Macalester Scots Score Early, Hang on for 17-7 Victory over Lawrence
For the second straight week, the Macalester Scots had to rely on their defense to enable them to stay undefeated in the Midwest Conference. This time the offense scored two quick first quarter touchdowns, then watched the defense bend but not break in leading the team to a 17-7 victory.
The Scots jumped out on top and it took them less than a minute to do so. Macalester received the opening kickoff and Jonathan Knee gave the team great fielding position when he returned the kick to his team’s 43. On the first play of the drive Knee got the ball and rushed for 10-yards. Matt Bonazzoli then took the ball on the next play and burst to the outside. He found a lane down the sideline and took it the house, racing 47-yards for the touchdown. That made it 7-0 Scots.
On the Vikings first drive they would move the ball as well, going 21-yards on the first three-plays, but a fumble caused by AJ Imholte was recovered by Cash McGregor at the Scots 47. Lawrence looked like they would shut down the drive when they allowed just three-yards on the first two plays, but QB Christian Adams found Knee for 26-yards and a first down. On the next play, Jacob Jones refused to go down, breaking a set of tackles before scoring from 24-yards out.
Just 3:19 into the game, the Scots were up 14-0 and this looked like a blowout could be the order of the day, but the Lawrence defense stiffened, shutting down the Scots for the rest of the half. Macalester would add just one more field goal. That was set up when a 20-yard punt from the Lawrence punter gave the home team the ball at the Vikings 30. Adams found Jones on the first play for a 15-yard gain, but the drive would stall, forcing a 26-yard field goal from Ben Haltmaier that made the score 17-0.
Meanwhile, the Macalester Scots defense was absolutely brilliant in the first half, holding the Lawrence College Vikings to 84 total yards of offense, including just 28 through the air. The Vikings had just four first downs and simply could not get anything going early.
However, a new half brought a new sense of urgency from Lawrence. On their first drive they marched 86-yards in 15-plays before a Phillip Santiago pass to Cam Boern went for 9-yards and the touchdown. Santiago was brilliant on the drive, completing 6 of 9 passes, including a huge completion to Boern for 22-yards on third and 17.
On the Vikings next drive, it looked like they would put points on the board again. Starting from their own 36, Santiago completed two huge passes to Boern, one for 12-yards and another for 14. However, the drive stalled at the Scots 17 forcing a field goal attempt, which sailed slightly to the left to keep it a 17-7 game.
On Macalester’s next drive they would turn the ball over on downs at the Lawrence 46. The Vikings would move the ball once again, reaching the 15, but they would move no closer. That brought a second attempt at a field goal, but this one was blocked by Jack Shultenover and Lawrence would once again come away empty-handed.
The Vikings would twice more get into Macalester territory but would not be able put points on the board. The game would end 17-7 Macalester, moving the Scots to 5-1, 4-0 in the Midwest Conference.
Jones led the offense with 73-yards and a touchdown on the ground. He also made two catches for 19-yards. Knee was another huge contributor, rushing for 38-yards and making 4-catches for 69-yards. Andrew Smith led the Macalester defense with 9-tackles. Santiago threw for 182-yards and a touchdown and ran for 58-more for the Vikings. Boern made 6-catches for 86-yards and a touchdown.
The Macalester College Fighting Scots will welcome Lake Forest to Macalester Scots Stadium next week. This will be the first time the two schools have faced off against one another. Kick-off is 1:00 PM.
By Robert Pannier