With just 44 seconds remaining in Saturday’s game at Mavec Field, the College of Wooster scored the go-ahead touchdown against Kenyon, beating the Lords 49-42.
After a pass from Wooster (2-6, 2-5 NCAC) fell incomplete on third down, it looked as if the Lords (2-6, 2-5 NCAC) had stopped the Fighting Scots on their first drive of the game. A defensive pass interference call gave Wooster an automatic first down, however, keeping the drive alive. Eight plays later, the Fighting Scots drew first blood with a 21-yard touchdown pass, giving Wooster an early 7-0 lead.
Wooster’s lead was short-lived, as the Lords responded on their next possession, to tie the game at seven. With the ball at Wooster’s 10-yard line, Ian Bell ’18 took the direct snap and followed his blockers down the right side, muscling his way into the end zone.
Following a Lords interception later in the half, Jake Bates ’16 completed a pass to Brian Hunca ’17, who caught the ball on a hitch route and dashed to the Wooster one-yard line for a 49-yard gain. On the next play, Blake Calcei ’16 took the ball out of the wildcat and barreled across the goal line for a 14-7 Kenton lead.
Wooster soon took the lead, but Bates then led his team 65 yards downfield in just 32 seconds to tie the Scots at 21. Bates racked up 297 passing yards on the day with three passing touchdowns to Hunca, who picked up 210 receiving yards in the loss.
Receiving the second-half kickoff, the Lords regained the lead on their opening drive of the third quarter. Bringing the ball to the Wooster one-yard line, Calcei registered his second rushing touchdown of the day to make the score 28-21.
Late in the third quarter, Wooster quarterback Gary Muntean threw a touchdown from five yards out. Kenyon quickly retook the lead as Bates connected with Hunca for two touchdowns to give Kenyon a 42-28 lead.
Wooster did not go down easily, however, as the Fighting Scots mounted a furious comeback, finding the end zone on two consecutive possessions to erase the two-touchdown deficit.
With the score 42-42 and 2:46 left on the clock, Wooster recovered a fumble on the Kenyon 41-yard line. With a short field ahead of them, the Fighting Scots scored to go ahead 49-42 on a Muntean touchdown.
With 38 seconds remaining the Lords were able to work their way down to the Wooster 40-yard line, but the Wooster defense batted down a last-second Hail Mary pass to seal the victory.
Despite the narrow loss, Head Coach Chris Monfiletto said the Kenyon team has been showing signs of progress as a program. “I’m proud of where we’re at right now; we’re improving every week,” Monfiletto said. “Despite the fact that the record doesn’t really reflect it, not only are we a better team than we were last year, but we’re a better team than we were last week.”
Kenyon returns to action Saturday at 10 a.m. to take on Wittenberg University (6-2, 5-2 NCAC) on Senior Day at McBride Field.