For fans of Macalester Scots football, you have to be feeling pretty good about the future of this team, especially in its offense. If the performance of its sophomores is any indication, this team is going to be a dynamic group that is going to be hard to stop. That was on display on Saturday against Grinnell, as quarterback Cody Petrich threw two touchdown passes to fellow sophomore Alec Beatty and second-year running back Jeremy Stephan ran for two more scores in the 34-0 victory at Macalester Stadium on Saturday.
On their first score, the Macalester Fighting Scots would be put in amazing field position, thanks to a 51-yard punt by Matt Glasenapp. That was downed at the Grinnell one-yard line, and three straight incompletions forced a punt from the one. The 32-yard punt was returned 8-yards by Jonathan Knee to set up first and 10 from the Grinnell 25.
From there, it took Petrich and his offense eight-plays to put their team in the lead. A personal foul call started the drive and put the Scots back 15-yards. The drive looked like it would stall when it was fourth and 12 at the Grinnell 31, but Coach Tony Jennison went for it and Petrich delivered, hitting running back Jacob Jones for 26-yards to the Pioneers five. On the next play, Petrich found Beatty and it was 7-0 Macalester.
In the second quarter, two Macalester College touchdowns would put this game out of reach. On the team’s first drive of the frame, the Scots moved 80-yards in 7-plays to extend the lead to 14. The big play on the drive came on first and 10 from the Macalester 31. Petrich went up top to senior Garrett Eichhorn for 59-yards to the Grinnell 10. Two plays later the Scots QB found Beatty again, this time for a seven-yard touchdown to make it 14-0.
On their next possession, it would be Stephan’s turn to get into the act. On a second and two play from their own 36, Petrich handed off to the sophomore running back who burst through the line and raced 64-yards for the score. That run capped off an 85-yard drive and made the score 21-0.
While the offense was moving the ball in large chunks, the defense was stifling the Grinnell offense at every turn. The Pioneers had the ball eight times in the first half, and generated a total of 93-yards. Five of their series lasted just three-plays before they were forced to punt.
In the third quarter the offense would extend the lead to 28. Grinnell was forced to punt and Kent Hoover kicked a 39-yarder to the Macalester 20. Cash McGregor took the punt and raced 38-yards before finally being downed at the Pioneers 32. Seven-plays later Stephan scored to make it 28-0.
In the fourth quarter McGregor would give his team great fielding position again. A 35-yard punt was returned 33-yards to the Grinnell 41. Johnny Bice came in at quarterback and found Reese Bresson for a 33-yard touchdown pass to make it 34-0. That would be the final score.
The Scots put up 505-yards of total offense. Petrich finished 19-30 for 262-yards and 2-TDs. Stephan rushed for 94-yards and 2-scores on just 6-carries. Beatty had just 3-catches, but he made the most of them, scoring twice. Eichhorn continues to impress as the deep threat for the Scots, making 4-catches for 133-yards. Bresson had 2-catches for 65-yards and a touchdown.
On defense, Nick Egersdorf continues to dominate on the defensive line, recording two sacks. That gives him six in the first four games of the season. The defense allowed just 252-yards of total offense to the Pioneers.
Next week Macalester College travels to Ripon College. Kickoff is 1:00.
By Robert Pannier