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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Football denied historic upset against No. 4 St. Thomas

<y be a tired cliché, but Saturday’s clash against the #4 University of St. Thomas Tommies proved to be a classic tale of two halves for the Carleton Knights (3-6, 2-5 MIAC), who despite a valiant first-half showing, were vanquished, 38-7. 

Much to the horror of the nationally ranked Tommies, it appeared as though the witch of November had come stealin’, with Carleton showcasing suffocating defense and dominating time of possession to enter halftime trailing just 10-7. St. Thomas regained their form after the break, putting up 28 unanswered points to secure the 2010 MIAC Championship crown and keep their perfect season intact.

Although the Knights were denied an upset for the ages, they still managed to raise some eyebrows and make the Tommies sweat through a hotly contested first half. In the period, the Knights’ defensive unit did an outstanding job keeping the mighty Tommies in check. Linebacker Justin Rotman ‘12 wreaked havoc in the backfield, with three of his team-high 11 tackles coming behind enemy lines.

On the other side of the ball, the offense was able to control the tempo of play, but could not convert their advantage in time of possession into a lead on the scoreboard.  The Tommies got the party started on their first possession, finding the endzone only three and a half minutes into the game. Wanting to avoid a track meet, the Knights calmly answered with a controlled eight minute drive down field to match the score 7-7 on a four-yard touchdown run from quarterback Vaughn Schmid ‘12.

The remainder of the half belonged to the defense, with both teams forcing stops. In the second quarter the Knights mounted another drive deep into Tommie territory and appeared poised to take the lead before a fumble on third-and-goal handed the ball and the momentum back over to St. Thomas. The Tommies used that possession to notch a 20-yard chip shot field goal that sent them into the locker room with a slim three-point advantage.

The second half was a horse of a different color. Though Head Coach Kurt Ramler’s squads have knocked off nationally ranked foes in years past, the Knights were unable to pull off the granddaddy of them all much to the dismay of Keith Jackson and Carleton supporters everywhere.

Following the break, the defense eroded, surrendering touchdowns on each of St. Thomas’ first four possessions to open the half, effectively burying the Knights, 38-7. Meanwhile, the offense could not cure its own ills, failing to record a first down until mid-way through the fourth quarter, with the outcome all but decided.

Carleton will conclude its season on Saturday with a trip to St. Peter to take on Gustavus Adolphus.  Kickoff against the Gusties is slated for 1 p.m.

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