Nov. 16: The St. Lawrence University
football team put the finishing touches on a memorable
season Saturday, as the Saints shutout the United States
Merchant Marine Academy 31-0 at Leckonby Stadium to win back
the Hoffman Cup. The defense forced six fumbles from
the Mariners to earn the first shutout since September 10,
2005, (Norwich, 36-0) while Irby piled up a career-high 207
yards and two touchdowns only 18 carries to earn St.
Lawrence Most Valuable Player honors. St. Lawrence finishes
the season with a 7-3 overall record, the first seven-win
season for the Scarlet and Brown since 1982, and in second
place in the Liberty League behind nationally-ranked No. 6
Hobart. Meanwhile, the Mariners finish the season with
a 4-4 record. "This was a great way for the seniors to go
out. They're a special group and they deserved to go
out on a winning note," said St. Lawrence head coach
Mark Raymond. "I think preparation this week was
everything, as the defensive guys adjusted well throughout
the game to shut down a potent quarterback." The Saints, who
celebrated "Senior Day" on Saturday, owned a 393-250
advantage in total offense. Junior quarterback Mike
Lefflbine returned to the line-up and was 12-of-28 passing
for 136 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Merchant
Marine was led by Tyler Washington's game-high 13 tackles,
which earned him MVP honors for his team. Captain
Cooper Keller and
Jayson Leigh each had nine tackles for St. Lawrence. St.
Lawrence took the opening possession 58 yards in four plays,
taking a 7-0 lead only 1:58 into regulation. A 17-yard
completion to senior
Mike Tateosian set the offense up in the red zone, with
Lefflbine connecting with a wide open
Evan Shifley on the next play for a 16-yard strike.
Andrew Carvalho added the extra point for the 7-0 lead.
Matthew McDaniels would move the Mariners to the Saints
29-yard line on the visitors' first drive, but a fumble on
4th-and-1 would stall the effort and a 34-yard return by
James Holley-Grisham set up St. Lawrence at the USMMA
45. On 2nd-and-6, Irby took the handoff and seemingly
ran into a pile of defenders, only to come out the other
side and glide 41 yards for the score. Carvalho's
extra point made it 14-0 and capped the first quarter
scoring. Carvalho would make it 17-0 at the 4:00 minute mark
of the second quarter when he added a 22-yard field goal to
cap an 11-play, 71 yard drive. With the defense
playing strong and keeping the triple-option under wraps,
Lefflbine stretched the lead to 24-0 with 4:39 to play in
the half, as he connected with Max Johnson on back-to-back
plays including a 13-yard touchdown pass. Carvalho's
extra point gave the Scarlet and Brown a 24-0 cushion at
intermission. Merchant Marine would cough up the football on
four drives, as McDaniels fumbled twice, including once on
the St. Lawrence 8-yard line, and back-up quarterback
Kristopher Meyer also added two fumbles. Josh Woodburn
tried to keep the Mariners in the game offensively, but
ultimately, the six turnovers were too much to overcome. St.
Lawrence would pad the lead, opening up a 31-0 advantage
late in the third quarter. After Irby had rushes of 33
and 11 yards, he got the call again on 4th-and-1 at the
5-yard line and finished the job, scoring his second
touchdown of the game 3:34 to play in the third.
Carvalho's extra point made it 31-0. Both teams went to the
bench in the fourth quarter, with the Saints' defense
forcing the final fumble on 1st-and-10 at the 24-yard line
in the final minute, shutting down the scoring threat and
finishing off an impressive victory. Following the game, Mr.
Tom Hoffman and his wife Debbie presented the MVP trophies
to Washington and Irby, before turning over the Hoffman Cup
Shane Hart and head coach
Mark Raymond. The inaugural Hoffman Cup game was
played in 2003 to commemorate the rivalry between the St.
Lawrence University and U.S. Merchant Marine Academy
football teams. Tom Hoffman, a 1975 graduate of St.
Lawrence, dedicated the game to his father, Captain Richard
A. Hoffman, a 1944 graduate of Merchant Marine, for his 80th
birthday. Captain Hoffman passed away in 2006, but
this tradition honors both he and his family's commitment to
athletics, the Merchant Marine Academy and St. Lawrence
University. Fourteen members of the class of 2014 played
their final game in a Saints uniform on Saturday, including
Nik Busharis, Cam Ferrara,
Mike Harris, Victor Coker Jr.,
Evan Green and
Klayton Johnson. The group finishes unbeaten at
Leckonby Stadium in their final season.
