The Macalester College Fighting Scots entered the contest with St. Norbert on Saturday looking to win their eighth game of the season, just the second time in school history that they have accomplished the feat. However, the Knights had other plans all together, as St. Norbert scored 14-points in the second quarter and 21 in the fourth to dominate the Fighting Scots 35-7. Elijah Fort led the Knights to the victory, rushing for 140-yards and a touchdown on 20-carries and St. Norbert put up 403-yards of total offense in the win.
It was a scoreless first quarter as the two teams combined for five straight punts to start the contest. The fifth punt gave the Scots great field position when it went just 28-yards, putting the ball at midfield. Quarterback Cody Petrich moved the team to the St. Norbert 21 but, on third and 8, Petrich looked for the touchdown only to see Ben Kornowski make a great play to intercept the ball at the two.
The Knights would see some success in moving the ball, taking it to their own 36 where it was fourth and 1. The coaches opted to roll the dice and go for it, but AJ Imholte made a great play to stuff Brad Boockmeier and give his offense back the ball.
The Scots offense would then move to the 18, where they faced a fourth and 7. That led to a field goal attempt which sailed wide right and St. Norbert had the ball again.
The Knights would then go on a drive that put them just one-yard from taking the lead. Fort carried the ball on each of the first three plays, gaining 59-yards, including 45 on one play, that put the ball at the Macalester 21. The Knights moved to the three where they faced fourth and goal, and looked like they caught a big break when an offsides call moved the ball to the one. The St. Norbert coaching staff opted to go for it again, and this time it was Nick Egersdorf that made the huge play, stuffing Fort and turning the ball back over on downs.
This looked like a huge difference maker for the Fighting Scots, but the euphoria changed quickly when Petrich’s pass was intercepted by Tommy Gonzalez on the next play. Gonzalez grabbed the ball at the 10 and headed for the end zone to stake his team to a 7-0 lead.
The Scots were forced to punt on their next possession, giving St. Norbert one last opportunity to get on the board before the half. They did not fail to produce.
Starting from their own 24, J.T. Crosby completed four huge pass plays to move the ball. Two of those went to Drew Rhodes, one for 17 and the other 20. Samuel Staehling then caught passes of 11 and 12-yards to put the ball at the Scots four. On first and goal, Crosby passed to Zach Reeves for the touchdown and it was 14-0 heading into the half.
Needing a spark, the Macalester College offense took the opening kickoff of the second half and marched 75-yards for the score that cut the lead to just seven. Petrich made up for his earlier miscue by hitting two huge passes to Jacob Jones and Jonathan Knee to reach across midfield. It looked like the team may be forced to kick a field goal when the St. Norbert defense made it third and 9 at the 27, but Petrich found a streaking Sam Bordo for a 27-yard touchdown pass to make it 14-7.
Right back in the game, the Fighting Scots defense took command, forcing punts on each of the Knights next two possessions, however, the Macalester offense was not finding much more success.
Into the fourth quarter the game went, where St. Norbert took command. On their first possession of the frame, Fort led an 8-play, 57-yard drive, carrying the ball three times for 36-yards, including a 9-yard touchdown run to make it 21-7.
Macalester moved the ball to the St. Norbert 23 on their next possession, but turned it over on downs. Crosby then made short work of the next drive, completing both of his passes, including a 34-yard touchdown strike to Grant Murray that made it 28-7. It took just 1:40 for the Knights to move 77-yards in 4-plays.
The Knights would add one more score after Petrich was intercepted at his own 44, and a personal foul call moved the ball to the 29. Boockmeier carried the ball on the first five-plays of the drive, and Curtiss Arndt scored from three-yards out to cap off the drive and make it 35-7.
Elijah Fort led the St. Norbert Offense with 140-yards rushing. Boockmeier had 16-carries for 70-yards and Crosby was an impressive 15-18 passing for 161-yards and 2-TDs.
The Fighting Scots got 4-receptions for 43-yards from both Jacob Jones and Jonathan Knee, and Petrich passed for 137-yards and a TD.
The Macalester Fighting Scots finished the season 7-3, giving the team their second winning season in the last three. St. Norbert also finished 7-3.
Starting the first Saturday after Thanksgiving, the Minor League Sports Report will do a week-by-week look at the season, including player and coach profiles and other features.
By Robert Pannier