Rose-Hulman Falls in Triple Overtime Thriller



francis-run-buTERRE HAUTE, IND. -- Rose-Hulman rallied from a 31-13 third quarter deficit to force overtime, before falling 37-34 to Bluffton University in the longest game in Engineer history.

Austin Sweeney hit a 21-yard field goal in the third overtime to lift Bluffton to the victory in the longest contest and first triple overtime game in Rose-Hulman history.

Senior Mitch Snyder (Casey, Ill./Casey-Westfield) led the Rose-Hulman offense with career-high totals of 342 yards passing on 30 completions.  Snyder finished the day 30-50 for 342 yards and two touchdowns.

Junior Danya Francis (Kissimmee, Fla./Celebration) crossed the 100-yard mark in rushing for the second straight week with 117 yards on 28 carries.  Freshman Jacob Dye (Tipton) led the receiving corps with a career-high 129 yards on seven catches.

Defensively, sophomore Grant DePalma (Mount Prospect, Ill./Prospect) led Rose-Hulman with 15 tackles, including 10 solo efforts, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.  Senior Jordan Martin (Shelbyville/Triton Central) also reached double figures with 10 stops.

Bluffton jumped out to a 31-13 lead with 4:18 left in the third quarter on a 22-yard field goal by Sweeney.  Rose-Hulman relied on a pair of two-play drives to quickly close within 31-26.

Snyder and Dye connected on a 64-yard touchdown strike with 1:19 left in the third quarter, before a failed two-point conversion try left the score at 31-19.  Freshman Anthony Adamo (Chino, Calif.) then hauled in an interception to give the ball back to Rose-Hulman late in the third quarter.

Snyder connected with junior Marcus Washington (Frankfort, Ky.) on a 31-yard touchdown pass on the first play of the fourth quarter to bring the Rose-Hulman deficit within 31-26.

Bluffton marched 18 yards in seven plays after a strong kickoff return to push the lead to 34-26 on a 24-yard field goal by Sweeney at the 11:00 mark.

Rose-Hulman tied the score with a seven-play, 54-yard that ended on a one-yard scoring run by Francis.  Snyder found senior Shane Boschert (Cincinnati, Ohio/LaSalle) in the back of the endzone on the two-point conversion to knot the score at 34-34 with 9:16 left.

The remainder of regular featured an exchange of scoreless drives, before Bluffton marched 64 yards in 14 plays to try a game-winning field goal in the final minute.  Sweeney's 37-yard kick sailed to the right and the game reached overtime.

Both teams relied on their defenses to force field goal attempts in the first two overtime periods, but the kicks were not successful for either team.  The third overtime featured Sweeney's 21-yard game winning kick after Rose-Hulman failed to score on its possession.

Bluffton jumped out to an early 14-0 lead on a one-yard run by Airic Steagall, who rushed for 127 yards and also threw a touchdown pass.  Tyler Wright, who passed for 245 yards and one score, then connected with Ryan Sabin on an 11-yard score.

Rose-Hulman relied on three scores to move within 14-13 late in the first half.  Freshman Craig Larew (Indianapolis/Lawrence North) capped a pair of 15-play drives with field goals of 27 and 22 yards to open the scoring.  Sophomore Greg Lee (Christiansburg, Va.) added a 12-yard scoring run, with Larew's kick bringing the deficit to one point. 

Snyder and Lee providing rushing depth with 49 and 35 yards, respectively.  Francis hauled in six catches, and junior Connor Gerhart (La Mesa, Calif./La Jolla Country Day) made five catches for 64 yards and also ruhsed for 29 yards.

Bluffton improved to 4-2 on the season and 3-1 in HCAC action, while Rose-Hulman stands 2-4 and 2-2 in conference games.  The Fightin' Engineers travel to Franklin College on October 20 in their next contest.