Football suffers first loss
The Carnegie Mellon football team’s hopes of another perfect season ended Saturday when they lost 27–26 to the Hobart College Statesmen at Boswell Field in Geneva, N.Y. The Tartans (2–1) trailed by a touchdown late in the fourth quarter and mounted a late scoring drive, but it proved to not be enough in the end.
“It was a good effort by everyone,” senior fullback Travis Sivek said. “I felt that we had a really good chance to win the game, we executed well, and we scored when we needed to — we just came up a little bit short.”
Hobart (1–1), a perennial NCAA Division III playoff team, used the passing game to put points up against the Tartans and come away with the victory. In this first-ever meeting between the two teams, Carnegie Mellon took a 13–10 lead into halftime; however, Hobart tied the game late in the third quarter on a 29-yard field goal. Carnegie Mellon responded with a touchdown drive capped off by a 14-yard run from senior running back Robert Gimson with 14:27 remaining to regain the lead at 20–13.
Hobart tied the game at 20 on the next possession, getting into the end zone with 10:59 remaining in the game. “Their quarterback was a playmaker,” senior linebacker Trent Sisson said. “He was a very good athlete and he made a lot of throws on the run to pick up first downs for them.”
Carnegie Mellon was forced to punt after going three and out, and Hobart put together a long scoring drive of 11 plays and 73 yards, using up almost five minutes to take a 27–20 lead with 4:47 remaining.
“At this point, we all knew it [the next drive] was going to be our last drive,” Sivek said. “I just said to the guys, ‘We’re tired, but that’s not what we’re going to remember later on in the season.’ We just had to give it our all. That’s what we did. Everyone executed real well. We marched down the field like we had to. Unfortunately, things didn’t work out in the end.”
Carnegie Mellon, trailing by seven points, moved 63 yards down the field on 11 plays. Sivek scored on a 1-yard touchdown run with only 1:32 remaining to cut the Hobart lead to 27–26. The Tartans then decided to go for the win, lining up for a two-point conversion try. Junior quarterback Doug Facemyer rolled out to his right and found senior running back Colby Whitman in the front corner of the end zone, but Whitman was unable to hold on, and Hobart maintained its one-point lead.
Hobart recovered the onside kick and ate up most of the remaining time left in the game. The Tartans got the ball back with only nine seconds left, and their Hail Mary pass was intercepted as time expired.
In the first half, the Tartans scored first on a Sivek touchdown run and again on a 1-yard run from Sivek to go up 13–0. Hobart scored the next 10 points, the last three coming on a field goal from 40 yards out as the first half ended.
Carnegie Mellon out-rushed Hobart 308–134 for the game, but the Statesmen held the edge in the passing game 247–21. Gimson piled up 170 yards rushing, and Sivek collected 105 on the ground to go with his three touchdowns. The Tartan defense was led by senior cornerback Jon Scholl’s career-high 20 tackles. Sophomore Stanley Onyimba also contributed nine tackles, two for loss, from his inside linebacker position.
“We took the running game away from them early, and then they went to a much more open offense,” Sisson said. “They ran a few tricky things, a few options, motioned some guys around to get into better position. They did a good job making adjustments to what we were doing to them, and it paid off for them.”
“There are a lot of things we can work on,” Sivek said. “As an offense, we need to be more consistent and come out and play like we did when we had to at the end of the game.”
“Whenever you lose a game that’s close, you get a chance to see a lot of the little things that you need to work on,” Sisson said. “It’ll be better for us in the long run, but it doesn’t make this loss any lighter.”
The Tartans return home to play Allegheny College Saturday at 7 p.m.