The nationally-ranked Hobart College football team earned two of the Liberty League’s four weekly awards today. Following Saturday’s 38-35 win over the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, junior quarterback Shane Sweeney was named the Offensive Performer of the Week and first-year linebacker Jedh Downey was tabbed the Rookie of the Week.
It’s the second time this season that each player has won his respective award.
Hobart’s third fourth quarter rally of the season did not impress the national voters. The Statesmen (5-0, 2-0) slipped one spot to No. 16 in the AFCA Coaches’ Poll and one spot to No. 22 in the D3football.com Top 25.
Sweeney was 32-of-51 passing for 416 yards and five touchdowns on Saturday. He was 3-of-4 passing on the Statesmen’s last-minute, game-winning drive, covering 75 yards in just 30 seconds. Sweeney and the Statesmen executed the two-minute drill to perfection on Saturday, taking a 14-10 lead into halftime thanks to a 6-yard TD pass with two seconds remaining in the second quarter.
Sweeney broke the Hobart game record for completions, eclipsing a mark (31) he matched earlier this season. His 51 attempts are second on the single game list, three off the record. Sweeney’s five TD passes are second only to his six TD performance at Rochester last season. His 416 passing yards are fourth on Hobart’s game list. Sweeney is the first Statesman to pass for 400-plus yards in a game more than once. He threw for 420 yards at Brockport on Sept. 3.
Halfway through the season, Sweeney has completed 60 percent of his passes for 1,671 yards and 18 touchdowns. He leads the Liberty League and is third in the nation in passing TDs. Sweeney is fourth in the country in passing yards. He is averaging 334.2 passing yards per game, 113.2 better than the current Hobart season record which he set last season.
Downey matched his career-high with 11 tackles against the Mariners. He also had 11 stops during the previous week’s win over Union. The only first-year in the starting lineup for Hobart, he’s second on the team with 42 tackles.
The Statesmen return to action on Saturday, Oct. 8, when they travel to Troy, N.Y., for a 1 p.m. kickoff at Rensselaer (3-2, 1-1). Hobart has won eight in a row dating back to last season. The Engineers are the last team to hand the Statesmen a defeat, eking out a 21-20 victory in Geneva last season. The series between the two schools, which began in 1910, is knotted up at 29-29-1.