GENEVA — On Saturday night the Hobart football team played a rare game under the lights on Boswell Field at David J. Urick Stadium as its 12 seniors were honored.
If the Statesmen had any hopes of extending their season beyond next week they needed to beat an athletic Buffalo State team. Hobart held their end of the bargain as they downed the Bengals by a score of 40-23.
“There was excitement early on,” Statesmen Coach Kevin DeWall said. “We talked to the seniors and they loved having a night game. It’s always an electric feeling under the lights. Our guys were excited and ready to play.”
Hobart (7-2, 3-2) jumped on the board first thanks to poor special teams play by the Bengals. A poor punt by Zachary Sajdak set the Statesmen up at midfield. From there, it was all Brian Haeffner. The senior running back chewed up all 50-yards on the drive and capped it off with a 16-yard touchdown run. Haeffner ended the game with 132 yards on the ground on 19 attempts.
“We like to come into every game thinking we’re going to win all three phases and get a quality win,” DeWall added. “We won some field position not only to get points, but to help our offense and defense win the field position battle.”
Following a Buffalo State touchdown, the Statesmen swung momentum in their favor at the end of the first quarter. Senior quarterback Ryan Hofmann threw a 36-yard touchdown pass to classmate Ray Conley. Hofmann finished 16-of-31 for 279 yards and three touchdown passes, while Conley caught five passes for 111 yards.
Hobart added to their lead with eight seconds remaining in the half when freshman running back Tim Denham Jr. took a pass in the backfield and ran it in from 17 yards out. He also returned the second half kickoff for an 80-yard touchdown.
The Bengals were able to chip into the lead midway through the third on a 23-yard field goal.
The Statesmen put the nail in the coffin with 9:50 left in the contest as Hofmann connected with junior wide out Mike Giacobe from 33 yards out.
Hobart will conclude its regular season on the road as they square off against Liberty League foe Rochester University.
“If we can get to 8-2 with the team that we have, the only thing we can do is control what we can control.,” DeWall said. “Hopefully we’ll see what shakes down on whether it’s a post season appearance for us or not. Either way we’re just focused on getting our next 1-0 and that’s going to be focused on Rochester right now.”