Senior running back Steven Webb ran for 128 yards and two touchdowns to lead No. 6/7 Hobart College to a 41-20 Liberty League football victory at Union College’s Frank Bailey Field this afternoon. Webb tied a pair of Hobart career records, while Statesmen special teams broke the game record by blocking three punts.
Webb had 23 carries and recorded his 14th career 100-yard game for Hobart. He matched the Hobart records for career touchdowns (51) and career rushing touchdowns (47), both set by Rich Kowalski ’76. Junior quarterback Patrick Conlan was 10-of-17 for 194 yards with two touchdowns and an interception and junior wideout Elvin Souffrant caught five passes for 94 yards. Troy Robinson had four catches for 52 yards with a TD and John Fasano had a 48-yard TD reception for the Statesmen (7-0, 5-0).
Senior linebacker Cory Davis led the visitors with eight tackles and sophomore linebacker Trayvon Toney and senior linebacker Devin Worthington added seven tackles each. Worthington was credited with half a tackle for loss, raising his career total to 57.5, 1.5 off of Rob Gould’s career record. First-year Gabriel Smith blocked two punts, returning one for a touchdown. He has three blocked kicks this season, one shy of Tom Schmidt’s 27-year old record.
Union quarterback Nick Becker was 25-of-41 for 202 yards and two touchdowns with one interception. Brian Havlicek caught five passes for 69 yards and was one of 11 Dutchmen receivers. Joshua Callahan added 50 yards on three receptions. T.J. Franzese led the Union ground game with 45 yards on 12 carries. Tyler Valenti posted a game-high nine tackles and Casey Muse had eight with 1.5 tackles for loss.
Hobart opened the scoring with 7:51 left in the first quarter. Conlan found Robinson for a 26-yard scoring strike to cap a five-play, 40-yard drive that took 2:24. Smith set up the short scoring drive blocking his first punt and giving the Statesmen the ball at the Union 40. With 6:08 left in the first quarter, Hobart went three plays and 75 yards in just 1:14. Conlan hit Fasano for the 48-yard TD with 5:00 left and it remained 14-0 after the first quarter.
Franzese caught a 6-yard pass from Becker with 3:52 gone in the second quarter. The extra-point kick failed and it was 14-6 Hobart. The nine-play, 33-yard drive lasted 3:16.
Hobart scored twice more in the half. On the ensuing drive the Statesmen went 56 yards in 2:46 and on the eighth play of the drive, Webb rushed from 3 yards out with 8:18 left. Union started the next drive at their own 44. On a 4th and 18 from their 36, Smith broke through to block another punt. This time he scooped the ball up at the 18 and ran it in for the touchdown and a 28-6 lead.
Hobart outgained Union 220-178 in the first half and averaged 7.3 yards per play vs. 4.0 for the Dutchmen.
First-year Brad Burns’ 2-yard run with 8:11 left in the third made it 35-6 after a three-play, 27-yard drive in 1:20. The drive started at the Union 27 after a fumble was recovered by sophomore defensive end Mark Guarino-Hyde.
Hobart put together another promising drive, moving to the Union 5, but Conlan was intercepted by Jake LaRovera and the Dutchmen started at their own 3 with 3:58 left in the third. Union went to the air on first down and first-year linebacker Zach Thornton picked off the pass at the Dutchmen 10. Three plays later, Webb ran it in for the record-matching touchdown and a 41-6 lead.
Webb eclipsed the 1,000-yard rushing mark for the second straight season with a 15-yard run with about five minutes remaining in the third quarter. He ended the day with 1,023 yards for the 2013 season.
Union made the score a bit more respectable against Hobart’s reserves, adding a touchdown with 54 seconds remaining in the third quarter and another with just 29 seconds left in the game.
Hobart returns home to host St. Lawrence (6-2, 4-1) at noon on Saturday, Nov. 9.