Section: Football

Football’s offense fires on no cylinders in blowout NCAC game

Football’s offense fires on no cylinders in blowout NCAC game

Courtesy of Kenyon Athletics

By Noah Gurzenski

Facing a nationally-ranked opponent for the second week in a row, Lords football (0-7, 0-6 NCAC) fell to 14th-ranked Wittenberg University (6-1, 6-0 NCAC) 49-7 for their 11th straight loss dating back to last season. Despite having possession of the ball for the majority of the game, Kenyon’s offense, which has only averaged about six points in each of the past four games—faltered in their in-game execution, failing to pick up big-play yardage. On the defensive front, the Lords struggled to contain the Wittenberg run game, which picked up a season-best 213 yards against Kenyon.

With the score still 0-0 in the first quarter, linebacker Jack McDonald ’15 pounced on a Wittenberg fumble to give the Lords possession at their own 49-yard line and a short field with which to work. Unable to take advantage of the good field position, however, the Lords soon found themselves trailing 14-0 before even picking up their first first down of the game early in the second quarter.

Kenyon’s passing game never seemed to get it together against the Tigers, and quarterback Jake Bates ’16 was held to a season-low 76 yards on the afternoon.

“We weren’t very accurate,” Head Coach Chris Monfiletto said. “We had some open guys that we didn’t complete passes to, which was uncharacteristic of how we normally are. Previous to that game, we were above 64 percent for completion rating, and that was a really uncharacteristic performance.”

Facing a fourth down from the Wittenberg eight-yard line, it looked as though the Lords would be able to settle for three points and get on the scoreboard, but Szabi Simo’s ’17 field goal attempt was blocked by a Tiger defender, who proceeded to pick up the ball and run 92 yards the other way for the Wittenberg touchdown. After another Kenyon three-and-out, Wittenberg completed a 26-yard touchdown pass on fourth down to take a 35-0 lead heading into halftime.

After yet another Wittenberg touchdown with the ball on Wittenberg’s three-yard line, Bates was able to slip past a host of Wittenberg defenders after dropping back to pass, crossing the goal line for Kenyon’s only score of the game. Kenyon’s defense continued to fight the rest of the game, delivering bone-crushing hits late in the fourth quarter, but the Tigers had put the game out of reach well before then, coming away with the 49-7 victory.

Kenyon returns home this Saturday to host Allegheny College at noon at McBride Field.

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