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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Knights back in first with inspiring victory over Hamline

< four back-and-forth quarters that most football pundits have dubbed simply “The Shane Henfling Show,” the Carleton Knights are back in their rightful place in the MIAC football standings: first. Their dramatic 28-27 victory over Hamline put Carleton in a four-way tie in the highest part of the conference rankings, although it is worth noting that due to alphabetization the Maize-and-Blue currently sit alone at the top (thank the Romans). After consecutive heartbreaking losses, the Knights resumed their winning ways on the strength of a potent passing attack and some timely defensive stops. Senior quarterback Shane Favre Henfling dazzled all in attendance (and several who just happened to pass by) with a Gagliardi-caliber 462-yard (third most in school history), 2-touchdown performance on 34-for-49 passing. Henfling added 21 yards and a score on the ground, confirming a rumor that has been circulating for some time by proving once and for all that he is, in fact, an Athlete. Henfling spread the ball between 6 different receivers in bringing his season passing total to 2,509 yards, the most in school history. The new Carleton dormitory is expected to be named in his honor.

As has become the norm, Henfling was most effective when he was needed the most, leading a game-winning touchdown drive in the game’s final minutes. That drive was capped off by a 7-yard touchdown run by junior running back Phil “Maize and…” Blue. Blue, showing off the versatility of a young Reggie Bush (plus the ability to run between the tackles), put together a career game, picking up 62 yards on 13 carries and a game-changing 10 receptions for 126 yards (not to mention an apparent 46-yard touchdown grab in the fourth quarter that was negated by a potentially make-believe holding call). Also helping Henfling pile up his fantasy stats was senior wide receiver Matt Frank, All-American. Frank hauled in 13 passes for 147 yards (his tenth career game of 100+ receiving yards) and 2 highlight-reel touchdowns. Despite giving the record books a breather due to a second half injury (that’s right, he only needed 3 quarters to put up these numbers), Frank is now only 10 catches shy of his own single-season record of 74 and 17 away from Jim Bradford’s career record of 212.

The Knight defense was shaky early, most likely in an attempt to set up the ensuing comeback (chicks dig the comeback win), and gave up 20 first-half points. The second half was a different story, however, as Drew Ziller & Company made big stop after big stop in holding the Pipers to merely 7 points after halftime and none in the fourth quarter. Ziller, the All-American senior safety, led the way with 11 tackles, a sack, a forced fumble, and a key pass breakup. Several witnesses report that he also rescued a kitten from a tree immediately following the game. Also starring for the Carleton defense were senior defensive linemen Tim Kane and Nick Brom, who combined for 13 tackles, and senior linebacker Pete Gottschalk, whose interception with 48 seconds remaining in regulation sealed the victory for the Knights.

The Knights can guarantee at least a share of the conference title with wins in their final 2 games of the season. The first of those is this Saturday at Concordia against the pass-challenged Cobbers (the most intimidating team name in the MIAC). For those who can make the trip with the rest of the Knight faithful, be sure to stop by the town of Fergus Falls on your way north. Just off I-94, Fergus Falls (a Minnesota Star City) is an oasis of beauty in a part of the state otherwise bleakly populated by such towns as Bemidji and Concordia’s own Moorhead. Be sure to check out the Viking Café and their delicious biscuits-and-gravy, the ideal pregame meal.

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