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Knights strike quick in 42-19 Homecoming win over Augsburg

NORTHFIELD, Minn. – The Carleton College football team began its Homecoming game against Augsburg University with a bang and never let up, cruising to a 42-19 victory. Quarterback Jonathan Singleton (Fy./San Martin, Calif./Live Oak) connected with Emanual Williams (Sr./Lovelady, Texas/Lovelady) for a 70-yard touchdown on the first play from scrimmage, igniting a career day for both Knights.

Carleton improved to 4-3 on the year (2-3 MIAC), already giving the Knights their highest victory total since 2013 with three games still remaining on the schedule.

On a picturesque fall Saturday that drew a sizable crowd to Laird Stadium, Singleton spearheaded the Knights’ explosive offensive, completing 38 of his 52 pass attempts as he amassed a career-high 417 yards and six touchdowns, both matching the school record and tying the second-highest single-game total in recorded MIAC history.

Williams posted career bests of 14 receptions, 226 receiving yards, and three touchdowns (70, 31, and 17 yards). His yardage total ranks second-best in school history, while the 14 catches tie him for the third-best single-game performance in program history and the touchdown total is tied for fourth-highest.

On the game’s first play from scrimmage, Singleton took a snap out of shotgun and fired a perfect ball over Williams’ left shoulder. The senior receiver ran untouched to the end zone for a 70-yard touchdown. This is the first time since Shane Henfling and Chris Gardner had a pair of 70-yard scoring connections in 2008 that a Carleton quarterback and receiver combined on two scoring plays of at least 70 yards in the same season, as Singleton and Williams also had a 78-yarder against St. Olaf on Sept. 21.

The lightning-quick scoring play—quite possibly the fastest touchdown in Carleton history—put the Singleton over 1,000 career yards passing in just his fifth game. He would boost that total as the afternoon progressed.

The Augsburg (1-6, 0-5 MIAC) offense countered Carleton’s quick strike with a similarly successful, albeit less dramatic, opening possession in the form of a 13-play, 76-yard drive, capped off by a short Quran Al-Hameed touchdown rush that tied the score at 6-6. Al-Hameed would finish the game with a solid 67 yards on 15 carries to go along with two touchdowns.

Two drives later, Singleton once again hit Williams over the middle, this time resulting in a 31-yard touchdown, the second of three scores in the game for the duo. The reception finished off an eight-play, 80-yard drive that put the Knights back in the lead at 12-6.

However, the Auggies again responded on their ensuing possession, as quarterback Quinn Frissel led a 56-yard touchdown drive, capped by an Al-Hameed 18-yard scamper. The afternoon’s fourth touchdown was followed by the first successful extra-point attempt, and the visitors took a 13-12 lead early in the second quarter.

After a back-and-forth start to the game, Carleton pulled away in the second period. Singleton shook off an early second-quarter interception to lead a drive deep into Augsburg territory.

Just when it appeared as if the Augsburg defense had forced the Knights into a field-goal attempt, holder Beau Nelson (So./San Diego, Calif./Westview) pulled off a perfect fake, pitching the ball to kicker Trent Ramirez (Fy./Denver, Colo./George Washington), who ran 10 yards down to the Augsburg one-yard line for a first down. The Carleton offense immediately took advantage of its second chance as on the next play, Singleton hit receiver Mack Journell (Sr./Stevens Point, Wis./Stevens Point) in the back corner of the end zone, pushing Carleton back in front to stay.

Two plays after the subsequent kickoff, Carleton defensive back Ryan Flanagan (So./Chappaqua, N.Y./Horace Greely) intercepted Frissel and set up the Knights’ offense at the Augsburg 19-yard line. Flanagan’s efforts led to a 36-yard Ramirez field goal, which extended Carleton’s lead to 22-13.

Singleton threw two touchdown passes in the final two minutes of the first half, finding Fletcher Metz (Sr./Oconomowoc, Wis./Catholic Memorial) and Journell on scoring strikes of nine and 13 yards, respectively, to cap off 30- and 60-yard scoring drives. That gave the Knights a comfortable 36-13 advantage heading into halftime.

Metz finished the game with five catches, while Journell complemented his pair of scores with 10 receptions for 103 yards.

The final Knights’ score came on a 17-yard touchdown from Singleton to Williams with 9:24 still to play in the fourth quarter.

After conceding the two early Al-Hameed touchdowns, the Carleton defense kept Augsburg out of the end zone until backup quarterback Chad Costello threw a 43-yard touchdown with less than a minute remaining.

Christian Cavan (Sr./Grimes, Iowa/Dowling Catholic) and Ryan Reigle (Fy./Summit, N.J./Summit) had second-half fumble recoveries for the Knights, who halted three Augsburg drives in the red zone. Carlos Lua Pineda (Sr./Gesham, Ore./Gresham) led the defense with 13 tackles.

Augsburg was paced by the performances of Frisell, who threw for 217 yards on 38 attempts, and receivers Josiah Ferguson, Mike Rodriguez, and Le’Andre Benion, who amassed 82, 78, and 74 yards, respectively, through the air.

Up next for the Knights: Carleton will host No. 11-ranked University of St. Thomas for a 1:10 p.m. kickoff on Saturday, Oct. 26. Live video/stats will be available via athletics.carleton.edu

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