Nov. 9: The St. Lawrence University football team fell to nationally-ranked No. 6 Hobart College on Saturday afternoon in Geneva, NY by the score of 37-7. The victory, coupled with a WPI win, clinched the 2013 Liberty League title for the Statesmen, who will compete in the upcoming NCAA Tournament. St. Lawrence, which was held to a season-low 155 yards of offense in the loss, falls to 6-3 and will finish the season at home next weekend against the United States Merchant Marine Academy. Hobart (8-0) will take on Rochester. Hobart running back Steven Webb broke three career records on Saturday, as he ran for 90 yards and a pair of touchdowns for the Statesmen, becoming the all-time leader in rushing touchdowns (48), touchdowns (52) and points (312). St. Lawrence quarterback Zane Fish struggled to get on track, completing only 10-of-34 passes for 96 yards and a touchdown. Max Johnson was his primary target, making four grabs for 56 yards, while Hobart's John Fasano was the leading receiver in the game with 74 yards on three catches. Quarterback Patrick Conlan was 8-for-20 passing for 140 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions for the Statesmen. Defensively, Alec Dietsch led St. Lawrence with eight tackles including one for a loss, while James Holley-Grisham added seven stops and a pick. Senior Obi Nwaigwe, who was second in the nation in tackles for a loss entering Saturday's game, made seven tackles including one for a loss. Hobart's Mark Guarmo-Hyde had a game-high nine tackles. St. Lawrence's troubles began on its opening possession, as Fish fumbled on the Saints' 20 yard line and the ball was recovered by Hobart. The turnover led to a 24-yard field goal by Sean Kirshe. Those problems continued throughout the first half, as a fumble by punter Brodie Corless gave the Statesmen the ball at the Saints' 28, leading to a 17-yard touchdown by Webb, and a blocked punt by Hobart's Trayvon Toney was scooped up and ran back for a touchdown by Connor Garrett. The two mistakes allowed Hobart to take a 17-0 leadr early in the second quart despite having only two first downs. After taking the 17-0 lead, Hobart would force a punt and take over at its own 21-yard line. Conlan orchestrated his best drive of the half, going 3-for-3 on the drive including back-to-back completions for 43 and 16 yards for another score. The touchdown pass went for 16 yards to Elvin Souffrant, and Kirshe added his third extra point for a 24-0 lead. The Saints would show their resiliency before the end of a half, as Dietsch's tackle for a loss forced a Hobart punt that finished at the Statesmen 36-yard line. Despite being in the final minute, Fish found Johnson for a 30-yard completion to the 6-yard line, and two plays later, he found Mitch Gallagher for a 6-yard score. Andrew Carvalho added the extra point to send the game to intermission with Hobart's lead at 24-7. Unfortunately for St. Lawrence, that was all of the offense they would muster against the Statesmen defense, owning the football for just four offensive drives and 8 minutes and 57 seconds in the second half. Hobart would tack on touchdowns from Webb (6 yard rush) and Troy Robinson (10-yard reception) in the half to cap the game's scoring at 37-7. The Saints will look to rebound and finish the year at 5-0 at Leckonby Stadium when they host the USMMA Mariners next Saturday, November 16 in the annual Hoffman Cup game. Kick-off is scheduled for 1:00pm.
