By Meghan Creane
Heading into this weekend’s match up against Hobart, who is undefeated both in league and overall, the Dutchmen had a rally of four straight wins behind them. Union went into Saturday’s match with only one thing on their mind—pushing Hobart off their shared top spot in the Liberty League. Overall the Dutchmen lead the series with Hobart 50-43-2 since they first faced off in 1896. However, the Hobart Statesmen have won the last two face-offs, the latter leading to last season’s NCAA bid going to Hobart over Union. All these factors led to an incredibly passionate performance by the Dutchmen, however it was not enough to take down the Liberty League top ranked Statesmen on Boswell Field this past Saturday.
Hobart first got on the board late in the first quarter with a touchdown from junior tailback, Steven Webb, after a 59 yard run. Then after denying the Dutchmen’s effort on fourth and one, Hobart, led by senior quarterback Nick Strang and senior wide receiver Junior Woodard, made an offensive connection on a 62 yard scoring drive up the left side, giving Hobart a 14-0 advantage going into the second quarter.
Within the first minutes of the second quarter, Hobart brought their lead up to 21-0 when sophomore tight end Mike Berkowitz scooped up an eight yard pass from Strang completing a seven play, 49-yard drive.
Union was able to react to this last push from the Statesmen with an eight play, 75-yard drive which was finished off by a 31-yard connection between sophomore quarterback Connor Eck and sophomore wideout Kyle Reynolds. Reynolds led the Dutchmen with five pass completions for 85 yards and two touchdowns. To close out the second quarter the Statesmen had a five play 51-yard rally off a five-yard off-sides penalty, to bring their lead up to 28-7.
Union opened the second half with a 59-yard drive that finished with sophomore tailback Darnel Thomas’ one-yard TD run, making it 28-14. This seemed to be a turning point for the Dutchmen as senior linebacker Connor Beerworth followed it up by intercepting Strang at the Union 11-yard line. The turnover turned into a six-play drive leaving Eck to cap it off with a TD off a four-yard scramble. However, Union could not make the extra point leaving the Dutchmen to trail 28-20.
The Statesmen then turned around with a critical 11-play, 57-yard drive ending in a two-yard TD run by senior Bobby Dougherty. This drive took 4:38 off the clock putting the pressure back on the Dutchmen with the score at 35-20.
In the fourth quarter, Union answered with a nine-yard TD run to put themselves back in the game at 35-27. However, the Statesmen quickly responded with a 10-yard TD pass, making it 42-27. Union closed strong with a 29 yard completion from Eck to Reynolds, making the final score 42-34.
Although the day ended in a disappointing loss, the Dutchmen played a hard fought game and hope to get back on a winning streak Saturday Nov. 3, where they take on the Merchant Marine Academy at home for Senior Day.