Section: Football

Late penalties doom football against the College of Wooster

Late penalties doom football against the College of Wooster

Kim earned weekly honors for his three-touchdown performance. | COURTESY OF KENYON ATHLETICS

The Kenyon football team came up short in the dying seconds of its game against the College of Wooster on Saturday, losing 42-41. A magnificent second-half display on both sides of the ball was ultimately not enough to complete the comeback, and the Owls now stand at 2-4 for the season and 1-3 in NCAC play. 

The Fighting Scots opened the scoring on the first drive of the game, but the Owls quickly responded with a Zachary Kim ’25 touchdown thrown by quarterback Ryan O’Leary ’23. Wooster retaliated, scoring 28 unanswered points and gashing the Kenyon defense on big plays. Four of the five Wooster touchdowns in the first half were on plays of more than 35 yards, while the Kenyon offense was stymied. As time winded down in the first half, the Owls offense finally began to find their stride. With four and a half minutes to go, Jack Provenza ’23 exploited a big hole and ran 44 yards into the endzone virtually untouched. And with just 18 seconds left in the half, Joe Gorte ’23 caught a 17-yard touchdown pass from O’Leary, finishing off an 11-play drive to bring the score to 35-21 entering halftime. 

The Owls were red hot right out of the gate in the second half, bringing the game back to a one-score affair on their first possession in the third quarter. O’Leary and the offense marched 70 yards down the field, capping the drive off when O’Leary and the O-line punched their way into the endzone on a QB sneak. As the fourth quarter opened, the Owls tied up the game, again efficiently driving down the field. Kim, who motioned to the left across the line of scrimmage, was wide open in the endzone, and O’Leary found him to make it 35-35 after the point after touchdown (PAT). Kenyon’s streak of 28 unanswered points finally came to an end as the Wooster offense managed to break down the stout Owls’ defense, scoring with just over five minutes in the last quarter. Despite the offense turning the ball over on downs the following possession at the Kenyon 35-yard line, the defense stood tall again and kept the Fighting Scots out of field goal range. With no timeouts and 1:07 to play, the offense methodically put together a drive with magnificent play after magnificent play. After stopping the clock with 24 seconds left, O’Leary unleashed an immaculate, 27-yard spiral to Kim in the back left corner of the endzone, who beat both his matchup and the free safety to secure his third touchdown of the day as the crowd went wild. However, during the ensuing celebration, there appeared to be confusion over whether or not the Owls were planning to go for two or a PAT. A delay of game penalty was called after an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, forcing the Kenyon field goal team all the way back to the 27-yard line. Unfortunately, the 37-yard PAT attempt flew too far left, and Kenyon lost in heartbreaking fashion. 

Despite the loss, there were many positives to take from the game. Chief amongst them was Kim’s performance: He totalled 17 catches in the game, just shy of the school record of 19, good for 197 yards and three touchdowns. Kim’s impressive day got him named to’s Team of the Week. Kim insisted his performance was in large part due to his teammates. “It was a complete team effort,” he wrote in an email to the Collegian. “No one’s success is possible without everyone doing their job. We feed off one another and I’m incredibly blessed to be playing with such a special group of guys.”

The Kenyon football team’s next game is at Hiram College on Saturday at 1 p.m. Senior Day on Oct. 29, against DePauw University, will be the final home game of the year.

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