RPI Offense Rolls in Win Over Western New England

September 17, 2017 09:34 AM

TROY, N.Y. - Junior Nick Cella ran for 98 yards and a touchdown and two others had rushing touchdowns for the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) football team, which defeated Western New England University, 31-14, in a non-conference game at East Campus Stadium. The Engineers improve to 3-0, while the Golden Bears fall to 1-2.

Cella (Holmdel, NJ / Red Bank Catholic) had game-highs of 20 carries and 98 yards to lead Rensselaer, which had 242 yards and three scores out of the backfield. Nine different players had positive rushing yards, including senior Ethan Wells (Windsor, MA / Wahconah Regional), who contributed 57 yards and a 9-yard touchdown on 17 carries. Maliek Kelly (Staten Island, NY / Curtis) added nine yards with a 6-yard score.

The homestanding Engineers held the Golden Bears to 23 yards in six plays on their first drive to force a punt. Just two plays later, junior quarterback Eddie Trimpert (Hillsborough, NJ / Hillsborough) connected with Johnny Ramsdell (Haverhill, MA / Haverhill) on a short pass to the left that the senior took 37 yards to the end zone for a 7-0 lead just three minutes into the first quarter.

The Engineers retained the lead until there was 5:11 left in the first quarter, when Western New England ended a 13-play, 66-yard drive with a 4-yard Peter Hoff (Shelton, CT / Shelton) run up the middle that tied the game. WNE got the ball when it stopped RPI on a fourth-and-two from the Western New England 32-yard line.

The score remained tied into the second quarter until Cella followed a series of short running plays by Wells and Marc Meislahn (Monroe, NY / Monroe Woodbury) with a 2-yard run, capping a 15-play, 63-yard drive. Rensselaer quickly made it a 21-7 score after a Golden Bears fumble on the ensuing drive. A pass interference call on the first play moved the ball to the 10-yard line and Wells finished the drive with a run up the middle with 2:16 left in the half.

The first score of the third quarter put the home team in front by 21 points, 28-7, after Kelly took a sweep and found the end zone with 7:33 remaining. Western New England bounced back to get within two scores before the frame ended, however. Following a sequence in which RPI fumbled, WNE fumbled, an RPI intercepted pass, a goal-line stand by the Engineers and a fumble by RPI at its own 1-yard line, Golden Bears quarterback Anthony Service (Lake Ronkonkoma, NY / Sachem North) rushed in from a yard out to make it a 28-14 score with 21 seconds left in the third quarter.

The teams traded punts until midway through the fourth quarter when Rensselaer stopped the Golden Bears on a fourth down play and went on to get a field goal. Senior Christian Kapp (Amawalk, NY / Iona Prep.) hit from 32 yards away with under two minutes to play for the final margin.

Trimpert completed 4 of 12 passes for 116 yards and an interception, while also rushing for nine yards. Junior Keaton Ackermann (Erieville, NY / Cazenovia) had two receptions for 79 yards, including a long of 40 yards. 

Senior Bryan Hayes (Boylestown, MA / Tahanto Regional) led all players with 13 tackles (6 unassisted) and a pass breakup. Jack Hoggard (Acton, MA / Acton-Boxborough Regional) had nine stops (4 solo) and a fumble recovery and defensive lineman Diego Cuitino (Plainsboro, NJ / West Windsor-Plainsboro) made seven tackles (2 unassisted).

Sam Olsson (Milford, CT / Foran) had a team-best 11 tackles, including four unassisted and 0.5 for lost yards (1), for Western New England. Sam Edouard (Roosevelt, NY / Roosevelt), a defensive lineman, made nine tackles (1 solo).

Offensively, Hoff rushed for 75 yards on 19 carries and Service had 68 on 15 attempts to help the Golden Bears to 216 rushing yards. Service completed 11 of 27 passes for 120 yards with Mark Dietrich (Cheshire, CT / Cheshire) catching six passes for 72 yards.

WNE is back on the field on Saturday when it hosts Husson University at 1pm. The Engineers travel to Buffalo State College next Saturday for a 1pm kickoff.

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Ashley Miller

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