Football suffers season’s first blemish with 24–16 defeat

The Carnegie Mellon men’s football team, armed with a perfect record for the season, traveled to Geneva, N.Y. on Saturday to take on Hobart College. The trip turned out sour for the Tartans as they were never able to take a lead en route to a 24–16 defeat. The loss put the Tartans’ record at 2–1.

Hobart started off the scoring with 8:14 to go in the first quarter. A 55-yard drive culminated with a 51-yard flea-flicker from Statesmen quarterback Doug Vella to wide out Tyler Vincent. The play gave the Statesmen a 7–0 lead. The Tartans answered back with a 13-play, 63-yard drive that ended with a 1-yard touchdown by junior running back Jason Pratt. Senior Phil Pantalone was a main component of the driving, registering 44 passing yards.

The tie was short-lived though, as on the next play, Statesmen kick returner Andrew Marlier ran an 85-yard return for a touchdown. With 1:39 left in the first, Hobart led 14–7. Junior place kicker Elliot Carnevale helped the Tartans cut the lead to four before the Statesmen took back the points as the two teams exchanged field goals, the latter coming on the first possession of the second half. The Tartans then gained another touchdown when Pratt scored on a 4-yard run with 11:21 to play, bringing the Tartans within one. Carnevale missed the extra point, however, allowing Hobart to retain their 17–16 edge.

The Statesmen followed the Tartans’ three-play scoring drive with their own seven-play, 54-yarder that ended when Vella hit Hobart senior Paul Overdorf for a successful 4-yard touchdown pass. An extra point made it 24–16, and the score would stay that way for the remaining seven and a half minutes of play.

“It was a disappointing loss because we put forth a great effort but weren’t playing smart football,” said senior captain Socrates Zacharias. “Our game plan is always to rely on our assignments and keys; failing to do so is costly. Our goal is just to learn from our mistakes and come out next week more prepared.”

The Tartans will next travel to Ohio to take on Hiram College for a Saturday, Sept. 26 match. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.