Joey Valdivia Unstoppable in Leading Lake Forest to 35-14 Victory
The Lake Forest Foresters entered Macalester Stadium looking to let their all conference runner, Joey Valdivia, lead them to their fifth victory of the season. The Macalester Fighting Scots were looking to stay undefeated in the Midwest Conference and extend their winning streak to five. Something had to give and it was not going to be Valdivia on this afternoon, as the running back rushed for nearly 300-yards and 4-scores in the 35-14 victory over Macalester College.
The first half was dominated by the Foresters thanks, in large part, to Valdivia who was an absolute beast through the first 30 minutes of the game. The Scots were unable to generate much offense on their first two possessions, but Lake Forest was having some success. On their second possession they would take the lead. Starting from their own 26, Valdivia carried the ball for five-yards before Jagan Clearly completed a 12-yard pass to Alex Pasiewicz for a first down. Two players later Valdivia took the ball outside and found an opening. He then raced the length of the field for the 57-yard score to give the Foresters the 7-0 lead.
It would stay that way into the second quarter when Lake Forest would extend their lead to 14. Starting from their own 37, the Foresters mounted an impressive 12-play drive that took 5:12 off of the clock. Charlie Quinn had three big rushes on the drive, including a 12-yarder that moved the ball to the Macalester 4-yard line. Three plays later Cleary found Pasiewiz for the score to make it 14-0.
The Fighting Scots offense had struggled to get some rhythm going, but they responded to the score with a touchdown of their own. Tre Nowaczynski had two big catches for 31-yards that moved the ball to the 34 of Lake Forest. It looked like the drive would stall there, but the Scots decided to go for it. Offensive Coordinator Marc Davies dialed up the trick play, having the ball handed off to RB Matt Bonazzoli who rolled to his right and then found Garrett Eichhorn in the end zone for the 28-yard touchdown. That made it 14-7.
Just before the half the Foresters would extend their lead back to 14. Cleary led the drive with five straight completions for 36-yards. A pass interference call put the ball at the Scots 12, and Valdivia would score on the next play to make it 21-7.
Heading into the half the Lake Forest Foresters were simply dominating the game. They had the ball for 17 minutes, and Valdivia had 126-yards and 2-TDs on 14-carries. Cleary had also been impressive, completing 16 of his 23-pass attempts for 132-yards and a score.
The Macalester Scots came out fired up in the second half. After Liam Peebles and Nick Egersdorf sacked Cleary on third and 7, the Foresters were forced to punt.
The Scots began their drive at their own 23. Two quick passes from Christian Adams to Jonathan Knee gave Macalester a first down. Two plays later it would be third and 2 and Coach Davies would go with a little trickery again, this time handing the ball off to Alec Beatty who then threw to Nowaczynski for the first down. On the 13th play of the drive, freshman Reese Bresson took the ball on a wide receiver sweep and raced into the end zone for the touchdown. That made it 21-14.
As the half went along, the Fighting Scots defense simply got better and better. Valdivia was finding no room and the defense was swarming over the Lake Forest back.
In the fourth quarter a partial block of a Macalester punt gave Lake Forest incredible field position at the Macalester 37, but the defense would come up big again. The Foresters moved to the Scots 17 where it was third and 5. That is when Egersdorf took charge, sacking Cleary on back-to-back plays. That turned the ball over on downs and the Scots began to move the ball, getting it to the Lake Forest 37, but a personal foul call set up first and 25, and the Scots were forced to punt.
Once again Macalester would have to lean on their defense. The Matt Glassenapp punt put the ball at the Foresters 8-yard line. From there it looked like the Scots would force a punt, but on third and 12, Chris Edomwande made an incredible catch along the sideline for a 13-yard catch and a first down. Again, on third and 3 it looked like the Scots might make another stop, but Valdivia burst through the line and raced 74-yards for the touchdown to basically seal the victory. It was his third touchdown of the game.
On the Scots next possession, Adams was picked off at his own 44 on a great play by Pat McDonaugh. On the next play, Valdivia burst through the line and raced to the end zone for his fourth score of the game. That gave him 278-yards rushing on 30-carries. That would also be the last score of the game as Lake Forest won 35-14.
Cleary finished 24-35 for 186-yards and a TD. John LaPointe led the defense with 9-tackles and the Lake Forest defense recorded three interceptions.
Garrett Eichhorn had 102-yards receiving and a TD on 7-receptions. Adams finished with a career high 52 pass attempts, completing 26 of them for 277-yards.
Both teams are now 5-2. The Macalester Scots take on Beloit next Saturday. Game time is 1:00.
By Robert Pannier