Engineers’ Defense Leads RPI Past Saints, 14-7
Oct. 22: The St. Lawrence University football team dropped a Liberty League contest to Rensselaer on Saturday by the score of 14-7 at East Campus Stadium in Troy, NY.
The Engineers, who outgained the Saints 248-162 in the game, improve to 3-3 (2-1) with the win while the Scarlet and Brown slip to 2-5 (1-3).
St. Lawrence's lone touchdown came on a 33-yard interception return by senior cornerback Christian Bianchi in the third quarter. Senior co-captain Marcus Washington gained 90 yards on the ground on 18 carries, while sophomore Nik Busharis completed 10-of-24 passes for 94 yards. Bianchi finished with the pick as well as eight tackles and two pass break-ups, while senior co-captain Trevor Saunders posted a game-high 11 tackles.
Rensselaer finished with a sizable advantage in first downs (17-9) and was impressive on third downs, converting 7-of-18 to St. Lawrence's 4-of-14 mark. The two teams combined for 17 punts in the game as both defenses were very sharp from the get-go.
The home team would take a 7-0 lead with 1:19 remaining in the first quarter, capping a 7-play drive that started at the St. Lawrence 32-yard line thanks to a 29-yard punt return by Austin Caswell. The Engineers used two key third down conversions, including a 3rd-and-13 pass from quarterback Mike Hermann to Reggie Colas that went for 18 yards to sustain the possession. Hermann would then connect with Mike Blais for a 6-yard touchdown, followed by an extra point from Andrew Franks for a 7-0 cushion.
With St. Lawrence struggling to gain the advantage in field
position, RPI would strike again late in the second quarter to take a 14-0 lead
into halftime. Hermann orchestrated a
12-play, 81 yard drive that ate up 6:08 of clock that was capped by a 23-yard
touchdown to Nick Weber for a 13-0 lead with 2:59 remaining in the stanza. Franks again added the extra point for a 14-0
The Saints' offense was unable to put points on the board in the third quarter, as they were forced to punt on each of the team's four drives. However, after a 41-yard punt by senior co-captain Ethan Sutton put RPI back on its own 30-yard line, Bianchi picked off Hermann on first down and took the ball to the end zone to get the Scarlet and Brown on the scoreboard trailing 14-6. Senior co-captain Doug Geraghty added the extra point to cut the visitors' deficit to 14-7 with 1:47 left in the third quarter.
Unfortunately for St. Lawrence, Rensselaer would dominate time of possession in the fourth quarter, allowing the Saints only one possession while holding the ball for 11:36. Though Hermann and the RPI offense did not put up any points, they were able to control the ball for the final 5:42 thanks to an 11-play drive, running out the clock to earn the 14-7 conference win.
Hermann closed with 188 yards and two touchdowns on 20-of-36 passing along with one interception. Weber led all receivers with 58 yards, and Rensselaer's defense was anchored by Cody Hinrichs and Ray Pasco, who each made six tackles.
St. Lawrence will have next weekend off before returning to action on Saturday, November 5 when the team celebrates "Senior Day" during Homecoming Weekend against the University of Rochester. Kick-off is scheduled for 1:00pm.