The Hobart College football team rushed for 404 yards and six touchdowns on its way to a 42-7 Liberty League win over the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy on Boswell Field at the Caird Center for Sports and Recreation. The Homecoming victory featured the most rushing yards by the Statesmen since Sept. 29, 2001, when Hobart gained 442 at St. Lawrence.
The Statesmen (4-0, 1-0 Liberty) had 11 different ball carriers on the day, led by junior running back Alex Furtado, who had nine carries for a team-high 98 yards and two touchdowns. Junior running back Conner Hartigan added 90 yards and two TDs on just five carries. Sophomore running back Bradley Burns and senior fullback Dominique Ellis added the other two rushing touchdowns.
On the defensive side of the ball, Hobart kept Merchant Marine’s triple option attack in check. The Mariners (2-2, 0-1) gained 246 yards on the day, the most the Statesmen have allowed this season, but failed to reach the red zone on its first nine possessions. Hobart was plus-two in turnovers thanks to sophomore free safety Matt Cragg‘s first quarter interception and junior linebacker Jacob Stanley‘s third quarter fumble recovery. Junior defensive tackle Tucker Gumkowski recorded a game-high seven tackles for the Statesmen.
The game got off to an ominous start for the visiting Mariners when they were flagged for a delay of game penalty before they could run the first play from scrimmage. Hobart forced a three-and-out by the Academy and took over at their own 37 following the Mariners’ punt. Seven plays and 63 yards later, Hartigan scored on a 1-yard dive. Senior quarterback Patrick Conlan set up the score with a 31-yard keeper on the previous play.
Merchant Marine again went three-and-out, and Hobart’s offense again marched methodically down the field. Furtado capped off the eight-play, 62-yard drive with a 4-yard run that made it 14-0.
The teams traded punts before the Mariners began their most promising drive of the first half. Starting from midfield, Merchant Marine moved down to the Hobart 23 before attempting its first pass of the game. Junior quarterback Matthew McDaniels’ floater was picked off in the end zone by Cragg, killing the drive.
Cragg, Stanley, sophomore linebacker Marcus Jemison, and junior linebacker Trayvon Toney each finished the day with six tackles.
Three plays later, Hobart gave the ball to Hartigan who used some key blocks and explosive downhill running to go 75 yards for a TD and a 21-0 lead less than two minutes into the second quarter.
The Hobart defense again forced a three-and-out and the Statesmen offense followed with another scoring drive. The nine-play, 50-yard march saw Burns shoulder the load, carrying five times for 32 yards, including the final 14 into the end zone for a 28-0 lead.
The Statesmen didn’t attempt a single pass on their final scoring drive of the first half, getting 27 yards from Ellis on the first play and 25 from Furtado on the second on what proved to be a nine-play, 78-yard drive that ended on a 1-yard plunge by Ellis.
Hobart took a 35-0 lead into halftime.
The Statesmen produced the only points of the third quarter when Furtado broke free for a 38-yard touchdown run with 4:05 left in the frame.
Merchant Marine scored its only TD of the contest with 13:52 left in the game. Junior running back Mario Colangelo capped off an 11-play, 75-yard drive with a 2-yard scoring run.
Senior running back Colin Hinchey led the Mariners with 104 yards rushing on 13 carries. Colangelo added 64 yards on 15 attempts. Senior defensive lineman Cody Fields and junior linebacker Dillon Reaves led the Academy with six tackles apiece.
Hobart will be back in action on Saturday, Oct. 4, when the Statesmen visit WPI. The Liberty League contest is scheduled to kick off at 1 p.m. in Worcester. Merchant Marine returns home to host Rensselaer next Saturday at 1 p.m.