Section: Football

Football drops senior day game

Football drops senior day game

Emily Stegner

By Noah Gurzenski

While Lords football (1-9, 1-8 North Coast Athletic Conference [NCAC]) only trailed their opponent by one point at halftime, but then Denison University (6-4, 5-4 NCAC) used a 19-point third quarter to put themselves ahead for good. While dominating Denison in a handful of important categories, the Lords were hindered both offensively and defensively by a staggering number of in-game injuries to players, including starting quarterback and Co-Captain Jake Bates ’16, who left the game in the second quarter with a concussion.

Denison got on the scoreboard first midway through the first quarter, as a Denison wide receiver got underneath the Kenyon secondary to catch a 64-yard touchdown pass for the early 7-0 lead. On Denison’s next possession, Nick LaPoint ’16 blocked a Big Red punt, giving Kenyon excellent field position at Denison’s 27-yard line.

Though the ensuing drive ended disappointingly with a missed field goal attempt, Jack McDonald ’15 got the ball back for the Lords by recovering a botched Big Red punt on Denison’s own one-yard line. This set up a one-yard touchdown run from Blake Calcei ’16, bringing the score to 7-6 after Kenyon’s two-point conversion attempt failed.

Following an interception courtesy of Saxon Justice ’17, Kenyon brought out the kicking team with a chance to take the lead, facing a fourth and eight from the Denison 14-yard line. Unfortunately, the snap sailed over the head of holder Sam Appel ’18, and the Lords came up empty once again.

Denison made the Lords pay on their next possession, extending their lead to 14-6 on an eight-yard touchdown pass. With Appel in as quarterback for the injured Bates, Kenyon cut the Denison lead to one on their ensuing drive, capped off by a 12-yard touchdown run by Brandon January ’15.

Denison dealt Kenyon a crushing blow to start the third quarter, returning the second-half kickoff for a touchdown to make the score 20-13. Down 27-13 after another Big Red score, Kenyon drove all the way down to the Denison six-yard line, only to give up possession on a fumbled snap.

After Denison’s quarterback extended his team’s lead to 33-13 following a 42-yard touchdown scamper, Calcei logged his second rushing touchdown of the game to bring Kenyon within two scores. Unfortunately for the Lords, that was as close as they would get for the rest of the afternoon, falling to their archrivals 33-19 on Senior Day.

With only seven seniors graduating in the spring, Kenyon will return most of its team for the 2015 season, including a large sophomore class that is now seasoned with invaluable game experience. Needless to say, Bates and Lords football are eager to put their 1-9 record behind them.

“Obviously, our number-one priority is that we’ve got to be able to win games next year, so we need to focus on what made us lose games and what made us win our game this year,” Bates said. “I think a lot of that had to do with youth, and that’s something that’ll be cured in the offseason, just because of time.”

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