The Kenyon football team travelled to Meadville, Pa. on Oct. 2 to face off against the Allegheny College Gators, their intra-conference rival. The Lords came into the game with vengeance on their mind — they had lost their previous three games against the Gators, with their last contest in October 2019 ending in a demoralizing 49-0 defeat.
This time proved to be different; in front of a crowd of over 1,000 Allegheny fans, Kenyon won in decisive fashion with a score of 27-13. The Lords, who dropped their first three games of the season, have now won two straight and are 2-3 overall and 2-2 in conference play. Allegheny has had a more pedestrian start to their season and are 1-4 overall, 0-4 in the NCAC.
While the Lords have been slow out of the gate thus far this season, they drove down the field methodically on their first possession of the game, scoring on a 1-yard touchdown run by quarterback Ryan O’Leary ’23. O’Leary was an offensive juggernaut throughout the game, accounting for all four of Kenyon’s touchdowns — two coming through the air, the other two on the ground. His performance secured him the NCAC Football Offensive Player of the Week award.
However, after the Lords went up 7-0, the Gators struck back immediately, evening up the score. The home team then capitalized on Kenyon’s fumble on a kickoff return and scored again, putting the score at 13-7. It was from this point on that the Lords’ defense stepped up. Led by Jason Kessler ’22, who racked up 10 tackles, and Andy Canonico ’25, who chipped in seven tackles and two sacks, the Lords were able to thwart the Gators’ offense and kept them scoreless for the remainder of the game. Other major defensive contributors for the purple and black were defensive linemen Nathan Fanta ’22 and Jimi Bello ’22, both of whom were able to get to the quarterback and tally up a sack.
The Lords took the lead in the second quarter, following a 21-yard pass from O’Leary to Andrew Schnarre ’23. Schnarre was the Lords’ leading receiver, finishing the game with four receptions for 105 yards and a touchdown.
Kenyon scored twice in the third quarter, the first being a 5-yard rush by O’Leary (set up by a beautiful 57-yard grab by Schnarre) and a 15-yard pass to Christian Scotto ’22 with 2:23 left in the quarter. While the Lords scored two passing touchdowns, much of their damage was done on the ground. The Lords picked up 194 yards rushing, led by Drake Lewis ’25, who rushed for 73 yards on 11 carries.
The Lords play next on Oct. 16, when they will face off against the 3-2 Denison University Big Red at 1 p.m. on McBride Field.