Second Half Rally Helps Knights Slay Macalester Scots, 27-12
Last year the Macalester Scots slipped by the Carleton Knights on a last second field goal. The Knights have had a year to think about how they lost the “Book of Knowledge,” the award handed to the winner of the yearly battle, and were adamant that they were not going to let Macalester get on any kind of roll. Macalester’s win ended a decade long drought, and the Knights were seeking a little revenge, which they provided in the 27-12 victory.
The Carleton Knights received the opening kickoff and they were ready to establish their dominance right away. The home team moved 77-yards in 11-plays, and scored on a two-yard run by Tyler O’Keefe to take the early lead. QB Zach Creighton was incredibly effective on the drive, both running and throwing the football. Creighton completed all three of his passes and rushed for 23 more yards to lead the drive.
The Macalester Scots changed things up, deciding to go with freshman Alec Beatty to begin the game. He was moving the ball effectively, but two big penalties, one of which was highly questionable, aided in the drive stalling.
From there it became a defensive battle. Carleton’s next biggest drive of the half was on their fourth possession, when they moved 59-yards in eight-plays, but they were eventually forced to punt, and Christian Adams finally got the Scots on the scoreboard. Moving down the field methodically the team mounted a 12-play, 80-yard drive that ended with Jeremy Stephan scoring from eight-yards out. The biggest play of the drive came on a third and 16 play when Adams threw an absolutely perfect touch pass to Sam Bordo that went for 36-yards and a first down. The extra point was no good, and so the Macalester Scots trailed 7-6.
The visitors had the opportunity to take the lead just before half. With Beatty at the quarterback position, the Scots moved 57-yards in 17-plays down to the Carleton nine. With four seconds left they attempted a field goal but missed a 26-yarder to keep it a one-point Knights lead.
Coming out after half the Carleton Knights took control of the game. Macalester was forced to punt on their opening drive of the half, and the ball went back to Creighton. He then led an eight-play drive that was capped off by an O’Keefe touchdown to make it 14-6.
On the Knights next drive they moved quickly starting from their own 42-yard line. Carleton took just 3.17 to move 58-yards before Andy Gustafson scored from 16-yards out to make it 21-6.
The Scots seemed to have lost some life following the second score and were really struggling to find some rhythm. They needed a big play and Nicholas Egersdorf delivered it for them. On a fourth down and six play from their own 17, Carleton chose to punt. Egersdorf burst through the line and blocked the punt. Miles Keys McKay scooped it up and raced the final five yards for the score and Scots were right back in it. The two-point conversion was stopped but it was now just a nine-point game.
That lead looked like it was going to dwindle more when Austin Dischinger forced a fumble on the ensuing kickoff that was recovered by Macalester at the Carleton 21. The Scots were unable to capitalize on the turnover however, as Benny Goldman’s fourth and five pass was dropped in the end zone, and the ball was turned over on downs.
From there the Knights marched 87-yards in 7-plays to put the game away. Creighton’s 33-yard touchdown pass to Gustafson make it 27-12 and that is how the game would end.
It was a tough day for the Macalester Scots offense, as they produced just 247 yards, only 97 through the air. Meanwhile Carleton put up 468 yards of total offense, including 248 passing. Creighton was 14-21 through the air for 246 yards and gained 95 more on the ground. Beatty led the Scots with 85 years rushing. Adams had 71 yards passing.
Next week the Carleton Knights go on the road to face Knox College. Macalester welcomes Hamline University to Macalester Stadium.
By Robert Pannier