Football Upended by Hobart on Homecoming, 41-20

Aaron Champagne

Hobart 41, WPI 20

Box Score

Worcester, MA --- Andrew Marlier (Lake Forest, IL) scored two of Hobart's five rushing touchdowns, leading the visiting Statesmen to a 41-20 triumph over WPI in WPI's annual homecoming game on Saturday afternoon. The result helped Hobart improve to 3-2 in the Liberty League and 4-3 overall. The Engineers fell to 3-5 and 0-5 in conference play.

Up 21-14 at the half, Hobart scored two unanswered touchdowns on its first two drives of the third quarter to pull away to the win.

After the Hobart defense forced a three-and-out to start the game, its offense embarked on a 14-play drive to paydirt to take a 7-0 lead. The Statesmen moved the ball 60 yards on the scoring drive, capped by a 15-yard TD run by Marlier to give Hobart the early edge. The lead would not last long however, as WPI responded with an 80-yard drive on its next possession to tie the score. After WPI ran the ball for the first five plays of the drive, Engineers QB Mike Swanton (Foxboro, MA) connected on a 26-yard completion with senior WR Cody McGregor (Westfield, MA) and a 30-yard catch-and-run with junior RB Aaron Champagne (Fairfield, ME) to even the game at 7-7.

The Statesmen also started the second quarter with a long scoring drive. Hobart ran 12-plays covering 59 yards including seven rushes by Pat Julian (Frankfort, NY), who dove into the end zone from a yard out for a 14-7 lead. WPI would tie the game once again, this time following a Hobart turnover. The Engineers needed to go only 17 yards before Champagne punched in the tying touchdown from one yard out, knotting the score at 14 apiece with 2:22 to go in the half.

Unfortunately for WPI, that left enough time for the Statesmen to answer back. Doug Vella's (Franklin Square, NY) 36-yard pass to Mike Lazore (Carthage, NY) on the opening play keyed the drive, which concluded in Vella sneaking in for a 2-yard score and a 21-14 lead at the break. After WPI started the second half by going three-and-out, Marlier capped off a six-play scoring drive with his second touchdown of the game. Then, following a second straight three-and-out by the Engineer offense, Hobart put together a five-play drive that culminated in a 37-yard TD pass from Vella to Garth Muratori (Briarcliff Manor, NY) to stretch its lead to 21.

WPI responded with its longest drive of the season to cut the deficit, as the Crimson-and-Gray traversed 99 yards in 16 plays before Swanton scored on a three-yard run. Hobart blocked the ensuing PAT, as the score remained 35-20. Hobart would not allow a WPI comeback however, tacking on a late TD on a Kyle Tritten (Whitesboro, NY) 11-yard run that gave the Statesmen their final points in their 41-20 road win.

Vella was 9-for-17 for 192 yards and a touchdown for Hobart. Marlier led all rushers with 73 yards on the day along with his two TDs, while Tritten added 55 yards on the ground. Muratori paced the Statesmen receivers with 71 yards and a score, while Lazore had three catches for 62 yards. On the home sideline, Swanton had an 11-for-26 day for 160 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Mitch McClune (Pembroke, MA) and Ernie Mello (Wilmington, MA) ran for 59 and 51 yards, respectively. The Engineers' R.C. Grady (Shirley, MA) led all WPI receivers with four catches for 59 yards.

Kyle O'Laughlin (Syracuse, NY) paced Hobart with 10 tackles, while Mike Faracca (Williamsville, NY) added seven tackles and the only interception of the afternoon. Michael Oliveri (Milford, MA) was a bright spot on defense for WPI, recording a game-high 15 tackles and the Engineers' only sack of the game. The junior earned the Bob Pritchard Award as the Most Outstanding Back while Justin Pollard (Taunton, MA) and Stan St. Juste (Everett, MA) shared the honor as the Most Outstanding Lineman for WPI. 

Hobart returns home for its next game, Saturday at noon against Rensselaer. WPI will travel for its last road game of the season, when it takes on Susquehanna Saturday at 1pm.