Football loses to Hobart College 35–21

Sophomore Owen Parker faces a linesman from Hobart college. The Tartans played their first home game last Saturday, but fell 35–21 to the Statesmen.  (credit: Yihuan Zhou/Photo Staff) Sophomore Owen Parker faces a linesman from Hobart college. The Tartans played their first home game last Saturday, but fell 35–21 to the Statesmen. (credit: Yihuan Zhou/Photo Staff) Credit: Yihuan Zhou/Photo Staff Credit: Yihuan Zhou/Photo Staff

The Carnegie Mellon University football team finished their first home game with a loss last Saturday at Gesling Stadium. The Tartans fell to the Hobart College Statesmen in a 35–21 contest, which drops them to 1–2 while the Statesmen improve to 2–0.

The Tartans won the coin toss, electing to receive the ball. Sophomore Dave Birsen returned the ball 30 yards to the Carnegie Mellon 47-yard line. From there, the Tartans orchestrated an 11-play, 53-yard drive culminating in a 10-yard touchdown pass from first-year Rob Kalkstein to junior Chris Garcia. The drive gave Hobart the ball with 9:08 left in the quarter.

The Statesmen responded with their own eight-play, 80-yard drive, which took 3:14 off the clock. Running back Steven Webb rushed for a 2-yard touchdown. The Tartans got the ball back at the Hobart 48 after a 38-yard return by Birsen with 5:41 left. After a holding foul negated a first down and added yardage, the Tartans went three and out and gave the ball back to the Statesmen. Hobart began a 15-play, 76-yard drive that took them into the second quarter. When forced with a four and eight, quarterback Doug Vella rushed for 10 to keep the drive alive, and the drive ended with a rushing touchdown by Webb.

With 13:27 until the half, Hobart decided to kick on-sides, which was touched by the Tartans but was ultimately recovered by Hobart at the CMU 49. Vella threw a 49-yard touchdown pass to Garth Muratori, putting the Statesmen up 21–7. The Tartans received the ball at their 33, and ran three before the Statesmen forced a punt. The next drives by both teams were unsuccessful, as Vella was intercepted once and both team's defenses forced punts.

To start the third quarter, Hobart had a penalty called against them, which pushed their starting position. The Tartans forced a three and out, giving Carnegie Mellon the ball back at their own 38, but the Tartans were unable to get anything and chose to punt. The Statesmen received the ball at their 22, where Webb rushed for a 73-yard touchdown, putting Hobart up 28–7.

The Tartans went three and out again after amassing another penalty. The only points scored in the third quarter were Webb’s touchdown. The Statesmen had the ball to begin the fourth quarter, but were unable to do anything and punted.

The Tartans’ first drive picked up a first down but then stalled after Kalkstein was sacked for a four-yard loss; on third and long his pass was incomplete. Hobart’s next drive would put the Statesmen up 35-7, when Vella completed a 23-yard pass to Mike Lazore. The drive was five plays for 79 yards and gave the ball back to the Tartans at their 49 after a 44-yard return by sophomore Patrick Blanks.

The Tartans then staged a rally that began with sophomore Jared Delello’s 1-yard rushing touchdown on their next drive. Hobart’s next drive culminated with a blocked punt recovered by Hobart. The Tartans' next drive ended with their final score of the game, as Delello rushed for another 1-yard touchdown. They scored two unanswered touchdowns but were unable to overcome the deficit.

The Tartans were outgained 469–267 on offense, as Kalkstein finished the game five for 12 with 50 yards and one touchdown. Delello led the team in rushing for 82 yards and two touchdowns. Junior Ray Johnson led the team with nine tackles.

Carnegie Mellon is set to take on Kenyon College on Saturday. Kickoff is set for noon at Gesling Stadium.