MUNSTER | The fourth time, as it turns out, is the charm.
After his team had to settle for field goals in its first three trips into the red zone, Hobart senior Ian Drobac did what he could to morph into a bowling ball and scored two late touchdowns as Times No. 7 Hobart edged host Munster 23-21 Friday night to keep pace in the Northwest Crossroads Conference.
“In the red zone we just kept getting field goals, and I just put my head down and wanted that touchdown,” Drobac said. “The second touchdown, I just saw that cutback open up and tried to go for it.”
Rollout passes didn’t work on previous possessions, but the 6-foot-2, 215-pound senior's carried the ball four yards for his second score with 10:20 to go in the game. It put the Brickies (5-2, 4-1) up 23-15 after they had trailed 15-9 in the third.
Munster scored on Seth Gutwein’s 5-yard touchdown run with 4:13 to play, but Gutwein ran into the line of scrimmage on the two-point conversion attempt and was stuffed.
The victory kept the Brickies in the conference race and snapped a three-game losing streak to the Mustangs (2-5, 1-3), marking the Hobart seniors' first varsity win in the series.
“(A win) is what they’ll remember, but it wasn’t pretty,” Hobart coach Ryan Turley said. “Munster is a good team, better than two wins. We’re thankful to get out of here with a win.”
Trailing 7-3 at halftime, Hobart recovered its onside kick to start the second half, got a 23-yard field goal from Aaron Del Grosso and forced a Munster fumble on its first play of the ensuing drive.
“I saw a gap, kicked it nice and soft, it went into (C.J. Scott)’s lap, and that gave us a lot of momentum in the second half,” Del Grosso said. “(On field goals) I know I have a good line, a good snap and a good hold, and I’ll be fine.”
Del Grosso had a 33-yarder in the first quarter, and after Munster’s fumble his 24-yarder put the Brickies up 9-7.
“If we’re going to do what we want to do, we’ve got to execute in the red zone,” Turley said. “That’s what we’ve got to work on this week.”
Hobart quarterback Andrew Barras was 7-of-17 for 158 yards passing. He hit Drey Devereaux for 47 yards to set up Drobac’s first TD, a 6-yarder late in the third. Del Grosso’s PAT put Hobart up for good 16-15. Drobac had seven carries for 27 yards and increased his season touchdown total to nine.
“Ian’s a hard-nosed kid and runs the ball hard,” Turley said. “We’ve been relying on him all year. We need him to continue to do that, lower his shoulder like that. He’s not fun to tackle.”
Gutwein had 21 carries for 149 yards and a touchdown, and Ernest Carter had 112 yards on 18 carries with two touchdowns. The Mustangs only attempted two passes.
Alex Metz had 95 yards on 17 carries for Hobart.
“We are both good running backs, and one of us has to get the job done,” Drobac said. “Tonight (in the red zone) it was my turn.”