Macalester Fighting Scots Grab Early Lead, Hang on for 48-36 Win
Heading into the half, the Macalester College Fighting Scots were dominating Cornell College, leading 35-13. However, the Rams came out in the second half fired up and battled back to make this a close game before Jacob Jones sealed it with a one-yard score to give the Fighting Scots the 48-36 victory. That moved Macalester to 7-2 on the season, and gave Head Coach Tony Jennison his 46th career victory.
The Fighting Scots would take the opening kickoff and marched 65-yards in 11-plays to take the 7-0 lead. Running back Ethan Carpenter became a catalyst on the drive, carrying the ball five times for 31-yards. His two-yard run on first and goal gave the Scots the lead.
On the Rams first possession of the game, Phil Wettersten forced a fumble at the Cornell College 31 that was recovered by Liam Peebles. On the next play, QB Cody Petrich made a perfect throw to Tre Nowaczynski who scored to make it 14-0.
On Macalester’s next drive they were forced to punt. John Ragozino would block the kick and it would be recovered by Devan Clark at the Scots 10. He picked up the ball and scored on the big special team’s play to make it 14-7.
The Fighting Scots would get those points right back. On their next possession, they would begin at their own 23. On second and 10 Petrich threw a big completion to Alec Beatty for 31-yards and into Rams territory. Another big completion, this time to Garrett Eichhorn for 32-yards, put the ball at the Crown two. From there, Jacob Jones would score to make it 21-7.
In the second quarter Macalester College would extend their lead. The Scots would begin their drive from their own 48 with 1:05 left in the first quarter. Petrich completed a pass for 14-yards to Jack Streibich to start the drive. On third and 2 at the Cornell 30, Beatty was given the ball and he raced the distance for the score to make it 28-7.
The Rams would respond on their next drive. QB Daniel Brown led the drive, rushing twice and completing three passes. On third and goal at the seven, Brown passed to Charles Zilaitis for the score to cut the deficit to 28-13.
Once again, the Fighting Scots would respond. Forest Redlin returned the kickoff to his team’s 38. Jones moved the ball into Cornell College and, on second and 7 at the 42, Petrich hit Jonathan Knee for the score to make it 35-13. That was Petrich’s second touchdown throw of the game.
Macalester College had dominated the first half, but the Cornell College Rams would begin to inch their way back into the game in the second. The Rams would receive the second half kickoff and moved the ball to the Macalester 21 before their drive stalled. Kaleb Whiting drilled a 38-yard field goal to make the score 35-16.
For the third time in the contest, the Fighting Scots responded right away. The Scots moved the ball on the ground before Jones scored his second two-yard touchdown of the contest to make it 41-16.
Back the other way the Rams went. Clark was a big factor, carrying the ball five times, including the last four plays of the drive, scoring from two-yards out to make it 41-23.
At the start of the fourth quarter, the Cornell College Rams would cut the deficit to just 11. Brown’s 14-yard pass to Justin Ramirez went for the score and it was just a two score contest at that point.
Two possessions later the Rams cut that deficit to just five. It would take just four plays for Cornell to score. Brown hit Ramirez for a deep strike on third and 6. The catch and run would go 61-yards for the TD. That made it 41-36.
It looked like the Rams may pull out the big come from behind win, but the Fighting Scots would seal the victory when Jones scored from one-yard out to make it 48-36. That finished off a 7-play, 39-yard drive and left just 1:06 left on the clock.
On the kickoff, AJ Imholte forced a fumble that was recovered by Jed Buckholz. The Scots ran out the clock to end the contest.
Jones finished with 59-yards and 3-TDs rushing and Carpenter added 75-yards on the ground and a score. Petrich was 17-29 for 323-yards and 2-TDs. He also rushed for 43-yards. Knee made 3-catches for 90-yards and a TD. Beatty had 80-yards receiving and rushed for 38 more and a score.
Brown passed for 339-yards and 3-TDs. He also rushed for 73-yards. Ramirez had 133-yards receiving and 2-touchdowns for Cornell College.
On defense, the Fighting Scots were led by Wettersten, who had 14-tackles, a forced fumble, an interception and half of a sack. Nick Egersdorf added 1.5-sacks giving him 13 this season. He is three short of the single season record at Macalester College.
Next week the Fighting Scots are on their bye week before traveling to St. Norbert for the final regular season game of the season.
By Robert Pannier