Nov. 2: Senior quarterback Zane Fish passed for a career-high four touchdowns and the Saints' defense had five takeaways, as the St. Lawrence University football team defeated WPI by the score of 32-15 at Leckonby Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The win moves the Scarlet and Brown to 6-2, giving head coach Mark Raymond's team its first six-win season since 1991. The Saints (6-2, 4-1) outgained the Engineers (2-6, 1-4) by a 377-263 margin in total offense, and committed only one turnover to the visitors' five (2 fumble, 3 interceptions). St. Lawrence was also fantastic on fourth down, converting its first four tries of the game, while the red zone offense was also sharp, finishing 5-for-6 scoring on the afternoon. "We made some early mistakes but we stayed positive and overcame them with some great plays on both sides of the ball," said St. Lawrence head coach Mark Raymond. "Zane did an outstanding job leading the team today." Fish, who was filling in for the injured Mike Lefflbine, connected on 13-of-23 passes for 196 yards including touchdown tosses to Max Johnson, Evan Shifley and two to Mike Tateosian. Maurice Irby piled up a career-high 144 yards on the ground on 22 rushes including a 15-yard touchdown score. Defensively, senior Andrew Cox returned in style after missing two games, making nine tackles, while James Holley-Grisham, Connor O'Brien and Saahil Fruitwala each had interceptions. WPI's Eric Lacroix had a huge game defensively finishing with 15 total tackles, while Peter Salem had 3.0 tackles for a loss. The Engineers split time at quarterback between Johny Antonopoulos and Jacob Grills, but did most of their damage on the ground behind Zach Grasis' 112 yards rushing. Grasis finished with a touchdown, as did Antonopoulous, as the two quarterbacks combined for 114 yards rushing. The Engineers took advantage of several St. Lawrence miscues to take an 8-0 lead at the end of the first quarter. A high snap over the head of Fish led to a safety for WPI at 6:12 for a 2-0 lead, and the Engineers then went 62 yards on 11 plays to push the lead to 8-0. A 31-yard rush by Grasis set up the Engineers, and he was rewarded later in the drive with a 3-yard score. St. Lawrence's Michael Phelan blocked Blaine Bursey's extra point try. St. Lawrence would right the ship in the second quarter, outscoring WPI 19-0 to take a 19-8 lead into halftime. The Saints got on the board thanks to a 75-yard drive, capped on a 7-yard touchdown toss from Fish to Johnson only 1:54 into the second quarter. Collin Shapiro's extra try missed, keeping the score at 8-6. After Antonopoulos was picked by Holley-Grisham on 3rd-and-7 on the ensuing possession, Fish led the Saints to a 12-8 lead behind an 11-play, 68-yard drive. Fish kept the drive alive with a key 4th-and-10 rush to move the chains, and later connected with Tateosian over the middle for the touchdown with 7:10 remaining in the period. The two point conversion try failed. St. Lawrence forced a punt from the WPI offense, and once again went right down the field on an 8-play, 88-yard drive to extend its lead to 18-8. Irby started the drive with a 40-yard rush up the middle, and though the possession appeared to stall with the offense facing a 4th-and-7, Fish connected with Shifley for a 24-yard touchdown with only :42 seconds left in the half. Rookie Andrew Carvalho converted the extra point to cap the first half scoring at 19-8. The Saints would score on their fourth consecutive possession on the opening drive of the third quarter, as Colby Johnson's 61-yard kick return gave the home team the ball on the WPI 24-yard line. Facing a 4th-and-1 at the 15, St. Lawrence turned to Irby, who rushed up the middle for a touchdown and a 25-8 cushion. Carvalho added the extra point. WPI kept its hopes alive behind Antonopoulos, who brought his team 74 yards on 7 plays to cut into the St. Lawrence lead with 10:39 left in the third. The Engineers used three rushes for 14+ yards, including the 25 yard touchdown rush by Antonopoulos to make it a 26-14 game. Bursey's extra point was good to make it 26-15. As rain began to fall harder midway through the quarter, the offenses began to sputter and make field position a premium point of the contest. St. Lawrence sophomore Brodie Corless pinned WPI inside its own 16 twice in the third quarter, allowing the Saints to keep the 26-15 lead intact after three periods. St. Lawrence would put the finishing touches on another impressive scoring drive only 2:52 into the fourth quarter, extending the lead to 32-15. After a 58-yard pass from Fish-to-Tateosian gave the home team the ball 1st-and-goal at the WPI 1-yard line, the Engineers defense stiffened on three rush attempts and forced a 4th-and-goal try. The Saints abandoned the rush and turned to Fish, who floated a perfect ball to Tateosian for a 1-yard score and a 32-15 cushion. Carvalho's extra point failed. The Saints' defense would put the finishing touches on the clutch win, forcing two more punts and intercepting two passes to celebrate the 32-15 victory. St. Lawrence controls its own destiny for a post-season bid, but twill face its toughest test of the year next weekend in Geneva, NY when they square off with nationally-ranked #6 Hobart College. Kick-off is scheduled for 12:00pm.
