TROY, NY — In a game that saw just one touchdown, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute found the endzone with 40.2 seconds left to seal a 10-6 come from behind victory over Morrisville State in the Scotty Whitelaw Bowl at the East Campus Stadium in Troy, New York.
With the win, the Engineers finish the season at 8-3, while the Mustangs conclude their season with a 7-4 mark overall.
The win is also the 11th Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) bowl victory in program history for RPI which ties Alfred University for the most in ECAC history.
RPI got a crucial fourth down stop and got the ball on their own 29-yardline to start the drive with 3:18 remaining. The drive didn’t get off to an ideal start for the Engineers as they faced a 4th-and-6 on their own 33-yardline.
Jake Kazanowsky, however, converted the fourth down when he found Peter Lombardi across the middle for a 22-yard gain. Four plays later, RPI faced another fourth down – a 4th-and-5 at the Morristown State 40-yard line.
Just like the fourth down conversion earlier in the drive, Kazanowsky once again found Lombardi for another fourth down conversion. This time, the senior wideout made a 28-yard catch to move the drive into the redzone to the Mustang 12-yard line.
Following the game, Lombardi was named the game’s Most Valuable Player. He hauled in eight catches for 98 total yards.
After Lombardi made an eight-yard catch on first down, Kazanowsky scrambled and found the endzone on a four-yard touchdown run. Aleksandar Maric’s PAT gave RPI a 10-6 lead with 40.2 seconds left on the clock.
On the ensuing drive by the Mustangs, Steven Frerichs found Aidan McDonald for a pair of completions of 18 and 13 yards, respectively. Following a nine-yard completion to Jarrell Chaney, the Mustangs faced a 4th-and-1 with four seconds remaining.
Frerichs made one last heave to the endzone, but his hail mary was intercepted by Carlos Davis to seal the 10-6 victory for the Engineers.
Morristown State opened the scoring early in the second period when Owen Cole nailed a 46-yard field goal. Cole was called up in the third quarter when he converted a 30-yard field goal to break a 3-3 tie and give his team the 6-3 lead with 4:19 left in the third.
With 11 seconds left in the second period, the Engineers tied the game on a 29-yard field goal my Maric to cap an 8-play, 60-yard drive.
For the game, Kazanowsky completed 23 of his 38 pass attempts for 211 total yards. His counterpart Frerichs completed 17-of-30 through the air for 145 yards.
On the ground, RBI’s Christian Buckley gained 84 yards on 18 carries, while his teammate Dameon Ming rushed seven times for 34 yards. Emmett Wood led the rushing attack for the Mustangs with 51 yards on 17 carries.
For RPI, Lombardi had a game-high eight catches, while Shane Allison and DJ Palmer each made four catches for 42 and 35 yards, respectively. For Morristown State, Aidan McDonald gained 50 yards on his three catches, while Jarrell Chaney and Emmett Wood also hauled in three receptions for 29 and 17 yards, respectively.
Defensively, Evan Salvaggio led the way for the Mustangs with 18 total tackles. Philemon Benjamin made nine tackles, while Ernesto Mitchel and Dante McGowan each finished with seven. RPI was led by Joe Deptula with 13 tackles including one sack, while Conner Noyes and Josh Cohen chipped in 11 and 10 tackles, respectively.
For the game, RPI outgained Morristown State 331-200. The Engineers gained 211 yards through the air and 120 yards on the ground.