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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

No field, no problem as Football augments win streak

<rleton football team’s foreseeable future at Laird Stadium marred in uncertainty and bloated carp, this past weekend’s “Homecoming” game required that the nomadic squad host Augsburg College at Northfield High School’s Memorial Field. Though the scenery was a bit different, the game itself provided the Carleton faithful with a familiar spectacle, as the Knights won on Homecoming for the third straight year and pushed their ongoing win-streak to two games with a 38-28 triumph.

Jon Lien ‘12 continued to assert himself as a hot commodity in fantasy leagues, breaking the century-mark and scoring two touchdowns for the second straight week.  Kilian Murphy ‘11 followed up on his breakout performance against Hamline with an even bigger game this week, reeling in 10 catches for 114 yards.  Murphy delivered one of the Knights’ key plays of the day, when he victimized the Augsburg secondary on a fourth-and-long situation to score a touchdown right before the half.

The first half proved to be the high-scoring affair many fans expected with the two high-powered offenses butting heads and only combining for one punt in the period.  Though Carleton leapt to a 14-0 lead, the Auggies could not be contained for long, clawing their way back to enter halftime down 24-21.
Though both defenses had little to show for their first half of work, they atoned for it by elevating their game following intermission and making several plays that ultimately decided the game.

Carleton was busy punting for the duration of the third quarter, but luckily their stalwart defense limited the Auggies to only seven points to keep the game in reach, as the Knights trailed 28-24.
As if on cue once the fourth quarter rolled around, Carleton’s offense finally regained its mojo when Vaughn Schmid ‘12 connected with tight end Brian Frett  ‘14 for a 32-yard score.  Schmid found Frett on a quick slant, and then the rookie barreled through two Auggie defenders, leaving little doubt in the minds of spectators that the term “red zone” was coined in homage to his strikingly ginger complexion.

Nursing a 31-28 lead, it was time for the Knights defense to bring the vessel into port. Though the defense had appeared suspect in the season’s opening weeks, Saturday’s performance with the game on the line showed just how much they’ve pulled things together and improved since.  The unit withstood their first test on Augsburg’s next possession.  The Auggies made it as far as the Carleton 30-yard line before the Knights defense buckled down to force a pivotal turnover on downs.

After a three-and-out by the Knights offense, the defense found themselves in a similar situation only moments later.  Though Augsburg was once again able to infiltrate Carleton territory, the defense repelled their foes for a second time, when on fourth-down, grizzled veteran Neil Kolstad swatted away a pass intended for star Auggie receiver Muneer Al-Hameed.

The Knights got the best of both worlds on their ensuing possession, when they were able to keep the clock ticking and score a “nail-in-the-coffin” touchdown when Lien and the offensive line took over the game to shut the door.

The proved that the Knights can “put up points against anybody, any week,” Lien said.

And it was made all the more meaningful coming amidst the chaotic aftermath of last week’s flooding.

“It would’ve been easy to lose focus, but this is what we have to show for it,” Lien said.

The Knights will next pick up their yurts and cross the steppes to distant Moorhead, where they’ll clash with the hostile clan of Cobbers from Concordia College. In that game the maize and blue will aim to leave the Cobber maize feeling blue by pulling out their third straight win.Kickoff from the banks of the Red River is scheduled for 1 p.m.

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