Schenectady, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The #11/12 Union College football team stopped Hobart College a yard short on fourth-and-three from the six-yard line on the final play of overtime to seal a thrilling 27-20 (OT) victory over the Statesmen on Saturday afternoon at Frank Bailey Field at Bertagna-Class of 1985 Stadium.
Union had the first shot of overtime and the Statesmen got a steady dose of senior Ike Irabor, as his number was called five straight times, including three yards on a critical third-and-three that moved the chains. After a pass interference call on third down gave Union new life, Irabor took the direct snap and plunged in from two yards out to take a 27-20 lead.
Then it was Hobart’s turn, and after two plays the Statesmen had first down at the 13-yard line. Three short rushes set up fourth-and-three from the six, and seniors Connor Fitzgerald and Austin St. Pierre combined to keep Hobart quarterback David Krewson one yard short to set off a celebration in Schenectady.
Irabor led Union on the ground with 121 yards and two touchdowns on 36 carries, while classmate Andre Ross Jr. had a huge game through the air, hauling in seven passes for 175 yards and a score.
The win leaves Union (8-0, 4-0 Liberty League) all alone in first place in the conference with two games to go, and also extends their program-record regular-season winning streak to 21 games.
After a scoreless first quarter, Union got on the board first. St. Pierre took the snap on a fake punt on Union’s 41-yard line and ran it 35 yards to give Union the first down at the end of the first quarter. After an incomplete pass to bring up third down, Irabor rushed for nine yards to make it 4th and one, before taking the ball the last 15 yards into the endzone on fourth down to put the Dutchmen up 7-0.
After forcing Hobart to punt on their first drive in the second quarter, Bellamy found Ross Jr. for a 56-yard catch to put Union at the Hobart 32-yard line. After the drive stalled, sophomore Andrew Lau kicked the ball hrough the uprights from 26 yards out to put the Dutchmen ahead 10-0.
Hobart cut the lead to 10-7 with 17 seconds remaining in the first half with a four-yard scurry by Rayshawn Boswell.
The Statesmen tied the game in the third quarter off a 43-yard field goal by Rob DiGregorio, but Union answered on the following drive with a field goal of their own, a 34-yard kick by Lau, to go back in front 13-10.
Hobart took its first lead of the game in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter when David Krewson ran for 10 yards for the score, putting the Statesmen up 17-13. The deficit did not last two minutes, however, as Union scored on the following drive to regain the lead. Apter two Irabor runs brought up third down, Bellamy sent a short pass to Ross Jr., who bypassed a defender before breaking open on a 66-yard sprint, giving Union a 20-17 lead with 12:11 to play.
Both teams traded punts throughout the fourth quarter before Hobart took possession with 3:06 to play and marched 65 yards in 15 plays. The Statesmen had first and goal from the seven-yard line with 22 seconds left, but three incomplete passes – helped by a break up from junior Thomas Cavallo and a QB hurry by classmate Jimaar Edwards – forced Hobart to settle for a game-tying field goal.
The Dutchmen defense had a massive game with senior Colin Lama leading the way with 14 tackles. Lama moves into seventh place in career tackles with 248, needing only eight more to tie Vito Pellerito (2004-07) for sixth with 256. Cavallo also had a massive game in the trenches, amassing 12 tackles, including 1.5 tackles for a loss, a forced fumble, and two key pass breakups. Senior Austin St. Pierre added three tackles – including the stop on the game-winning play – as well as a 22-yard interception, a pass breakup, and a 35-yard dash off a fake punt.
Irabor moved into seventh place all-time in career rushing yards with 2,649 while classmate Ross Jr. moved into sole possession of third place in career receiving yards with 2,528.
Both teams put together 370 yards of offense, with Union holding an edge on the ground with 167 yards.
Union takes one final road trip in the regular season next Saturday against Ithaca. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. at Butterfield Stadium.