James Rosenbury III finished his inaugural season as head coach of the Lords football team on Saturday in Granville against Denison University. After the Lords took a brief 13-7 lead with 1:41 left in the first half, the Big Red scored 45 unanswered points to claim a share of the NCAC title and drop the Lords to a final record of 3-7.
After a stagnant first half from the offense, the Lords were down 7-0 for the majority of the half. However, the Lords tied the game up with Thomas Merkle’s ’20 61st and final touchdown pass to breakout wide receiver Andrew Schnarre ’23. In an attempt to regain their lead before halftime, Denison’s quarterback Drew Dawkins threw an ill-advised pass that fell right in the hands of Lords star linebacker Sam Dickey ’20, his first career interception. Using his athleticism, and with a key lead block from defensive tackle Trevor Brown ’20, Dickey took the interception 50 yards for a touchdown and a 13-7 lead.
On the ensuing kickoff, Denison’s Peyton Vining turned the tide of the game, returning the kick 91 yards for a touchdown. A three-and-out from the Lords and a deep pass from Denison allowed them to get another field goal before time expired, and the Big Red had turned what looked like a surefire six-point deficit into a 17-13 lead at halftime. The first five second-half possessions for Denison, the NCAC leader in total offense, all ended in touchdowns, and the Lords lost by a final score of 52-13.
The Lords finished with a 3-7 record, their first season with victories since 2016, when they also finished 3-7. While the Lords will be graduating three of their starters on defense, they still look poised to build on that side of the ball, which finished second in the NCAC in sacks, third in fewest passing yards allowed and first in defensive touchdowns with three.
The Lords will start their 2020 season next fall, when Catholic University (D.C.) comes to campus to avenge their double overtime loss against the Lords in September.