The record-breaking campaign for seventh-ranked Hobart College came to an end on Saturday, Dec 1, as fourth-ranked St. Thomas topped the Statesmen 47-7 in the NCAA Division III Football Championship Quarterfinals.
Hobart (12-1) was limited offensively, as the St. Thomas (13-0) defense held the Statesmen to just 294 yards of total offense. Junior tailback Steven Webb added his fifth 100-yard rushing game on the season, gaining 103 yards on just 10 carries, including the Statesmen’s lone touchdown. Senior rusher Bobby Dougherty contributed another 39 yards on the ground, giving him 1,024 for the season. Webb (1,197) and Dougherty (1,024) mark the first time that Hobart has had two 1,000-yard rushers since 1977, when Ed Cooney ’80 (1,197) and Jack Davis ’78 (1,074) accomplished the feat. The Statesmen struggled to move the ball through the air, completing just 16 of 32 passes for 154 yards with three interceptions. Senior wide receiver Junior Woodard hauled in four passes for 32 yards, and in the process, extended his streak of games with a catch to a record 33, breaking Dan Suozzi’s ’05 32-game run set back in 2004.
Defensively, the Statesmen were led by Andrew Klindera, who finished the game with 12 tackles. Junior defensive back Connor Garrett added seven tackles, including two for loss. Sophomore defensive end Tyre Coleman and senior linebacker Nick Zapp each had a sack on the day.
The Tommies forced the Statesmen to punt on the game’s opening possession. A bad snap gave the defense enough time to breakthrough and block the punt. St. Thomas recovered at the Hobart 4 and scored two plays later on a 4-yard run by Brenton Braddock. The two-point run gave the home team the early 8-0 lead.
The Tommies forced the Statesmen to punt again on their next possession and his time got good field position following a personal foul against Hobart on the return. The five-play, 32-yard drive ended with a 2-yard dive by Braddock and a 15-0 lead less than six minutes into the game.
The Statesmen offense got its lone TD of the day on the ensuing drive. Facing a fourth and 1 from their own 34, Hobart opted to go for it and handed off to Webb who broke free for his longest scoring run of the season, a 66-yard gallop. First-year James Hull converted the extra point to make it a 15-7 game.
The next two Hobart possessions ended in interceptions. Braddock converted the first into another TD, this one from 5-yards out on the first play of the second quarter. The Tommies added a pair of Matt McConnell passing touchdowns (to Paul Graupner and Matt Allen) before halftime to carry a 32-7 lead into halftime.
St. Thomas opened the second half with a grinding 10-play, 89-yard march that Braddock finished with a 1-yard plunge and a 38-7 lead. Tyre Coleman blocked the extra point, but Ferrazzo picked up the loose ball and ran it in for 2 points. The Tommies added another TD late in the fourth quarter to complete the scoring.
St. Thomas will face the winner of the Wis.-Oshkosh at Linfield game on Dec. 8.