Section: Football

Football defeats Hiram 34-17 for first win of 2015

Football defeats Hiram 34-17 for first win of 2015

Senior fullback Blake Calcei carries the football against Hiram. Calcei rushed for 143 yards and scored a touchdown in the homecoming victory.

On a rainy homecoming afternoon at McBride Field, Lords football earned their first win of the season, and only their second win in the last two seasons, running past the Hiram College Terriers  34-17.

While the Lords (1-2, 1-1 NCAC) started off slow in their previous two games, an energized Kenyon team took control from the opening kickoff against the Terriers (0-2, 0-1 NCAC), never trailing in any of the four quarters. “The past two games, we were a bad first-half team,” Mike Cullen ’17 said. “We let a bad play dictate how we felt about the game. This game, a big emphasis was keeping everyone up on the sideline.”

After the Lords’ defense forced Hiram to go three-and-out to start the game, the offense went right to work. Having guided the Lords’ offense down to Hiram’s 14-yard line, Jake Bates ’16 ran the ball to the goal line before a Hiram defender knocked it loose for the fumble. Brian Hunca ’17 pounced on the loose ball in the end zone for the touchdown. Rather than kicking a field goal, the Lords were successful on a two point conversion as Cody Keenan ’17 ran the ball into the end zone to give Kenyon an 8-0 lead just 3:57 into the first quarter.

On Hiram’s next possession, the Lords’ defense shone as Curt Williams ’18 intercepted a Hiram pass to give the Lords the ball back at the Terrier 21-yard line. Szabi Simo ’17 knocked in a 21-yard field goal on the ensuing drive to extend the Kenyon lead to 11-0.

After Hiram got on the scoreboard with a touchdown of its own, Kenyon answered midway through the second quarter when Blake Calcei ’16 ran the ball in from four yards out to give Kenyon the 17-7 lead. Just before the half Hiram added a 40-yard field goal.

After deferring the coin toss to begin the game, Kenyon started the second half receiving the ball with a 17-10 lead. Capping off an 11-play, 51-yard drive, Simo kicked his second field goal of the game, this one from 29 yards out, to extend Kenyon’s lead to 10 points.

Hiram answered with a drive of just four plays, ending in a 53-yard rushing touchdown to bring the Terriers within three points, the closest they came for the rest of the game. Through the next quarter and a half, the Lords’ defense stymied the Hiram offense.

“I was sitting over and listening to what the defensive guys were saying and it was very encouraging,” Head Coach Chris Monfiletto said of his defense’s fourth-quarter performance. “They were saying, ‘If they [Hiram] don’t score again, they don’t win.’ That’s kind of the way you need to communicate to be able to win.”

Adding a pair of one-yard touchdown runs in the final 15 minutes of play, Bates put the game out of reach for good, sealing the 34-17 victory, and securing Kenyon’s first home victory in a year.

Next Saturday, Lords football travels to Meadville, Pa. to take on Allegheny College (0-3, 0-2 NCAC) at 1 p.m.

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