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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Football looses MIAC opener to Bethel 42-7, Macalester next

<s just one of those days at Laird Stadium. You knew it was bad when the largest cheers came after the announcements that Carleton's soccer and volleyball teams had won their matches.

After squeaking out a win over Cornell College (Iowa) two weeks ago, the Knights football team stumbled last Saturday, falling to visiting Bethel 42-7 in the MIAC opener.

With many key players graduated from last year’s 7-3 squad, Carleton’s inexperience showed against a powerful Royals team. The Knights’ young offense was stifled all day, managing only the one touchdown, which came in the fourth quarter with the game’s outcome long decided.

The defense, meanwhile, had no answer for Bethel, led by running back Logan Flannery, who scampered all over the gridiron like a leprechaun in search of gold, amassing 160 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns. The only Knight defender consistently making plays was junior safety Neil Kolstad, back to full strength after a Week One injury, who logged 13 tackles (11 solo), tops for all MIAC players on the day.

Most of the game’s excitement came in the second quarter, when the Knights took their best shot at crawling back into the contest. After Bethel stormed out of the gates – despite not being provided a cheerboy tunnel to enter through – to the tune of three first quarter touchdowns, the Carleton defense woke up, forcing two fumbles and holding the Royals scoreless for the remainder of the half.

The offense was handed a golden opportunity to cut into the deficit when junior linebacker Tim Mulso forced a fumble and freshman cornerback Paul Hoffer recovered it at the Bethel 30-yard line, but a sack, false start penalty, and two incomplete passes later, the Knights were out of field goal range and forced to punt. Demoralized, Carleton could not manage a first down afterwards until the end of the third quarter, when sophomore quarterback Vaughn Schmid led a 48-yard drive, only to come up empty when a 37-yard field goal attempt fell short.

The Knights finally got on the board with 7:49 remaining in the game, when sophomore running back Jon Lien plowed in from seven yards out, his fifth rush of the drive, which included a 22-yard gallop. Another star was junior quarterback Jake “The Snake” Anderson, who entered the game after Schmid was shaken up on a play in the previous series. Anderson zipped off completions of 18 and 13 yards and also slithered for a 7-yard rush, giving the Carleton fans at least one bright spot to take away from an otherwise disheartening day.

The Men in Maize and Blue did manage a victory over weaker competition in the season opener, sneaking past Cornell 27-21. Despite following the one-class-at-a-time “block” schedule, Cornell didn’t do much blocking against the Knights, as Carleton’s defense held the Rams to just 82 rushing yards.

The play of the game came with 18 seconds remaining, when Cornell, having marched down the field in eerily similar fashion to Saint John’s at the end of last year’s MIAC championship game, came up short on a fourth-and-goal from the two yard line. Sophomore linebacker Dylan Gessner broke up the pass that would have tied the game, sealing the Carleton victory in a game that was probably more exciting than it should have been.

The Knights will look to get back on track tomorrow in St. Paul when they battle Macalester for the “Book of Knowledge” in the game that has affectionately been termed the “Brain Bowl.” Since Mac dropped out of the MIAC for football in 2001, Carleton has dominated the series, thwarting the Scots in their last six matchups. If you can’t make it up to the game, you can still catch the 1 p.m. contest between Minnesota’s two nerdiest schools via Knights Online at

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