Thirteen seniors and now 13 consecutive Green Bowl wins for the Notre Dame football team. You gotta love the symmetry!
Even though the game was moved to Thanksgiving Eve, Zackary Hockman and Jackson Zalinsky made sure the rest of the Notre Dame football team would enjoy their Thanksgiving Day meal.
The dynamic Green Knight duo combined for seven straight Notre Dame touchdowns as the Green Knights erased an early 8-0 deficit en route to their 62-16 win in the 68th annual Green Bowl on Thanksgiving Eve at Hamden’s Joe Bruno Stadium. Notre Dame has now won 13 straight in the series that dates back to 1951.
Hochman was responsible for six touchdowns himself, spreading them evenly between rushing and passing. Zalinsky contributed one on the ground and three threw the air.
Hamden started strong forcing a Notre Dame punt on their first series. Hockman, who doubles as the Green Knights punter, couldn’t get the kick away as he was surrounded by four rushing defenders.
Hamden took advantage when Christopher Wallace found Tamayo Ferreira from 21 yards out and Hamden led 8-0 with 8:15 left in the first quarter.
After failing to score on a first and goal from the four yard line on its next drive, the Notre Dame defense did its part forcing a Hamden punt. Notre Dame’s offense took over from there. The Green Knights (6-4) would go on to score on its next five possessions to take a 33-8 lead into halftime.
Hochman scored the first two touchdowns on runs of five and four yards before Zalinsky ran one in from 19 yards out to take a 20-8 lead with 9:27 left in the second quarter.
Hockman then culminated his strong senior season, scoring four more touchdowns as Notre Dame cruised to a 48-8 lead. He scored on a two-yard run before catching three passes from Zalinsky from 15, 48, and 68 yards.
Zalinsky completed eight of 12 passes for 172 yards, while rushing for 45 yards on five attempts. Meanwhile Hockman caught six passes for 158 yards in his three touchdown receiving effort.
Notre Dame added a pair of touchdowns on the ground as Warren Murphy scored from eight yards out and Tyler Basti from 20 yards to conclude the game’s scoring. Murphy led the Green Knights rushing attack with 130 yards on 18 carries.
“We wanted to finish the season strong for our program, for our school, for our alumni, and most importantly for our seniors,” Said Notre Dame head coach Joe DeCaprio. “Our kids knew how important a win was on many levels and I am super proud of their effort in winning this game. It’s a great way to jumpstart next season.”
Notre Dame’s defense deserves a definite assist in this win. They held the Green Dragons to 193 total yards, including only 36 in the air. As if Hockman didn’t contribute enough offensively, he picked off two Hamden passes. The defense allowed only 12 Hamden first downs and were unbelievably efficient on third down preventing all six Hamden plays on third down from resulting in a first down.