allegheny, while Kyle McGee and Chase Balla both had 13.
The Gators are back on the field on September 21 when they host Wabash at 1pm. Rensselaer travels to WPI next Saturday for the Transit Trophy Game (2:30pm).