Rose-Hulman junior Danya Francis scored three touchdowns to help the Engineers top host Mount St. Joseph 28-21 in overtime in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference football Saturday.
Francis rushed for 112 yards, marking his third 100-yard game in the last four contests. Senior quarterback Mitch Snyder of Casey, Ill., balanced the attack with a 19-of-39 performance through the air for 193 yards and one TD.
Junior Connor Gerhart hauled in eight receptions for 65 yards and one touchdowns to lead the Rose receiving corps. Defensively, sophomore Grant DePalma led four players in double figures with 15 tackles and junior Dean Griffing had the most impressive statistical day with 14 tackles, 5.5 tackles-for-loss and two sacks.
Mount St. Joseph’s James Clay, the nation’s leading rusher in NCAA Division III, was held to less than 200 yards for only the second time this season with 172 yards on 45 carries and one score. Brian Pitzer finished 12 of 26 through the air for 192 yards to balance the offense.
The game started with offensive fireworks that resulted in four straight touchdown drives and a 14-13 Lions lead. Francis scored from 1 yard out to cap a 10-play opening drive, then Clay answered with a 56-yard scoring sprint.
Francis then scored from 2 yards on Rose-Hulman’s next possession. Mount St. Joseph took a 14-13 lead on a 30-yard pass from Pitzer to John Peters just one minute into the second quarter.
The defenses then took over, with both teams only scoring once more in regulation time. Mount St. Joseph increased its lead to 21-13 on a 36-yard pass from Pitzer to Clay.
Rose relied on an “eight-point” touchdown to force the extra session. Snyder and Gerhart connected on a 5-yard scoring strike with 6:16 remaining to bring the Engineers within 21-19. The same pair connected again on a two-point conversion to tie the score at 21-21.
Both teams exchanged punts and Rose-Hulman put the Lions deep in their own territory with 1:31 left. Mount St. Joseph drove to the Rose 28-yard line and missed a 45-yard potential game-winning field goal on the final play of regulation to force the extra session.
In OT, Francis scored from 5 yards out and rushed five times for 21 yards on the drive. After that, the Rose-Hulman defense held Clay to a pair of 2-yard runs and forced two incompletions to secure the victory.
Rose (3-5 overall, 3-3 HCAC) will play host to Anderson at 1:30 p.m. next Saturday. Mount St. Joseph dropped to 3-5 and 2-5 respectively.
Mount St. Joseph 21, OT
Rose-Hulman 13 0 0 8 7 — 28
Mount St. Joseph 7 7 7 0 0 — 21
RH — Francis 1 run (run failed)
MSJ — Clay 56 run (Dripps kick)
RH — Francis 2 run (Larew kick)
MSJ — Peters 30 pass from Pitzer (Dripps kick)
MSJ — Clay 36 pass from Pitzer (Dripps kick)
RH — Gerhart 5 pass from Snyder (Gerhart pass from Snyder)
RH — Francis 5 run (Larew kick)
RUSHING — Rose-Hulman, Francis 28-112, Snyder 4-8, Abbott 3-6. Mount St. Joseph, Clay 45-172, Pitzer 11-20, Elrod 1-18, Meade 1-4.
PASSING — Rose-Hulman, Snyder 19-39-0 193, team 0-1-0 0. Mount St. Joseph, Pitzer 12-26-1 192.
RECEIVING — Rose-Hulman, Gerhart 8-65, Dye 4-55, Abbott 3-41, Kovach 2-19, Francis 1-11, Sonneberger 1-2. Mount St. Joseph, Peters 5-106, Kaminsky 2-25, Clay 1-36, Koopman 1-11, Feine 1-8, Klekotka 1-6, Meade 1-0.