The Hobart College football team posted its first shutout since 2005 with a 24-0 Liberty League win at the Merchant Marine Academy this afternoon. The Statesmen defense limited the Mariners to just 46 yards of total offense, including zero rushing yards.
MMA’s rushing total is the lowest for a Hobart opponent since Oct. 15, 2005, when the Statesmen used six sacks to force the Mariners into minus 10 yards rushing. Since 1992, only four Hobart opponents have failed to gain at least 100 total years and all three of the previous futile efforts produced at least 71 yards.
On offense, Hobart ran a season-high 84 plays from scrimmage, gaining a season-high 231 yards on the ground. Senior running back Anthony Hobaica led the way with 83 yards, while sophomore running back Andrew Marlier added 68 yards and a touchdown. In all, seven different Statesmen ran the ball on the day.
Through the air, senior quarterback Rich Doyle completed 11 of 21 passes for 121 yards and a touchdown. Junior wideout Zach Schulz was his top target, making five catches for 56 yards and a TD.
Hobart fumbled the opening kickoff, setting the Mariners up at the Hobart 30. Four plays later, the Academy attempted a 34 yard field that was blocked by senior Lance Boyington.
After the Statesmen’s first drive sputtered deep in their own end due to a holding penalty, junior P.J. Overdorf’s 56 yard punt was downed at the Merchant Marine 7. The Mariners tried a deep pass on first down, but Boyington made his second interception of the season to kill another drive.
Hobart posted its first points on the second quarter’s first possession. Overdorf capped a 14-play, 54-yard drive with a 29-yard field goal. MMA gained just two yards on the ensuing drive and lined up to punt, but sophomore Kevin Grogan blocked the attempt and first-year Drake Woodard recovered the loose ball in the end zone for a touchdown. Overdorf’s extra point sent the Statesmen into halftime with a 10-0 lead.
The third quarter, like the first, was scoreless, but Hobart’s dominance was apparent on the stat sheet. The Statesmen held on to the ball for 11 minutes, 17 seconds, running 21 plays and gaining 69 yards, while the Mariners were limited to just nine plays that picked up 17 yards.
Hobart found the end zone on its first drive of the fourth quarter when Marlier ran up the middle for 7 yards and a TD, capping an 8-play, 40-yard drive.
Senior linebacker Jeff Sanders’ set up the Statesmen’s final score, notching his first interception of the season at the Hobart 36. Ten plays later, Schulz pulled in a pass from Doyle for a 24-0 lead with 4:55 remaining.
Senior linebacker Justin Hager led the Statesmen with seven tackles, while Sanders added four stops.
Hobart is back in action on Nov. 1, when the Statesmen host WPI. Kickoff is scheduled for noon.