Nationally-Ranked Hobart Remains Unbeaten After Win Over Football

William Alves

Worcester, MA --- Nick Strang (Hopewell Junction, NY) threw for 309 yards and three touchdown passes and the running back combo of Steven Webb (Dundee, NY), Bobby Dougherty (Bellerose,NY) and Connor Hartigan (Albany, NY) combined for 208 yards on the ground and five touchdowns to propel nationally-ranked Hobart to a 61-8 victory over host WPI in a Liberty League football contest on Saturday afternoon.  

The Statesmen, ranked 12th in the latest Top 25, remain perfect at 5-0 overall and 2-0 in conference play.  WPI is now 1-4 on the season and 0-2 Liberty League action. 

The Hobart defense made its presence known on the first play from scrimmage when Tyre Coleman (Poughkeepsie, NY) forced a fumble and it was recovered by Nick Zapp (Elizaville, NY) at the WPI 41.  The visitors then turned it over themselves nine plays later when WPI lineman Nick Chambers (Braintree, MA) notched a fourth down interception and rumbled 45 yards to the Hobart 25. Engineer running back Chris Turner (Manchester, CT) then carried three straight times, the last of which 10 yards for a Crimson and Gray touchdown. 

After WPI missed the extra point, Hobart drove 54 yards in eight plays capped by a Webb 2-yard touchdown run to level the score at 6.  One of college football oddest plays occurred next as Joey Allen (Yarmouthport, MA) blocked the extra point and had it returned by William Alves (West Warwick, RI) for a defensive two-point conversion to make it 8-6 WPI.

From that point forward, it was all Hobart as the Statesmen scored touchdowns on their final four possession of the half.  Strang hit Yosh Karbownizcak (Syracuse, NY) for a 40-yard touchdown strike 44 seconds before the end of the quarter.  Webb rolled in again from two-yards out early in the second quarter before Strang hooked up with Chris Holoman (Asburn, VA) for a four-yard scoring pass to cap a 13-play, 83-yard drive.  The visitors then used a Hail Mary on the final play before intermission as Strang found Karbownizcak on a 32-yard bomb at the gun. 

Dougherty was the story in the third quarter as he accounted for both scores with a one-yard touchdown and a three-yard scoring plunge. Hartigan found the end zone in the fourth quarter when he rumbled in from 43 yards out and the defense got into the scoring act with a safety and a Treyvon Toney (Huntington Station, NY) 37-yard interception return for a touchdown. 

Strang finished the day completing 21-of-31 passes for 309 yards and no inteceptions. Junior Woodard (Marcy, NY) led all players with eight catches and 119 yards while Karbowniczak chipped in hauling in five balls for 106 yards. Hartigan finished with 106 yards on the ground, all in the second half while Webb and Dougherty added 58 and 44 yards respectively. Turner was impressive for the Engineers gaining 67 on 12 carries while Trev Rancourt (Nashua, NH) caught two balls for 15 yards.

Andrew Klindera
 (Chagrin Falls, OH) had eight tackles for Hobart while all three of Coleman's stops were credited as tackles for loss. Michael Grasis (East Brookfield, MA) and Shaine Grogan (Daulton, MA) led the Crimson and Gray efforts with nine stops apiece. The hosts also received solid kickoff return yardage from graduate student Mitch McClune (Pembroke, MA) who amassed 138 yards on eight returns and got a touchdown-saving tackle from offensive lineman Nate Gee (Rutland, MA) that thwarted a possible Hobart score on a fumble recovery in the third quarter.

Hobart held a commanding edge in both total yards (542-78) and time of possession (39:46 to 20:14).

WPI is back on the gridiron next Saturday hosting Union on Homecoming at 1pm. Hobart is also at home next Saturday when they entertain Springfield at noon.