ANDERSON, IND. -- Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology established three single-game school records and relied on a key defensive play to win a 53-50 victory in an offensive shootout at Anderson on Saturday.
The Fightin' Engineers crossed the 600-yard mark in total offense for the first time in school history with a 625-yard performance, and junior Kyle Kovach (Munster/Andrean) set a new record with 246 rushing yards and added two touchdowns to lead the offense.
Kovach added a second school record with 419 all-purpose yards in the contest. He hauled in six receptions for 119 yards and two touchdowns, while adding 54 yards on kickoff returns.
Freshman Spencer Balash (Monroe/Adams Central) made the defensive play of the game with the score tied at 50-50 in the final minute. Balash hauled in a Nick Sharp interception and made a 49-yard interception return to bring the ball to the Ravens 10-yard line.
Four plays later, freshman Jake Gould (Greencastle/South Putnam) booted his first career field goal as time expired from 20 yards out to give Rose-Hulman the 53-50 victory.
Junior Mitch Snyder (Casey, Ill./Casey-Westfield) finished 16 of 33 through the air for 231 yards and four touchdowns to provide balance. Snyder also rushed for 78 yards and one touchdown.
The Fightin' Engineers amassed 388 rushing yards for the most in a game since 1995. Freshman Greg Lee (Christiansburg, Va.) added 51 rushing yards to provide depth.
Senior Jordan Nielson (Syracuse, Utah/Clearfield) and sophomore Joel Stiffler (DeWitt, Mich.) hauled in four receptions each, with Stiffler and senior Sutton Coleman (Lebanon, Va.) recording touchdown catches.
Sharp led the Anderson offense by finishing 37-54 through the air for 389 yards and four touchdowns. J.T. Bouwman added nine catches and a 70-yard kickoff return for a touchdown for the Ravens.
Defensively, junior Jordan Martin (Shelbyville/Triton Central) led Rose-Hulman with 14 tackles, including nine solo efforts. Senior Brad D'Agnillo (Cincinnati, Ohio/Colerain) also provided two key plays with interceptions and had seven total stops.
Rose-Hulman trailed 7-0 after a 23-yard interception return by Kaleb Donahue, who led both teams with 19 tackles. Kovach added a two-yard touchdown to tie the score at 7-7 early in the second quarter.
Sophomore Marcus Washington (Frankfort, Ky.) made his biggest of nine tackles on the day to give Rose-Hulman a 9-7 lead in the second quarter. Washington tackled Dev Thompson in the endzone for a safety to give Rose-Hulman the lead.
After a two-yard touchdown by Anderson, Snyder connected with Stiffler on a five-yard scoring strike on the final play of the first half to give Rose-Hulman a 16-14 lead at the break.
Anderson gained a 28-16 lead midway thorugh the third quarter on a 70-yard kickoff return by Bouwman to open the frame and a 38-yard pass from Sharp to Marcus Spann.
Rose-Hulman answered with touchdowns on five consecutive drives to take a 29-28 lead and later knot the game at 36-36, 43-43 and 50-50. Kovach made back-to-back scoring receptions of 80 yards and six yards to make the score 29-28 with 3:10 left in the third quarter.
Anderson regained the lead at 36-29 on a 19-yard pass from Sharp to Peacock, then Snyder tied the score at 36-36 on a five-yard run with 12:05 left in the game.
Rose-Hulman struck again with a 17-yard pass from Snyder to Coleman to give the Engineers a 43-36 lead with 9:57 left. Anderson tied the score once again at 43-43 on a two-yard score by Sharp to Joe Davidson at the 7:06 mark.
The Fightin' Engineers marched 66 yards in five plays to regain a 50-43 lead on a six-yard run by Kovach with 5:42 left. Anderson rebounded to tie the score at 50-50 on a 27-yard pass from Sharp to Walter Wheeler.
Rose-Hulman reached the Anderson 35-yard line on its next possession before turning ball over on downs, setting the stage for Balash's key interception in the final minute.
Rose-Hulman improved to 4-5 on the season and 4-3 in HCAC play, while Anderson dropped to 1-8 and stands 1-6 in league play. The Fightin' Engineers close the 2011 season with the Battle of the Borders Broadsword Game at Earlham College on Saturday.