Section: Football

Lords’ comeback falls flat against College of Wooster

The Lords football team finished their penultimate home game of the season this Saturday, falling to the high-powered College of Wooster offense 51-41 to drop to 0-8. The defeat marked their 14th straight loss since last season’s Sept. 24 victory against Allegheny College, marking Sunday as 400 days since the last Lords’ victory.

The game started out as could be expected when the top offense in the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) came to Gambier. After going three and out in their first drive, Wooster finished the first half by scoring on seven straight possessions with six touchdowns and a field goal to take a 44-14 lead into halftime.

“It was a lot of mental mistakes they were exploiting. They hit a lot of deep balls using the same route concepts that we didn’t adjust to well within the first half,” linebacker Sam Dickey ’20 said.

The second half was a change of pace for the Lords, as the Wooster offense only tacked on 110 more yards and seven more points after having earned 418 yards and 44 points in the first half. “We made those adjustments that made the difference, but unfortunately, it was too little, too late,” Dickey said.

With the defense playing well, the offense starting rolling. At the start of the fourth quarter, the Lords were down by 30, but after two quick touchdowns the Lords found themselves only down by two scores with seven minutes remaining.

“At halftime we made some adjustments, taking more shots down the field, and it worked,” quarterback Thomas Merkle ’20 said. However, the late rush was not enough for the Lords, as they failed a two-point conversion with 31 seconds left in the game to stay behind by 10, making an onside kick attempt obsolete and sealing their fate.

Saturday marked the third straight game that the Lords’ offense, led by Merkle, scored over 35 points. Merkle had another statistically outstanding game as he continued to fill the Kenyon record book for single-game and single-season success.

With two games left, Merkle is on track  to finish the season with the single-season records in pass attempts, pass completions and completion percentage. Merkle gave a lot of credit to the game plan. “Our game plan every week is just unbelievable,” he said. “We have answers for everything our opponents give us.”

The final home game of the season will be this Saturday against the 7-1 (6-1 NCAC) DePauw University Tigers, as the Lords hope to play spoiler to a team that is still in the running for the NCAC championship. “I think we’re going to be locked in again this week from an offensive standpoint,” Merkle said.

The Lords will try to break their losing streak before their final game on Nov. 11 at Denison University.

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