Oct. 26: The St. Lawrence University football team suffered its first Liberty League loss of the season on Saturday, as Springfield College used a dramatic second half comeback to defeat the Saints 21-20 in Springfield, MA. Sophomore tailback Maurice Irby rushed for 97 yards and two scores for the visitors, while Louis Fenaroli scored the late touchdown for the Pride. St. Lawrence (5-2, 3-1), coming off of its bye week, led 13-0 at halftime behind senior Zane Fish, who replaced junior quarterback Mike Lefflbine due to an injury sustained on the opening drive. However, the Pride (4-3, 1-3) seized the momentum by returning the second half kickoff for a touchdown and sealing the win late thanks to several impressive plays by quarterback Tim O'Brien. Both teams finished with 15 first downs in the game, with St. Lawrence holding a 309-255 edge in total offense. Special teams proved to be huge, as the Pride not only had a kickoff return for a score, but blocked an extra point early in the game that proved to be crucial. First-year student Alec Dietch led all defensive players with nine tackles, while James Holley-Grisham had an interception for the Saints as well. St. Lawrence grabbed an early 6-0 lead thanks to a drive dedicated to Irby, who carried the ball seven consecutive times. With the offensive line opening big gaps, the Freeport, NY native gashed the Pride defense and capped the drive with a 12-yard touchdown scamper. However, the blocked extra point would keep the score at 6-0 with 4:31 to play in the quarter. The Saints' defense was sharp in the half as well, forcing O'Brien's offense off the field with three straight three-and-outs to open the game. Though the Pride would threaten midway through the second quarter at the Saints' 26-yard line, captain Shane Hart and Cooper Keller would stuff Austin Bateman on a 4th-and-1 rush to force a turnover on downs. A roughing the kicker penalty against Springfield would keep the ensuing St. Lawrence drive alive with 2:00 minutes left in the half, and Fish would capitalize. After an 18-yard run by Irby, Fish found Evan Shifley for 27 yards and Max Johnson for 13 more down to the Pride 2-yard marker. Irby finished the drive from there, running off the right tackle into the end zone for a 12-0 lead with only :26 seconds left until intermission. Collin Shapiro's extra point was good for a 13-0 lead at the break. Joe Festo would ignite the comeback for Springfield, as he took the opening kickoff in the third quarter 77 yards for a Pride touchdown, cutting the deficit to 13-6. Tyler Rouse's extra point made it 13-7. However, O'Brien would turn the ball over on the next two Springfield drives, throwing the interception to Holley-Grisham and fumbling at the Saints' 41 when Jayson Leigh jarred the ball free. St. Lawrence would again capitalize on the mistake, as Fish used play action on 3rd-and-1 from the Springfield 45, finding Max Johnson wide open over the middle for a 45-yard touchdown pass with 7:13 left in the third quarter. Shapiro's extra point made it 20-7. With Springfield backed up at their own 7-yard line, it appeared the Saints were in great shape to inherit great field position if they could get a stop. Unfortunately, O'Brien had other ideas. He orchestrated a 12-play, 93-yard drive that included three third down conversions including a 3rd-and-17, and he capped the drive with a 1-yard rushing score. Rouse added the extra point to cap the third quarter scoring with St. Lawrence hanging on to the narrow 20-14 lead. St. Lawrence needed a field goal to go up by two scores midway through the fourth and had the ball to the Springfield 23 facing a 2nd-and-8. However, a high snap sailed way over Fish's head and was eventually recovered by Irby at the Saints' 48. The 29-yard loss, followed by a 12-yard punt would give Springfield and O'Brien solid starting position at the home team's 33-yard line. Just as it appeared the Saints had forced a 4th-and-long, a 15-yard late hit penalty against the visitors would give new life to Springfield with a 1st-and-10 at the St. Lawrence 31. The rushing attack of the triple option took over from there, and the Pride eventually punched the ball into the end zone with 2:34 remaining on a rush up the middle by Fenaroli. Rouse's extra point gave the home team its first lead, 21-20. Fish and the Saints' offense needed to get in field goal range, and were on the move thanks to a rush by the quarterback to Springfield's 45-yard line with 1:15 to play. Facing a 3rd-and-1 with no timeouts, the Saints rushed to the line of scrimmage and Fish tried to find his tight end, but instead through the ball into the waiting arms of Springfield defensive lineman Umberto DiMeo, whose interception sealed the victory for the Pride on their "Homecoming Weekend." Fish finished 13-of-22 passing for 158 yards, while Lefflbine was 3-for-3 in his one series of action. O'Brien finished only 4-of-7 passing for Springfield for 82 yards, but did rush for an additional 65 yards to lead his team in that category. St. Lawrence will look to get back on track next weekend when it hosts the WPI Engineers at Leckonby Stadium where the Saints are a perfect 3-0 this season.