Section: Football

In a tale of two halves, Gators hand Lords 13th straight loss

The Lords had another very close game this weekend against Allegheny College, but fell short in a 44-35 game that brought them to 13 consecutive losses, dating back to October of last year.

The game started strong for the Lords, who had a strong offensive effort that carried over from last week’s 56 point offensive explosion against Hiram. They put up 21 points in the first half to take a 21-19 lead.

Seamus McCurren ’21 takes the ball from quarterback Thomas Merkle ’20. McCurren finished with his second straight 100-yard rushing game, including two touchdowns.

However, their lead could have been larger had they executed on the final play of the half: They had an untimed play at the end of the first half after Allegheny took a penalty on a missed field goal with time expiring. Instead of going for a second attempt at a 23-yard field goal, the Lords failed an attempt at the end zone with their offensive unit to only take a two point lead into half.

After coming out of the half, the Lords’ offense looked solid again. After Sam Dickey’s ’20 forced fumble with the Gators deep in Lords’ territory, the Lords’ offense drove down the field and scored on an eight-yard Seamus McCurren ’21 touchdown run to take a 28-19 lead. “It’s just making plays,” quarterback Thomas Merkle ’20 said of his fast-paced offense. “The receivers the past couple games have been getting a lot of yards after the catch and a lot of separation from the backs.”

Once up 28-19, the Lords’ offense stalled. Early in the fourth quarter, with the Lords down 34-28, the defense came up big when D.J. Manley ’19 intercepted the ball and took it all the way to the end zone to help the Lords take a 35-34 lead. However, this crucial pick-six seemed to tire the defense and keep the offense off the field, interrupting their rhythm.

“[I was] wishing I could go out there and control the game instead of having to send the defense out there — who’s already tired because it was a long drive — and then they [had] a long return,” Merkle said.

Late in the game, the Lords found themselves with a golden opportunity to either tie or win the game but couldn’t capitalize. With two minutes left and no timeouts available, the Gators missed a field goal, giving the ball to the Lords on their own 20-yard line. Down by seven, the Lords needed to either score a touchdown and the extra point to tie, or score and go for two to get the win. Instead, Merkle was sacked three consecutive times, until being taken down in the end zone for a safety.

“The second [play], I thought we were going to have the shot downfield so I was waiting and waiting and waiting, and by the time the pressure came in my face I just had to get out of there,” Merkle said.

The game moved the Lords to 0-7 (0-6 NCAC) but once again proved that this record does not reflect the talent on the team. This weekend, the Lords will be playing the College of Wooster (5-2, 4-2 NCAC) in Gambier, as they attempt to gain their first victory against the Fighting Scots’ high-powered offense (40.0 points per game) and relatively weak defense (30.4 points allowed per game).

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