Second Half Surge Sends St. Norbert to Victory, 25-16
A 13-point second quarter had the Macalester Scots feeling pretty good about their chances to upset the St. Norbert Green Knights, however Elijah Fort led the Green Knights second half surge as the visitors came away with the 25-16 victory. The win moved St. Norbert to a perfect 9-0 on the season, while the Fighting Scots dropped their second straight heartbreaker to fall to 4-5.
The Scots got on the board first when Ben Haltmaier hit a 34-yard field goal with 6:40 left in the first quarter. The field goal capped off an eight-play, 32-yard drive that saw senior running back Zandy Stowell lead the way with three carries for 32-yards. The Scots actually looked like they were going to score a touchdown on the drive when Tre Nowaczynski scored on a double-reverse from 11-yards out, but an illegal formation penalty negated the play and two plays later the Scots were forced to kick the field goal.
The Green Knights came right back. Fort and Brad Boockmeier moved the ball on the ground, leading the team on a 13-play, 74-yard drive that ended with Fort scoring from 15-yards out to give St. Norbert the lead. The two running backs carried the ball a combined 10-plays on the drive, with Fort converting three third downs to keep the drive moving.
Both defenses were playing quite well, especially the Green Knights’ group, who allowed the Fighting Scots just 56-yards of total offense through their first three drives. However, back-to-back drives in the second quarter both led to touchdowns giving Macalester a 16-7 lead.
The first drive began at the Scots 41. Stowell took the ball on four of the first five plays, gaining 19-yards. Methodically Macalester moved the ball on the ground down the field, reaching the St. Norbert 22-yard-line in eight plays. On third and 4, Stowell burst through a hole and refused to go down until he was finally tackled at the Green Knights one. On the next play Alec Beatty scored to make it 9-7.
On the Scots next possession they would reach the end zone again. Beginning this drive at their 31, Macalester used four quarterbacks to lead the drive. Freshman Andrew Smith had the key play of the drive, converting a third and 7 for a first down when he found multi-position star Alec Beatty for a 24-yard gain to the St. Norbert 15. Three plays later Beatty scored his second one-yard touchdown of the game and it was 16-7 Scots.
For the most part Macalester College had dominated the first half, but the second half was a completely different story. The Green Knights got rolling with a big special teams play when Jake Kerkorian blocked a Scots punt attempt. Jacob Wells recovered the ball at the Macalester 17, giving his team great field position. Three plays later Fort scored from four-yards out to make it 16-14.
On the Green Knights’ next possession they would take the lead when Spenser Thompson-Meyers drilled a 48-yard field goal to make the score 17-16. That capped off a six-play, 26-yard drive that started when the St. Norbert defense was able to stuff Jacob Jones a yard short on fourth and 2, forcing the turnover on downs.
The Scots put together another big drive, moving to the St. Norbert 32, but disaster struck when Sam Bordo attempted to make a play on a dropped pitch. The ball bounced into the hands of the Green Knights Stuart Kwaterski, who raced to the Macalester 17 before being pushed out by Victor Bordo.
This had disaster written all over it, but the Fighting Scots defense stepped up, stuffing Boockmeier for a six-yard loss on the first play of the drive, and eventually forcing a field goal attempt which was missed.
Macalester could not move the ball on their next possession and were forced to punt. The Green Knights offense delivered a knockout blow to put the game on ice. Fort shouldered the drive, carrying the ball five times in the 11-play drive. His two-yard score made it 25-16, which is how the game would end.
The Fighting Scots did a great job against the Green Knights passing game, holding Jack Becker to 37-yards passing on 12-attempts. The ground game was an entirely different story as both Boockmeier and Fort rushed for over 100-yards. Fort gained 106-yards and three touchdowns on 18-carries, while Boockmeier rushed for 124-yards on 20-carries.
For the Scots Zandy Stowell had 142-yards rushing on 26-carries. Smith was 1-1 passing for 24-yards and added 23-yards rushing, while Beatty rushed for 20-yards and 2 TDs. Victor Bordo had 84-yards receiving.
Beatty led the defense with 15-tackles, while Forest Redlin and Phillip Wetterstein had 10 each. Glen Hartford and Sean Hayes each had a sack, and Austin Dischinger intercepted a Becker pass. St. Norbert got 14-tackles and a sack from Wyatt Veseth and R.J. Callow added 11-tackles and a sack.
By Robert Pannier