Story and photo courtesy of Hobart Athletics
GENEVA, N.Y. - The Hobart College football team pitched an opening day shutout, topping Dickinson College 31-0. It's the Statesmen's first shutout to open the season, since blanking the Red Devils 21-0 on Sept. 10, 2005.
Senior linebacker Andrew Klindera recorded a team-high eight tackles. First-year defensive end Mark Guarino-Hyde added seven tackles, including 1.5 sacks, and sophomore defensive end Tyre Coleman chipped in five tackles and a sack.
Hobart outgained Dickinson 399-54. Senior running back Bobby Dougherty led the ground game with 88 yards and a touchdown. Senior quarterback Nick Strang was 13-of-24 for 117 yards and a TD. Sophomore Elvin Souffrant caught a team-high four passes for 40 yards. Senior Junior Woodard caught three passes for 28 yards extending his consecutive games with a catch streak to 21, tied for the sixth longest streak in school history.
The Red Devils averaged just 1.2 yards per carry and only 3.7 yards per completion. Sophomore defensive lineman Nate Detwiler and junior linebacker Shane Mitchell shared game-high honors with nine tackles apiece.
The Statesmen opened the scoring with their second drive, marching 83 yards in 13 plays. Strang completed an 11 pass to sophomore tight end Mike Berkowitz (3 rec, 28 yds).
Early in the second quarter, special teams gave Hobart a 14-0 lead when first-year Trevon Toney (4 tkls) blocked a Dickinson punt at the visitor's 9-yard line and Juan Breton (3 tkls) collected the bouncing ball in the end zone for a touchdown. The Statesmen took a 17-0 lead into halftime thanks to first-year James Hull's 27-yard field goal with 1:11 left in the half.
The Red Devils did not advance across midfield in the first half.
Hobart took the opening possession of the second half and drove 70 yards in seven plays for a 24-0 lead. Sophomore fullback Dominique Ellis (4 rush, 45 yds) covered the final 39 yards with up the gut runs of 18 and 21 yards.
Junior Mike Capone returned the ensuing kickoff 23 yards to the Hobart 49, to put Dickinson in Hobart territory for the first time. The stay lasted for just two plays. On second and seven, sophomore quarterback Cole Ahnell (3-12-0, 11 yds) was sacked by Guarino-Hyde for a loss of six, pushing the Red Devils back across midfield.
After forcing Hobart to punt, Dickinson's offense finally moved across midfield with its most promising drive of the game, but on third and 10 from the Hobart 22, Ahnell made a late pitch on the option that hit the intended teammate in the knee. Junior linebacker Tom Elder(2 tkls) recovered the fumble to set up the final score drive of the game.
Eight plays and 72 yards later, Dougherty's 11-yard TD run put the home team up 31-0.
Hobart will be back in action at noon on Saturday, Sept. 8, when the Statesmen host Geneva College. Dickinson stays on the road for its next contest, traveling to Juniata on Sept. 8 for a 1 p.m. kickoff.