The nationally ranked Hobart College football team remained undefeated with a 28-7 Liberty League victory over Springfield College. The Statesmen defense limited the Pride to a season-low 159 yards of total offense and senior running back Bobby Dougherty ran for 150 yards and three touchdowns for Hobart, which is No. 9 in the AFCA poll and No. 12 in the D3football.com poll.
The Statesmen (6-0, 3-0) bottled up Springfield’s triple option offense, which came into the game averaging 321.0 rushing yards per game (6th in the nation). The Pride (3-3, 1-2) gained just 150 yards on the ground today, managed only nine first downs, less than half of its season average, and converted 1-of-12 third downs.
Senior linebacker Andrew Klindera led Hobart with 10 tackles. Sophomore Nolan Toran and first-year Mark Guarino-Hyde each added seven stops.
Springfield went three-and-out on its first three possessions. Hobart punted after three plays on its first drive as well, but won the battle for field possession and put together a five-play, 41-yard drive that Dougherty finished off with a 1-yard plunge for a 7-0 lead with 6:52 left in the first quarter.
The Statesmen’s first drive of the second quarter was their most impressive of the game. Junior James Poggio’s punt pinned Hobart at its own 8. Senior quarterback Nick Strang directed a 12-play, 92-yard march that ended with a 2-yard completion to senior wide receiver Junior Woodard. Strang, who was 13-of-23 for 130 yards and a TD, had three completions on the drive that covered 19 or more yards, more than double the Pride’s passing total for the day (9 yds).
Woodard extended his games-with-a-catch streak to 26, tied with Nico Karagosian ’97 for the third longest in school history. Woodard finished the day with a game-high six catches for 43 yards and junior wideout Yosh Karbowniczak added three catches for 61 yards.
Hobart took a 14-0 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Springfield notched the only points of the third quarter with an assist from the defense. Senior cornerback Nick Staub (game-high 11 tackles) intercepted Strang at the Hobart 32. Six plays later, senior fullback Joel Altavesta scored on a 7-yard run to cut the Statesmen lead in half.
In the fourth quarter, Hobart restored its 14-point lead on a 35-yard scoring run by Dougherty with 10:00 remaining. His 10th rushing TD of the season completed a 6-play, 59-yard drive. Dougherty iced the victory with a 5-yard scamper with 55.1 seconds remaining.
Nine of Springfield’s 13 drives were three plays or less. The Pride also struggled to get good field position. Hobart first-year punter Josh Neuss averaged 44.7 yards per punt on six kicks, pinning the visitors inside their own 20 three times.
Springfield first-year quarterback Jonathan Marrero led the team with 73 rushing yards.