Union College finally got a big play when it counted.
Ben Rapple kicked a 28-yard field goal with 16.5 seconds left to lift the Dutchmen over Hobart, 38-35, in an Liberty League football game Saturday at Boswell Stadium.
It was the third straight week that Union had a chance to win the game in the final minute of play, but the Dutchmen failed in their previous two attempts. Two weeks ago, a touchdown pass attempt against Rochester from the Yellowjackets’ five-yard line with four seconds remaining was tipped away at the last moment. Last week, a 26-yard field goal attempt by Zach Epley with 32 seconds left on the clock was missed wide left.
This time, the Dutchmen pulled out a much-needed win against a quality opponent. It was the first loss of the season for the 2-1, 4-1 Statemen. Union, which snapped a three-game losing streak, improved to 1-2 in the league and 2-3 overall.
Sophomore tailback Chris Coney broke loose for another huge performance to lead the Dutchmen. He rushed for 243 yards on 33 carries and scored three touchdowns. Freshman quarterback Andrew Connolly completed 11 of 24 passes for 120 yards and two scores.
“That was a great win for our program. We beat an undefeated Hobart team on the road,” said Union head coach John Audino. “As disappointed as we were the last two weeks, we’re extremely excited this week. We showed that we can win from behind.”
Audino said Coney’s effort was one of the best in Union history.
““We’ve seen some great runners here, like George [Beebe], Tom [Arcidiacono] and Shuron [Morton]. But Chris’ performance was phenomenal. He put the team on his back and carried us. He did everything we asked him to do.”
After a scoreless first quarter, Hobart took a 7-0 lead on Doug Vella’s three-yard run and Conor Callahan’s PAT.
Coney’s 51-yard TD run and Rapple’s PAT evened the score eight minutes later.
Hobart went ahead, 14-7, on Rich Doyle’s 10-ayrd TD strike to Tyler Vincent and another Callahan PAT with 59 seconds left in the half, but the Dutchmen were able to score with only nine seconds remaining until intermission when Connolly hooked up with Justin Gallo on a 22-yard scoring strike.
Each team scored a touchdown in the third quarter. After Hobart went up, 21-14, on Doyle’s one-yard run, Connolly found Jared Gourrier for an 11-yard score.
Coney’s one-yard plunge put the Dutchmen on top for the first time, 28-21, a minute into the final period.
Another Doyle one-yard run knotted the score at 28-28 before Coney’s third TD run of the game pushed the Dutchmen ahead once more, 35-28.
Hobart evened the score on Doyle’s eight-yard TD pass to Tyler Vincent with 4:01 left, but Union immediately bounced back to set up the game-winning field goal.
Doyle completed 24 of 45 passes for 324 yards. Vincent caught 10 passes for 138 yards.
Union 0 14 7 17 — 38
Hobart 0 14 7 14 — 35
H — Vella 3 run (Callahan kick).
U — Coney 51 run (Rapple kick).
H — Vincent 10 pass from Doyle (Callahan kick).
U — Gallo 22 pass from Connolly (Rapple kick).
H — Doyle 1 run (Callahan kick).
U — Gourrier 11 pass from Connolly (Rapple kick).
U —Coney 1 run (Rapple kick).
H — Doyle 1 run (Callahan kick).
U — Coney 1 run (Rapple kick).
H — Vincent 8 pass from Doyle (Callahan kick).
U — Rapple 28 FG.
First downs 19 24
Rushes-yards 45-271 32-132
Passing yards 120 324
Passing 11-24-1 24-47-1
Return yards 24 47
Fumbles lost 1 1
Punts-avg. 5-36.8 3-24.3
Penalties-yards 5-48 4-28
NASSAU CC 30, HVCC 22
TROY — Nassau Community College held Hudson Valley Community College to only 137 yards of total offense en route to a victory over the 2-4 Vikings.