RPI tops Rochester in Liberty League opener

Sports

Troy, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Senior quarterback George Marinopoulos threw four touchdown passes to three different receivers en route to a 38-22 victory over the University of Rochester, on Saturday afternoon at East Campus Stadium. With the win, the Engineers improve to 5-0 overall (1-0 Liberty League), while the Yellowjackets drop to 1-3 (0-1 Liberty League).

Marinopoulos and the Engineers got the scoring started midway through the first quarter, when D.J. Palmer hauled in a 12 yard strike to cap a 69-yard opening drive for the Engineers.

The visitors answered with a 10-play, 85-yard jaunt, which was capped off by a six-yard quarterback keeper from Sean Casey, tying the game at 7-7 with 13:52 remaining in the second quarter.

Conor MacDougall 22-yard field goal gave the Engineers back the lead with exactly 7:00 minutes to play in the half, but an RPI fumble gave Rochester good field position the next time out and the Yellowjackets capitalized.

Will Varney scored on a one-yard plunge to put Rochester up 14-10 with 3:54 to go in the opening half.

Not to be deterred, Marinpolous then led an eight-play 74 yard drive that was finished by a fade to the right corner of the end zone to Vinnie McDonald with 48 seconds left in the half. A 40-yard catch and run by Sterling Walker-Sutton helped set up the hosts in scoring position, before McDonald’s 15-yard score.

A big third quarter helped the Engineers put the game away, as RPI score a pair of touchdowns and kept the Yellowjackets scoreless. Marinopoulos found Palmer for his second touchdown of the day to make it 24-14, before linking up with Deen Ninche with 5:49 left in the quarter. Ninche’s touchdown pushed the Engineers lead to 31-14.

The Engineers added an insurance score early in the fourth, when McDonald took a lateral on the left side of the field and threw a strike to Peter Lombardi in the middle of the end zone for a 38-14 lead.

Rochester did claim a late touchdown run by Casey with 1:34 to go, while also converting the two-point conversion.

Marinopoulos finished 25 for 37 with 308 yards and four touchdown passes, without an interception. Delano Munoz Whatts carried the ball 14 times for 91 yards and Lombardi led all receivers with seven grabs for 78 yards and a score.

Rochester was paced by Casey, who went 14 for 28, with 199 yards in the air and 10 rushes for 52 yards and two touchdowns in the ground.

RPI is back in action next Saturday, when it hosts Buffalo State at East Campus Stadium (12pm). Rochester hosts Ithaca College on Saturday (12pm).

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