News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Breaking News

Rose-Hulman

September 25, 2011

Kovach leads Rose to homecoming win

Engineer coach Jeff Sokol enjoys first career victory

TERRE HAUTE — Sure, Jeff Sokol would like to have earned his first “W” as a head coach sooner than Saturday afternoon.

But he wasn’t complaining about when he obtained it after his Rose-Hulman team rolled to a 31-20 homecoming triumph over visiting Hanover in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) football at Cook Stadium.

Soaked from a quickie Gatorade shower delivered by his players, a smiling Sokol said: “It feels great. It feels great. We worked really hard for this. The coaching staff prepared all week… We were hungry for this win and we were going to do anything we could to get it.”

Running back Kyle Kovach led the Engineers’ offense with 124 yards rushing and one touchdown on 36 carries, while senior defensive end Ben Parker racked up 2.5 sacks and senior safety Matt Green recorded 15 tackles (11 solos and four assisted) and two sacks to pace their defense.

Kovach was among the Rose players happy to see Sokol notch the first victory of his career.

“He’s been working hard,” Kovach pointed out. “All the assistant coaches, everybody. . . Everything was clicking this game. We just had to put everything together and fire on all cylinders.”

Sokol appreciated Kovach’s efforts as well.

“Kyle is our workhorse,” the first-year coach emphasized. “We knew they were going to be tough on defense. We had to scratch and claw for every yard that we got running the football. Kyle just kept fighting and kept his legs churning and he did an outstanding job of taking care of the football.”

The Engineers (1-2 overall, 1-0 HCAC) jumped ahead 24-0 in the first quarter. The 5-foot-8, 185-pound Kovach busted up the middle and outran a couple defenders for a 49-yard TD to open the scoring.

“The [offensive] line set everything up.,” Kovach stressed. “They had great blocks today.”

With 3:25 to go in the first period, freshman Grant DePalma shot through the line to block a Hanover punt and junior teammate Alex Sonneberger returned it 7 yards for another TD.

“Scoop and score for a touchdown,” Sokol mentioned. “Alex Sonneberger, great play.”

One play after the ensuing kickoff, Rose-Hulman defensive lineman Dean Griffing recovered a fumble by Hanover starting quarterback Dexter Britt on the Panthers’ 24-yard line. After one no-gain play, the home team padded its cushion to 21-0 when junior QB Mitch Snyder of Casey, Ill., fired a strike to a diving Dominic Sena in the end zone.

Later, a high snap over the Hanover quarterback’s head on fourth down resulted in a 25-yard loss and return of possession to the Engineers on the visitors’ 16. Rose didn’t reach paydirt this time, but it did come away with a 28-yard field goal by Nick Schneider before the end of the quarter.

Before Rose-Hulman fans could get too comfortable, however, the Panthers cut their deficit to 24-17 by halftime — thanks to two TD tosses from back-up quarterback C.J. Croft to Dwayne Eubanks (covering 42 and 29 yards) sandwiched around a 21-yard field goal by Dylan Dunlop.

“We didn’t want the same thing that happened last year,” Kovach admitted, referring to a 52-31 loss at Hanover. “We had a big lead last year too and we knew they could come back again [this year], so we just kept pushing.”

The only touchdown of the third frame was a Snyder pass that deflected off the hand of two different Hanover defenders before landing in the hands of teammate Parris Gray, who hauled it in for a 23-yarder.

While Croft kept the chains moving for the Panthers, the only second-half points they could manufacture came on a 39-yard field goal by Dunlop with 14:15 left in the contest.

“We came out and played phenomenal in the first quarter, then took a little bit of a step back in the second quarter,” Sokol assessed. “In the second half, we dominated possession and the defense played great again.”

Five of Rose’s seven sacks occurred in the second half, which made finishing drives difficult for Hanover.

“Coach [defensive coordinator Brian] Vaughn coached us well,” Parker noted. “We were ready for everything. We kinda went down a little bit in the second quarter, but we bounced back in the second half and played a pretty good game.”

Now Rose-Hulman must focus on a road game next Saturday against HCAC foe Manchester, but players and coaches may take a little time today to enjoy the taste of their first victory of 2011.

“I think the first one’s always the hardest to get, so I think we can roll it now,” Parker said. “We can still win conference.”

“We’re right where we want to be in the conference,” Sokol added. “It is a confidence builder.”

Rose notes — The Engineers tied two unique school records Saturday — most punts in game (11) and most punting yards in a game (424). Rose’s punter is sophomore Eric Schaible.

Sokol attributed part of that to the fast pace of the game and the five turnovers (three fumbles and two interceptions) committed by Hanover.

“That’s the way we play,” he explained. “We try to snap the ball as fast as we can. There are a lot of plays and a lot of possessions.

“Our punter is one of our most lethal weapons. He’s the best [NCAA Division III] punter in the country and he proved it today. If he’s not the All-American punter [at the end of the season], I want to see who is.”

The original records were set by Brett Bueltel (11 punts against Trinity in October 2004) and Grant Sharp (424 yards punting against Rhodes in November 1986).

• Registering Rose-Hulman’s two interceptions were senior cornerback Bobby Short of Martinsville, Ill., and sophomore linebacker Cody Rivers.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Rose-Hulman
Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' Calif. Police Investigate Peacock Shooting Death 'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out Obama Seeks Limits on US Company Mergers Abroad A Young Victim's Premonition, Hug Before MH17 Large Family to Share NJ Lottery Winnings Raw: Ukraine's Donetsk Residents Flee MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine Raw: MH17 Victim's Bodies Arrive in Netherlands Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Raw: Gunmen Attack Iraqi Prison Convoy Senators Push to End Hamas Threat in Cease-Fire U.S. Flights to Israel Resume After Ban Lifted Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record
NDN Video
Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl Swim Daily, Nina Agdal in the Cook Islands Guilty Dog Apologizes to Baby for Stealing Her Toy
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity