By Richard Pera
In a game defined by sloppy play, Earlham College upset Kenyon on Saturday, Sept. 14 in Richmond, Ind. by a score of 25-15.
The Lords committed four turnovers to the Quakers’ three, but together accounted for eight fumbles, three interceptions, three failed fourth-down conversions and 15 punts.
It was a nightmare game for Kenyon (1-1, 1-0 conference) after coming off a statement victory over Allegheny College in week one.
For Earlham, Saturday’s contest represented a marquee win for a program that has now won just two games in its past 31 attempts.
“We couldn’t get rolling,” defensive back and Co-Captain Sam McQuiston ’14 said. “We just didn’t come out and play the Kenyon football we know we can [play]. That kind of gets in your head a little bit, and we couldn’t overcome it.”
The Quakers shut out the Lords until the second quarter, when wide receiver Jack Hanratty ’17 scored on a 13-yard run from the wildcat formation. A successful two-point conversion by wide receiver Jake Genachowski ’15 trimmed Earlham’s lead to just three points.
After another Earlham touchdown, Kenyon responded in the fourth quarter with a three-yard touchdown run by quarterback Max Boyd ’16, again bringing the visiting Lords to within three points.
But a fumble deep inside Kenyon territory enabled the home team to score the game-sealing touchdown with less than five minutes left.
Boyd, who started in place of the injured Jake Bates ’15, went 10-26 for 89 yards and one running touchdown.
He dealt with several dropped passes, a rushing attack that was held to 132 yards and disorganized offensive line play.
Defensively, the Lords surrendered 331 yards in the air, nearly half of which was given up on six plays alone.
But Kenyon successfully held the Earlham rushing attack to just 83 yards, and interceptions by linebacker and Co-Captain Reed Franklin ’14 and defensive lineman Ryan Rosen ’14 also highlighted the Lords’ defensive efforts. Defensive lineman Cam Ventling ’14 also recovered a fumble.
Despite the loss, Kenyon remains unaffected in the conference-title race, as Earlham was the Lords’ sole non-conference matchup of the regular season.
But North Coast Athletic Conference play heats up this Saturday, as Ohio Wesleyan University visits Gambier for Homecoming at 1 p.m. It is shaping up to be a season-defining game for Kenyon.
Bates, who dislocated his thumb in the Lords’ season opener, is still questionable for the game.
Head Coach Chris Monfiletto is counting on the Kenyon community to show its support at McBride Field this weekend.
“We need [the fans] to win,” he said. “There’s no doubt about it. I think you’ll be proud of the product out on the field and its representation of the school as a whole.”