Best described as a series of unfortunate events, Kenyon football’s (0-5, 0-4 NCAC) 31-8 loss to Hiram College (3-3, 2-3 NCAC) included a couple of encouraging highs and a handful of crippling lows. While Max Boyd ’16 snagged the Kenyon defense’s first interception in 10 games and Co-Captain Jake Bates ’16 passed for a career-high 266 yards, the final score was more indicative of mental errors and costly turnovers on one side of the ball and a porous pass defense on the other.
Hiram struck first when wide receiver Josh Philander showed off his breakaway speed on a seemingly innocent slant route, leaving the Kenyon defense in the dust for the 74-yard score.
Following a safety by Marquis Johnson ’16, Kenyon worked the ball down to Hiram’s 21-yard line, before a personal foul penalty pushed the Lords all the way back to the 36-yard line. After Jake Genachowski ’15 caught an 11-yard pass on the next play to bring the Lords within field goal range, a Hiram defender stripped Genachowski of the ball and the Terriers recovered possession. Hiram found the end zone on the very next drive to take a 14-2 lead.
Setting up shop on their own 29-yard line after the following kickoff, the Kenyon offense found their way to the Hiram 21-yard line once again, only to cough up possession a second time via an interception.
With less than two minutes left in the half, Bates opened up the drive with a 48-yard pass to Brian Hunca ’17, bringing the Lords to the Hiram 13-yard line. A few plays later, Blake Calcei ’16 crossed the goal line from one yard out for the lone Kenyon touchdown of the day, making the score 14-8.
Though it was still anyone’s game after two quarters, Hiram owned the second half, outscoring the Lords 17-0. Kenyon had three chances to close the gap on the Terriers in the final two quarters of play, but a missed field goal, a forced fumble and an interception thwarted each attempt. Kenyon’s dismal red-zone conversion rate of 25 percent kept the Lords out of the game and allowed Hiram to cruise to the 31-8 victory.
“Nothing that other teams are doing is keeping us out of the end zone right now,” Head Coach Chris Monfiletto said. “It’s us keeping us out of the end zone with penalties and with fumbles and with interceptions and with missing field goals that are makeable field goals.”
While it’s no secret that the Kenyon football team has struggled this year in terms of their record, Jack Hanratty ’17 is optimistic about the young talent on the team. “We’ve got a lot of young guys who are really stepping up and taking high responsibilities for us and that’s great to see,” he said.
Regardless of the progress they’ve made up to this point, the Lords will have to grow up fast, as Kenyon hosts nationally 10th-ranked Wabash College next Saturday at 1 p.m. at McBride Field.