The Hobart football team remained unbeaten with a dominating defensive performance in a 23-0 Liberty League win over defending conference champion St. Lawrence on Boswell FIeld at the Caird Center for Sports and Recreation today. The Statesmen forced four turnovers and limited the Saints to just 84 yards of total offense.
Hobart (3-0, 1-0) allowed just 59 yards rushing to the Saints, who came into the game with the league’s leading rusher. Marcus Washington, averaging 146.5 per game on the ground, was held to 81 yards on 20 carries.
Statesmen first-year Tyre Coleman led the charge with 2.5 sacks that wiped out 21 rushing yards. Junior Nick Auriemma and first-year Troy Johnson also added sacks, while sophomore Devin Worthington counted a half sack among his team-high six tackles. Senior Reggie Robinson also had six tackles for Hobart, including 1.5 for a loss.
The combination of a relentless pass rush and a blanketing secondary gave Saints’ quarterback Nik Busharis fits. He completed just 3-of-21 attempts and was intercepted twice.
Offensively for Hobart, sophomore Steven Webb gained a team-high 54 yards on 15 carries, while quarterback Nick Strang went 15-of-26 for 139 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 43 yards. Junior Junior Woodard caught a game-high six passes for a game-high 66 yards.
The first half was a defensive struggle that remained scoreless until late in the second quarter. Hobart executed a 10-play, 41-yard drive that ended with a 2-yard back shoulder throw from Strang to sophomore Yosh Karbowniczak with 19 seconds left in the half. The extra-point gave the Statesmen a 7-0 lead that they carried into halftime.
After forcing St. Lawrence (2-3, 1-1) to go three-and-out on its first possession of the second half, Hobart was forced to do the same, but the Saints fumbled the punt and Kevin Hearon recovered to give the Statesmen new life at the visitor’s 16-yard line. Three plays later, Reyes Guevara booted a 36-yard field goal to give Hobart a 10-0 edge.
A short time later, the Statesmen nearly set the stage for a Saints’ score. Forced to punt, Karbowniczak had to jump to corrall the snap and hurried a punt attempt that simply slid off the side of his foot 12 yards behind the line of scrimmage. The Saints took over at Hobart’s 8.
A delay of game penalty was followed by a 3-yard pick up on the ground and two incompletions that left St. Lawrence to try a 28-yard field goal. The kick sailed wide left, preserving the Statesmen shutout.
Any hopes of a comeback were dashed by Hobart’s first possession of the fourth quarter. The Statesmen called timeout with 1.1 seconds left in the third quarter, forcing the Saints to kick into the wind. Hobart’s drive began with the start of the final frame at its own 19-yard line. Hobart used 17 plays to go 81 yards and take 9:25 off the clock, reaching the end zone on a 3-yard keeper by Strang for a 17-0 lead with just 5:35 left.
Sophomore Austin DiMarco provided the final dagger with a 38-yard interception return for a touchdown on the Saints’ ensuing drive.
Hobart will be back in action on Saturday, Oct. 8, when the Statesmen travel Schenectady to take on Union. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.