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O'Brien Guides Football Past RPI, 35-28

Tim O'Brien Box Score

Troy, N.Y. - November 9, 2013 - Timothy O'Brien (East Bridgewater, Mass.) rushed for 129 yards and three touchdowns, while also passing for 91 yards, leading Springfield to a 35-28 win over Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Liberty League football action on Saturday afternoon at ECAV Stadium.

With the loss, the Engineers drop to 4-5 overall, and 1-5 in conference play, while Springfield improves to 5-3, with a 2-3 mark in the league.

RPI got on the board first with the only score of the first quarter. Jessie Maynard (Orwell, Vt.) tossed a 26-yard pass to Pat Hogan (Mt. Sinai, N.Y.) at 9:16 of the stanza, and Andrew Franks (Carmel, Calif.) hit the point-after to give the Engineers a 7-0 lead. The teams exchanged four-and-outs on the next two drives before Springfield ate up 4:44 of the clock with a 10-play drive before having to punt. RPI regained the ball with 1:00 on the clock, but Springfield's Danny Macalena (Congers, N.Y.) forced a fumble on the Engineer two-yard line to give the Pride control.

Just 26 seconds into the second, Springfield struck, as O'Brien ran the ball in for his first touchdown of the day. Tyler Rouse (Hagaman, N.Y.) hit the extra point to tie the game at 7-7. The Engineers responded on their next drive, as Brendan McGlynn (Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.) threw a 47-yard pass to Joe Cozzolino (Chatham, N.Y.) at 13:17, and another point-after by Franks put RPI ahead, 14-7.

However, the Pride needed just over a minute to score again, as O'Brien fired a 53-yard strike to Jason Woods (Middletown, Conn.) on the first pass of the series, putting Springfield in the red zone. This time it was Christian Rodriguez (Wayne, N.J.) hitting paydirt for the Pride, as he ran for seven yards for the TD. A good extra point by Rouse tied the game for the second time.

On the fifth play of the ensuing RPI drive, McGlynn was intercepted by Sam Weiss (Glasser, N.J.) to turn the ball back over to Springfield, who used four plays in 2:07 to find the end zone. O'Brien scored his second rushing touchdown of the game on a 33-yard run, giving the Pride their first lead of the game.

Coming out of the locker room after the halftime break, Springfield took control and O'Brien ran another 52 yards on the first play of the Pride's second drive of the half. The TD and point after put Springfield up by two scores, 28-14, with just under nine minutes to play in the third. The teams exchanged turnovers - first with the Pride recovering an RPI fumble, and then the Engineers' Ryan Buss (Clifton Park, N.Y.) picking off O'Brien - but neither resulted in a score. Rensselaer was able to find the end zone in the quarter, however, using four-play drive which concluded with a 19-yard reception from McGlynn to Logan Gaddar (South Portland, Maine) with just under three minutes to go.

Once again, Springfield scored early to start the fourth quarter, as Jonathan Marrero (Boston, Mass.) ran 91 yards on the first play following an RPI punt. The Engineers would not fold however, and responded on the next drive as McGlynn connected with Gaddar for the second-straight TD pass, this time a 30-yard shot, pulling Rensselaer within 35-28.

Later in the quarter, the Engineers would miss out on their final opportunity to score, as Brad Gahagan (Tewksbury, Mass.) recovered a Springfield fumble, putting RPI on the Pride 22-yard line. Rensselaer would get as close as the 1-yard line, but were unable to put it away, turning the ball over on downs. Springfield ate up the final 7:44 remaining on the clock to preserve the seven-point win.

The Engineers recorded 244 passing yards, while Springfield managed 91 yards through the air. However, the Pride controlled the game on the ground, out-rushing Rensselaer, 328-133. Anthony Pilla (Tamaqua, Pa.) led the Engineer defense, finishing with 13 total tackles, including two sacks and 3.5 tackles for a loss. Both Mark Grimes (Hackettstown, N.J.) and Brandon Cook (Commack, N.Y.) recorded 10 tackles for Rensselaer.

Kenny Calaj (Everett, Mass.) finished with 10 tackles for Springfield, while Macalena recorded the Pride's only sack to go along with his forced fumble.

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Head Coach Mike DeLong Mike DeLong enters his 32nd season as a head football coach in the fall of 2013, including his 30th year as the head coach at his alma mater, Springfield College. To date, DeLong currently has the second-most career wins of any active Division III football coach. Read more.

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