Section: Football

Lords lose NCAC opener to Oberlin

Despite fighting back from a 20-3 deficit this past Saturday, the Lords football failed to execute in key moments and fell to Oberlin College 28-24 in the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) opener for both teams.

Szabi Simo ’17 opened up the scoring with a 33-yard field goal to give Kenyon (0-2, 0-1 NCAC) the early 3-0 lead; Oberlin (1-1, 1-0 NCAC) responded with a seven-yard touchdown run on the ensuing possession, putting the Yeomen ahead for good.

Starting the next drive from Oberlin’s own two-yard line, Oberlin’s running back Blake Buckhannon ’ broke free for a 53-yard gain on third down, giving the Yeomen a first down at the Kenyon 43-yard line. It only took Oberlin four more plays to break through the goal line, extending their lead to 12-3.

Despite Brandon Byrd ’18 ending Oberlin’s next offensive possession with an interception, the Yeomen found the end zone on their very next drive, making the score 20-3.

On the ensuing kickoff, Alex Gant Van Vliet ’17 returned the ball all the way down to the Oberlin 37-yard line to give the Lords excellent starting field position. Eight plays later, Ian Bell ’18 took the ball nine yards into the end zone on a jet sweep, shaving the deficit to 20-10. At the end of the first half, Oberlin handed Kenyon two more points when the Yeomen’s center snapped the ball over his punter’s head and through the back of the end zone for a safety.

Ahead 20-12 at the start of the second half, Oberlin extended their lead to 28-12 with a 32-yard touchdown pass plus a two point conversion early in the third quarter. Not to be outdone, the Lords found the end zone on each of their next two possessions to make the score 28-24, courtesy of an eight-yard touchdown pass from Jake Bates ’16 to John Clark ’18 and a one-yard touchdown run from Blake Calcei ’16. Kenyon’s failure to register points after each of its two third-quarter touchdowns kept the Lords from getting within three points of Oberlin. Down by four points instead of three, Kenyon needed a touchdown in the final frame to take the lead.

“If we had made the extra point, or caught the two-point conversion, which we shot ourselves in the foot with, we would’ve been able to kick a field goal down at the 18-yard line and potentially win the football game,” Head Coach Chris Monfiletto said. “But we didn’t get that opportunity because of the little mistakes that we’ve got to fix.”

Kenyon would work its way down to the Oberlin 29- and 18-yard lines in the fourth quarter, but two failed fourth-down conversion attempts kept Kenyon from tallying the game-winning touchdown, preserving the victory for Oberlin.

The Lords return to action this Saturday at 1 p.m. on McBride Field against Hiram College (0-1, 0-0 NCAC) at Kenyon’s first home game of the season.

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