Carleton College raced out to a 21-0 first quarter lead and never looked back in securing a 56-20 homecoming victory over College of St. Scholastica. The Knights are now 6-0 overall and 4-0 in the MIAC, their best start to a season since 1992.
During halftime, the playing surface at Laird Stadium was renamed Bob Sullivan Field in honor of the Knights’ former head coach, who guided the team during the 1979-2000 seasons and is the program’s all-time leader with 102 wins. A large number of Sullivan’s former players were in attendance for the unveiling ceremony.
In today’s contest, Carleton’s ground game amassed 197 yards and four scores, including two by MIAC leader Aiden Chang ’23, who had 59 yards on 12 carries in the first quarter.
The Knights totaled 280 yards through the air to finish with 477 yards of total offense. Starting quarterback Jonathan Singleton ’23 was 15-of-17 for 154 yards and a score, while his backups, Jack Curtis ’26 and Nick Toole ’26, combined to go 18-of-27 for 126 yards and another touchdown. Fifteen players had receptions for the Knights.
The Knights’ opening score came barely three minutes into the first quarter. A combination of rushes and catches allowed Chang to account for 49 yards on the 90-yard drive that he capped with a one-yard plunge into the endzone.
It took only 80 more seconds for Carleton to reinforce its lead. Ugo Anyaegbunamu ’25 blocked a punt, scooped up the loose ball, and returned it five yards for the touchdown. It was the Knights’ second blocked punt for a score this season.
The Knights found the end zone yet again on their next possession. This time Singleton connected with Garrett Siff ’25 on a six-yard touchdown that extended the home team’s lead to 21-0 with 5:42 still to play in the first quarter.
A good kickoff return and penalty set up St. Scholastica (2-4, 1-3 MIAC) with a short field, and five plays later the Saints tallied their first points of the day when Nick Schlender ran it in from 10 yards out. He concluded the afternoon with 91 yards on 16 carries.
The Knights would not let the opening quarter end without responding.. Tyler Dimond ’26 returned the ensuing kickoff 53 yards, setting the stage for Chang’s second touchdown rush of the day, this one a three-yard score.
With the Saints threatening to answer back, Isaac Simons ’23 forced a fumble that Blake Neithart ’24 recovered at the six-yard line. Carleton then marched 94 yards on nine plays, including Oryon Hamlin’s ’24 one-yard touchdown run, the first of three Carleton scores in the second quarter.
Special teams delivered again for the Knights as Beau Nelson ’23 weaved his way for a 72-yard punt return for a touchdown that made the score 42-7 with 10:25 to go in the second quarter.
Curtis took over for Singleton and orchestrated a 10-play, 67-yard scoring drive shortly before halftime. Senior tight end Patrick Wolesky’s first career reception was a 29-yard scoring strike from Curtis with 16 seconds remaining in the half.
Carleton played reserves for the second half, and St. Scholastica capitalized with a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns. The first was a 10-yard pass from Donald West to Ty Givance, while the other was a 60-yard dash by Ashton Hain, who totaled 151 yards on nine carries for the Saints.
On Carleton’s second-to-last possession, Toole powered in from a yard out to cap the scoring.
Reserves John Overby ’24 and Adam Nik ’23 led the Carleton defense with six total tackles each, and Michael Carey ’24 registered a sack. The defense came up with four turnovers, three fumble recoveries and an interception by Cam Dimond ’24.
Up next for the Knights
After five home games over the season’s first six weeks, Carleton will embark on a three-game road trip, beginning with a visit to Concordia College-Moorhead for a 1:00 p.m. kickoff on Saturday, Oct. 22.