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TERRE HAUTE, IND. -- Rose-Hulman Institute of
Technology successfully defended a two-point conversion and a hail
mary pass in the final two minutes to earn a 28-26 victory over
Manchester College in the annual Homecoming game on Saturday.
Senior Kyle Kovach (Munster/Andrean) scored
three touchdowns on the day to lead the offensive effort.
Sophomore Grant DePalma (Mount Prospect,
Ill./Prospect) added 20 tackles, six tackles-for-loss and
four sacks to pace the defensive effort.
With the score 28-26 and 1:42 remaining after
a fourth-down, one-yard touchdown run by Manchester's Austin Adams,
the Spartans went for the tie on a two-point play.
Quarterback Nick Williams advanced to the one-yard line, but senior
Ryan Gallagher (Greenwood) made the stop just shy
of the goal line to allow Rose-Hulman to keep the lead.
Manchester forced a turnover with a deflected interception on
the next series and advanced to the Rose-Hulman 39-yard line in the
final seconds. A last second, hail mary was attempted by the
Spartans, but junior D.J. Lawson
(Indianapolis/Pike) deflected Williams' pass before it
left the quarterback's hands to secure the victory.
Freshman placekicker Craig Larew
(Indianapolis/Lawrence North) played a major role in the
victory. After the game's first touchdown, Larew ran in a
two-point extra-point on a fake point after to make the score
8-0. He then added two extra points and two 39-yard field
goals for a 10-point day.
Kovach rushed for 95 yards and two touchdowns, including a
30-yard touchdown in the second quarter. He also led the
receiving corps with 64 yards on seven catches and a 19-yard
Senior Mitch Snyder (Casey,
Ill./Casey-Westfield) earned his third quarterback victory
in a Homecoming game by passing for 126 yards and one
touchdown. Freshman Jacob Dye (Tipton) and
junior Connor Gerhart (La Mesa, Calif./La Jolla County
Day) had three receptions each, and freshman Aaron
Abbott (Lebanon, Ohio) rushed for 37 yards.
Defensively, DePalma became the fifth player in school history
with 20 tackles in a game. The Engineer defense had seven
sacks on the day, with DePalma leading the way with four and junior
Dean Griffing (Plano, Ill./Aurora Christian)
Gallagher added an interception and a fumble recovery, with
junior Craig Voges (Huntingburg/Forest Park) and
freshman Anthony Adamo (Chino, Calif.) also
Junior Eric Schaible (Findlay, Ohio) also
provided a solid day at the punting position with seven kicks for a
43.7 yard average and a long of 54.
Rose-Hulman scored quickly on its opening drive, marching 10
plays in just 2:40 and covering 73 yards. Snyder connected
with Kovach on a 12-yard scoring strike, before Larew's two-point
run gave the Engineers an 8-0 lead.
The Fightin' Engineers pushed the lead to 15-0 late in the first
quarter on a one-yard scoring run by Kovach, who gave the team
field position with a 17-yard punt return.
Rose-Hulman's lead grew to 22-0 at the 6:46 mark of the
second quarter on a 30-yard run by Kovach to cap a nine-play
drive. Manchester moved within 22-7 on an 18-yard pass from
Williams to Brandt Lawyer.
The Fightin' Engineers relied on a four-play, 26-yard drive to
take a 25-7 lead into the first half locker room. Snyder
connected with Dye on a 17-yard pass and Kovach on a 15-yard
strike, before the quarterback rushed for three yards and was hit
out of bounds for a personal foul penalty. Larew then booted
a 39-yard field goal on the last play of the half.
Manchester made a push with two third quarter touchdowns.
Williams connected with Ryne Lehrman on a 20-yard pass and then
rushed 29 yards to make the score 25-20 at the 3:13 mark of the
Rose-Hulman then relied on a 10-play drive to gain a 28-20 lead
early in the fourth quarter. Larew hit his second 39-yard
field goal of the day to cap the march.
Manchester scored at the 1:42 mark to cap a 14-play, 59-yard
drive to set the stage for the game deciding two-point
Rose-Hulman improved to 2-2 overall and 2-0 in Heartland
Collegiate Athletic Conference play, with Manchester dropping to
0-4 overall and 0-2 in league play. The Fightin' Engineers
travel to Hanover College next Saturday.