The Carleton Football team started their season September 10th with a historic blowout against Crown College. The Knights won 84-20, replacing the record for the second-most points scored in a game in school history. The last time the Knights scored over 80 points in a game was in 1913, when they won 83-0 against Deaf-Mute College (later renamed Gallaudet University).
Entering their third season led by head coach Tom Journell, the Knights are expected to improve on last year’s 7-3 record, the program’s best record since 2008. Carleton Football went a combined 2-28 in the three seasons prior to Journell’s arrival on campus and has gone 14-16 since he took over.
“I just love this team,” Journell said. “We are practicing and performing at such a high level, and our level of expectation is boundless right now. In the context of a high academic program, we are also performing at a championship level. Our preparation is equating to our performance. Every member contributed positively today. We can’t wait to build on this week into the approaching weeks.”
The Knights set more records during their 41-7 win against University of Minnesota-Morris on September 17th. Starting Quarterback Jonathan Singleton ‘23 completed 23 passes and surpassed the team record for career pass completions, finishing the day with 483 career completions. He also improved his career numbers to 4,852 passing yards and 50 passing touchdowns, ranking him eighth and second, respectively, in Knights history.
Last year the Knights were a force on the defensive side of the ball, topping the MIAC in forced turnovers with 16 interceptions and nine forced fumbles during the season. Along with ranking 64th in Division III and first in the MIAC for 4th down conversion rate, Carleton’s defense ranked 12th in Division III and first in the MIAC in preventing fourth down completions.
Nine Carleton players received awards at the end of the 2021 season, seven of whom are returning to the field this year. Travis Brown ‘22 played a large role on the Carleton defense during his tenure, leading the team in tackles and winning All-MIAC and All-Region recognition. This season Brown returns to the team to coach the safeties.
“Overall, our defensive philosophy hasn’t changed from last year,” Brown said. “Our effort and resilience as a unit have been a big part of our success through the first two games and I’m excited to see that continue throughout the season.”
The Knights are now 2-0 overall and travel to Hamline this Saturday for their first conference game. They return to Laird Stadium to play Macalester on October 1st, and again on October 8th against St. Olaf.