TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Engineers football team entered the 2022 season with high expectations coming off a run to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament last year. Saturday, the Engineers kicked off their schedule with a home win against the Dickinson College Red Devils.

RPI head coach Ralph Isernia’s squad was ranked 20th in the nation in d3football.com’s preseason poll, but the Engineers struggled early with a Red Devils team that posted a measly 4-6 record in 2021.

Dickinson opened up the scoring just 53 seconds into the game when quarterback Presley Egbers hooked up with wide receiver Bryce Peterson for a 57-yard touchdown, giving the Red Devils a 7-0 edge.

But that would be the last time Dickinson put points up on the scoreboard.

A major turning point for RPI came with 10:30 to play in the second quarter, when the Dickinson punting unit botched a snap on fourth down, sailing the ball over the head of punter Matt Maiona. The ball was eventually scooped up at the Dickinson 20-yard line by RPI defensive back Cassius Johnson, setting up the Engineers for a red-zone possession.

RPI capitalized on the favorable field position, as running back Dylan Burnett punched one into the end zone from five yards out, knotting the game at seven.

The ensuing RPI drive, quarterback Matt Petercuskie stepped up in the pocket on second down and 10, and delivered a strike down the sideline to wide receiver Gil Goldsmith, who found pay dirt; the 52-yard pitch-and-catch gave the Engineers a 14-7 lead.

That would prove to be the last score of the game. With Dickinson driving late in the fourth quarter, Maiona, who subbed in at quarterback for an injured Egbers, was picked off on a tipped pass by RPI defensive back Spencer Brockdorff, securing the 14-7 Engineers victory.

RPI returns to action next Saturday when they welcome Carnegie Mellon University into ECAV Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.