Lords football got back in the win column on Saturday with a 31-7 beat-down of Allegheny College. Capitalizing on its stout defensive play, the Kenyon (3-1; NCAC 2-1) offense outscored the Gators (0-4; NCAC 0-3) 24-0 after the first quarter on their way to victory on Homecoming Weekend.
Pleased with his team’s performance on both sides of the ball, Head Coach Chris Monfiletto credits the Lords’ defense for enabling the offense to enjoy success against the Gators. “We were great defensively, and so we were able to have really great field position throughout the course of the game,” Monfiletto said. “It really helped us from an offensive standpoint; we were able to sustain drives and hold the ball for about 37 minutes.”
Working the ball downfield with precision on the game’s opening possession, the Lords ate up nearly eight minutes of clock time before Nat Henry ’20 plowed over two Gator defenders and reached across the goal line for his first collegiate touchdown. Henry finished the game with 73 yards on the ground and two rushing touchdowns.
Kenyon’s lead was short-lived, however, as the Gators evened things up at seven points apiece with an 85-yard touchdown pass on the first play of their ensuing possession.
Setting up shop deep in Kenyon territory at the 22-yard line after a superb punt return, the Gators had a golden opportunity to take the lead early in the second quarter. Fortunately, the Lords emerged unscathed, regaining possession after the Gators failed to convert on a 33-yard field goal attempt.
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Inside the two-minute mark of the first half, quarterback Thomas Merkle ’20 put the Lords back in front with a 67-yard touchdown pass to Co-Captain Brian Hunca ’17. Merkle completed 21 of 29 passes on the day for 270 yards and two touchdowns to Hunca, who had 10 catches for 191 yards.
Facing a fourth-down-and-nine early in the third quarter, Monfiletto kept his offense on the field, confident that the Lords would be able to move the chains. Sure enough, the gamble paid off, and Merkle connected with Hunca once again for a 35-yard touchdown reception.
With the time winding down in the third quarter, Szabi Simo ’17 got in on the scoring with a 38-yard field goal, sending the Lords into the final 15 minutes of play with a comfortable 24-7 lead.
With his team facing a third-down-and-10 on their first possession of the fourth quarter, Jibri McLean ’17 ignited the Kenyon offense with a 38-yard reception to give the Lords a fresh set of downs at the Allegheny 33-yard line. Seven plays later, Henry finished off the drive with a 14-yard touchdown run to make the score 31-7.
Lords football hits the road this Saturday to take on DePauw University (3-0; NCAC 2-0) in Greencastle, Ind. at 1 p.m.