we had, but they took advantage of their opportunities. All week we talked about do your job, no more, no less, just make the big play when the opportunity is there and they did.”
Union College freshman Ike Irabor scored three touchdowns in the rival game, leading the Dutchmen (7-2 overall) and sending off his seniors in style.
“Rensselaer jumped out to a 7- 0 lead at 3:56 of the first quarter when senior Nick Cella completed a 5-play, 38-yard drive with a one-yard carry. RPI was set up with short field position after a 20-yard punt and eventually got to the one yard line on a 31-yard pass from George Marinopoulos to Conor Davies. Cella finished the series with his fifth touchdown of the season.
Union answered immediately with Irabor scoring from a yard out and then took advantage of consecutive Engineers turnovers to take a 13-point lead. Gio- ioso intercepted a deflected ball to put Union at the 32yard line and two plays later Irabor scored from five yards away on a reception from sophomore quarterback Will Bellamy for a 14-7 lead at 13:41 of the second quarter - just 53 seconds after tying the game. RPI’s next possession ended after four plays when Jack Reilly recovered a fumble on the 31-yard line and the Dutchmen scored two plays later. Bellamy found Andre Ross Jr. from 27 yards out for a 20-7 lead at 10:59 of the second frame.
RPI cut into the lead with a 23-yard field goal from Sanjay Krishnan to open the third quarter and the score remained 20-10 until 6:09 remained in the fourth quarter. After forcing a turnover on downs at the RPI seven yard line, Union got a seven yard scamper from Irabor for a 27-10 edge. Reilly had a 79-yard interception return for a touchdown four minutes later for the final margin.
The Engineers were led by Cella, with 23 carries for 115 yards and a touchdown. Marinopoulos finished 18- of-38 for 193 yards and hit Davies with six of those passes for 86 yards.
Gioioso was a force for the Dutchmen, finishing with 13 tackles, including 3.5 sacks (19 lost yards) and 6.5 tackles for lost yards (24), along with his interception. Evan Gilland (four solo) and Colin Lama (two solo) both had nine tackles. Irabor finished with 118 yards on 23 carries on the ground and 24 receiving yards on two receptions. Bellamy threw for 200 yards (15 of 26) and Ross Jr. had five receptions for 82 yards.
The season continues for the Engineers (8-1 overall, 4-1 Liberty League) who share the league title with Ithaca after Saturday’s loss. RPI will await the 5:30 p.m. announcement Sunday evening for find out their opponent in the upcoming NCAA playoffs. RPI had already earned the Liberty League’s automatic bid prior to Saturday’s contest.
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Union College senior linebacker Jack Reilly closes in on RPI quarterback George Marinopoulos once again late in Saturday’s game at RPI.