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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Football loses Goat across town, falls to Olaf, 49-24

<od things must come to an end.

Such was the case Saturday, when the famed Goat Trophy ended its glorious two-year stay in the warm embrace of Carleton College on Saturday as the Knights fell 49-24 at St. Olaf. Now, like Persephone condemned to serve as Hades’ mistress, our fair Goat begins another joyless stretch of imprisonment across the Cannon.

Though technically a home game for the nomadic Knights, oddly enough, the Ole players and their fans looked at home at Manitou Field. The Knights struggled to contain the Olaf offense, which delivered several big plays on the day, including three touchdowns of more than 50 yards. Though Kurt Ramler’s team was able to put up 17 points in the first half to remain competitive, the offense faltered in the second half while the Oles pulled away.

The bitter rivals exchanged blows in the first quarter, with St. Olaf excessively celebrating a truly remarkable three-yard touchdown pass to get on the board first. The Knights would soon answer when freshman quarterback Conor Lynch, making his first career start, ran one in to even the score at seven apiece.

The real losers on Saturday were those spectators that paid a visit to the bathrooms in the middle of the second quarter, when both teams erupted to put 24 points on the scoreboard in a breakneck 32 seconds of playing time.

The wild scoring extravaganza began when Eric Murphy connected on a 28-yard field goal with 8:13 until the half to pull Carleton closer, 14-10. On the ensuing kickoff, Ole star Leon Clark exploded through the Knights special teams unit and jetted 91 yards for a touchdown.

Immediately thereafter, Carleton answered by capitalizing on a boneheaded play call by their rivals. Olaf let their greed get the better of them and, failing to notice that the Carleton “hands team” was on the front line for the kickoff, attempted an ill-advised onside kick. Sure handed receiver C.J. Dale coolly plucked the ball out of the air and took it 42 yards past the hapless Ole defenders for a touchdown that kept the Knights close. 

Sadly, that proximity to the Oles’ total on the scoreboard was rather short lived, as on the first play from scrimmage on their next possession, Olaf quarterback Dan Dobson let one fly 55 yards to Antonio Jennings for the third touchdown in the blink of an eye.

For the second straight week, the Knights employed a platoon at quarterback, with Lynch and Vaughn Schmid sharing snaps. Though Lynch got the nod as the starter, he had his afternoon cut short when an injury forced him off the field early in the second half. From that point on, Schmid was back in the driver’s seat, though he could not do much to help the Knights’ ailing offense.  He managed to notch Carleton’s only points of the half on his three yard touchdown run that came with five minutes to play and the outcome all but decided.

Though the Knights may have had the coveted Goat Trophy wrested from their grasp, another trophy will be on the line this weekend when the team takes on Macalester in a heated clash over the Book of Knowledge. This match-up represents another game scheduled for Laird Stadium that the Knights will need to play behind enemy lines due to continued flood damage. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. at the aptly named Macalester Stadium. Fortunately, an end to the Knights’ odyssey is in sight, as Athletic Director Gerald Young announced that the road weary team will be welcomed back to Laird Stadium for their home finale against Saint John’s University next Saturday.

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