TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — RPI waited 651 days to play football, and the wait certainly paid off.
Hosting Montclair State to open the season, RPI engineered a miraculous comeback to steal a 21-20 win at home thanks to a tipped pass in the endzone that found the hands of Riley Conboy.
RPI took a 7-0 lead into halftime, but after pick sixes on back to back possessions and a fumble recovery that was returned for a touchdown before the end of the third quarter, the Engineers found themselves down 20-7 heading into the fourth.
From there George Marinopoulos manufactured a scoring drive that ended with a Conboy touchdown catch to bring it to 20-14 Red Hawks.
After a defensive stop, the Engineers had two minutes to try and win the game. Vinnie McDonald converted a crucial 4th and nine on a catch and run into the redzone that set up a final chance at a win.
With twenty seconds to go, Marinopoulos looked McDonald’s way again in the endzone, but it was tipped up in the air and into the hands of Conboy who secured the game-tying touchdown. Conor MacDougall split the uprights on the tiebreaking extra point to give RPI a 21-20 win.
“651 days ago was our last football game,” head coach Ralph Isernia said. “To say we were excited to come out and play, that’s an understatement. We knew it was going to be a four quarter battle.”
“We knew it was going to be a knock down drag out type of fight,” Isernia said. “We just said if we keep playing the next play, keep playing the next play, playing the next play, good things will happen.”
RPI hosts Stevenson next Saturday at noon.