VIDEO: TEAM CARRIES OFF COACH SOKOL
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology clinched its first bid to the NCAA Division III Football Playoffs with a 74-6 win over Earlham College on Saturday afternoon at Cook Stadium.
Rose-Hulman earned a share of the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference championship and improved to 8-2 on the season with the win.
The Fightin' Engineers tied for the league title with Franklin College, but Rose-Hulman earns the NCAA automatic bid by virtue of defeating the Grizzlies 23-22 earlier this fall. The conference championship marks Rose-Hulman's 12th conference title in the sport of football.
Rose-Hulman will learn its playoff opponent during the NCAA Division III selection show on ncaa.com at 6 p.m. on Sunday night. The NCAA Division III Playoffs begin on Saturday Nov. 19 with the first round matchup to be announced during the selection show.
Rose-Hulman outgained Earlham 498 yards to 138 in the victory. The Fightin' Engineers rushed for 338 yards and five touchdowns as a team, led by Stanley Hogan III with 126 yards on 14 carries and two touchdowns.
Through the air, Swenson led the passing offense at 5-12 for 72 yards with two touchdowns. The Fightin' Engineers showcased their depth with 14 players earning at least one rushing attempt and five players attempting a pass on the day.
Defensively, Rose-Hulman recorded three interceptions and four sacks while allowing just 138 yards. Brandon Volmerding and Colby Horne had interception returns for touchdowns, and Kevin Nowak added a 32-yard intercetion return. Mike Riley led the defensive line with 1.5 sacks on the day.
Rose-Hulman jumped out to a 29-0 lead in the first quarter with a balanced attack. Hogan had touchdown rushes of 11 and 23 yards, and Swenson connected with Alec Fisher (20 yards) and Garrett Wight (14 yards) on touchdown tosses.
After Earlham scored its lone touchdown of the day, Johannigman answered with a 31-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter to push Rose-Hulman's lead to 60-6.
The Fightin; Engineers capped the scoring with two touchdowns in 11 seconds in the fourth quarter. Eric Morris and Michael Balistreri connected on a 59-yard touchdown pass with 6:50 left, before Horne had a five-yard interception return for a score at the 6:39 mark.
Rose-Hulman has matched its most wins in a season since 1988 with an 8-2 record this fall. The Fightin' Engineers can tie their single-season school record of nine wins with a victory in the first round of the NCAA Division III Playoffs.