The clock finally did strike midnight for the Macalester Scots football team, but not at a grand ball. Instead it happened on a football field in Whitewater, WI. The Scots were defeated 55-2 by the Warhawks, in a game that was virtually over by the end of the first quarter. It was a tough loss to take, but not an overwhelming one.
Head Coach Tony Jennison reiterated to the team all week how the team had nothing to lose in this game. No one expected them to be conference champions, and clearly no one expected them to beat the No. 1 juggernaut that is the Whitewater Warhawks. Much of the talk around the college football world was whether the Scots would even score against UWW. This was not an insult to Macalester; the Warhawks are just that good.
A breakdown of the action is not necessary. The score says pretty much how it went, but it does not tell the entire story. The offense for Macalester did not get into the end zone, but they moved the ball fairly effectively against a team that only allowed an average of 263 yards per game.
QB Samson Bialostok passed for 232 yards and ran for 68 more. He was only sacked once. Those aren’t “historic” numbers, but they are solid for playing one of the best defenses in the country. Seven different players caught passes, led by senior Ben Hillman who made 7-catches for 42 yards. Freshman Sam Bordo had 3-catches for 43 yards to lead the team.
On defense Jole Miller led the team with 10 tackles and forced a fumble, his second straight week with a strip. Ryan Fleming had 9 tackles and a fumble recovery, and Reid Callahan had a sack and six tackles.
For the Warhawks, it was the kind of day you would expect. They scored three times in the first quarter, and went to half up 34-0. They gained 583 yards of offense, but amazingly only had the ball for 24:33 of the game. Inside the red zone they were 6-6 and, to paraphrase Coach Dennis Green, they were exactly who the Scots thought they would be.
QB Matt Behrendt passed for 213 yards on 17 of 21 attempts and 3 touchdowns. Jordan Ratliffe carried the ball 13 times for 101 yards and 3-touchdowns, and Ryan Givens had 8 more carries for 97 and two scores. Joe Worth had 8-catches for 90 yards and 2 TDs and Justin Howard added 6-catches for 84-yards.
The loss was a disappointing one for the Macalester Scots, but not a crushing one by any stretch of the imagination. They went a lot further than anyone expected, maybe even further than they thought themselves when the season began. They played the No. 1 team in the country, and held their own in every place but the scoreboard. They proved that they deserved to be on that playing field.
At 9-2, the team had their best season in the 121-year history of the school. They did their school and themselves proud, and have established a standard for future generations. No tears here. They may have lost 55-2, but they put Macalester Scots football on the map to stay.
Minor League Sports Report will do a look back at the season on Thursday.
By Robert Pannier