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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Football falls to Gusties, still tops in the conference

< game filled with numerous heroic Knight performances, the kind that ballads and roundtable discussions and animated movies are made of, Carleton was unable to overcome several bad bounces as Gustavus handed the Maize and Blue their first loss of the season, a 29-30 nail-biter. The back-and-forth overtime thriller saw the Knights tie up the score on four separate occasions, including after a dramatic fourth-quarter drive led by quarterback Shane Henfling ’09 who would finish the game with 255 yards and 3 touchdowns through the air and a graceful 45 yards and a score on the ground. With just over 3 minutes remaining in regulation, Henfling, in a performance that drew comparisons to a certain elderly, retirement-fearing quarterback formerly of Wisconsin (Minnesota’s unsuccessful cousin), calmly orchestrated a 13-play, 56-yard drive (including 2 fourth-down conversions on Henfling scrambles) that culminated in what appeared to be the game-winning touchdown, a 5-yard strike to sophomore receiver Dylan Bothun ’11 with 10 seconds left in the game. Unfortunately, a lucky Gustie was able to get a hand on the extra point attempt, leaving the game tied 23-23 heading into overtime. After a quick Gustavus touchdown in their first overtime possession (on what appeared to be a very questionable fumble recovery awarded by the possibly French officials), Henfling again directed a clutch scoring drive, this time finding the endzone with his feet on a 5-yard keeper. Unable to catch a break, though, the Knights again had their extra point attempt blocked, ending their perfect season in heartbreaking fashion.

Despite the disappointing finish, it was a hard-fought game for the Knights, and the general consensus is that they are still the team to beat in the MIAC and continue to have the classiest, most aesthetically pleasing fans in the conference. Also making some attractive plays for the Knights during the loss was running back Phil Blue ’10, who came off the bench to pile up 76 total yards. Helping Henfling out in the passing game were seniors Chris Gardner, Steve Ramey, and Matt Frank . Gardner and Ramey combined for 9 receptions and 91 yards, and each snagged a Henfling touchdown toss. Frank, thought to be injured and unable to play, displayed some Henfling-esque heroics of his own in putting together a gritty performance that should land him a spot in the upcoming Miracle remake. In an inspirational fourth-quarter of play, Frank made 5 key catches for 65 yards, giving the Knights the big plays they needed to mount their near-comeback.

Leading the way once again for the Knight defense was All-American senior safety Drew Ziller. Ziller, everyone’s favorite Byron, Minnesota native, picked up 12 punishing tackles and forced a fumble, and he and senior defensive back Nick Cesarek each had 2 authoritative (Dikembe Mutombo-style) pass breakups. Andy Samborski ’11 added 10 tackles of his own while helping the Knight defense answer the age-old question: How many Gustie coaches does it take to call an offensive play? (Answer: Between 3 and 6.)

The Carleton Cheerboys enjoyed a solid performance of their own, easily out-cheering the numerous Gustavus fans and once again showing off their diverse, swoon-inspiring display of lap running and pushups. The the Cheerboys have officially been recognized as the heartthrobs of the entirety of Division III by one of those magazines you can get at the grocery store checkout line. Join the Cheerboys and the rest of the Knight faithful this Saturday as Carleton looks to continue its first-place ways on the road at St. Thomas, the namesake of everyone’s favorite Scientologist, St. Thomas Cruise.

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