On a wet and muddy Boswell Field, first-year Conor Callahan kicked his second game-winning field goal in as many weeks, this version a 20-yarder with 1:01 remaining in the game, lifting the 24th-ranked Hobart football team to a 10-7 win over arch-rival Rochester.
Callahan kicked the game-winner as time expired last week at Rensselaer, but this week had to watch the Hobart defense finish the game when defense end Mike Arduini sacked Rochester quarterback Patrick Keegan (19-7-1, 62 yds, TD) on the penultimate play of the game, a fourth and one from the Hobart 33. The Statesmen (8-1, 6-1) took a knee to run the final six seconds off the clock and secure their eighth Liberty League Championship.
First-year cornerback Drake Woodard set the stage for the winning drive, recording his league-leading seventh interception of the season and returning it 18 yards to the Hobart 38.
The game-winning field goal was the result of the longest, sustained drive of the day for Hobart. The Statesmen used 14 plays that covered 60 yards and drained 6:16 off the clock. The key play of the drive was a 22-yard completion from senior quarterback Rich Doyle (21-10-1, 84 yds) to junior wideout Tyler Vincent (6 rec, 60 yds) that moved the Statesmen into Rochester territory and proved to be the offense’s longest play of the day.
The Yellowjackets took the lead at the 4:10 mark of the first quarter when Keegan found Zack Ingoldsby from 4 yards out. It stayed that way until the 6 minute mark of the third quarter when Doyle scored from 2 yards out.
Rochester had stifled the Hobart offense limiting the Statesmen to just 22 yards on 22 first half plays. Trenten Tully and Chris Bickford led the Yellowjackets with six tackles apiece.
Defensively for Hobart, senior Jeff Sanders produced a game-high 15 tackles, while senior Ryan Aruck added 11 stops, including a sack. Senior Lance Boyington had three tackles and accounted for the Statesmen’s two longest plays of the day—a 25-yard punt return and a 24-yard interception return.
Hobart will make its fifth consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance. The 2008 bracket will be announced on ESPNews between 3 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. EST.