In its final home game of the season, the Kenyon football team was unable to win on Senior Day, falling 58-35 to the NCAC-leading DePauw University Tigers. With two games remaining in the 2022 season, the Owls’ record stands at 3-5 (2-4 NCAC).
Before the game on Saturday, Kenyon celebrated the 18 seniors on the roster. For Finn Murray ’23, the chance to play at home one final time was important. “Senior Day was emotional for every senior,” he wrote in an email to the Collegian. “It marked the last time any of us would play on McBride Field in front of our family and friends.” Even for the younger players, seeing the seniors’ contributions recognized was impactful. “Every one of those seniors means so much to us and this program,” Zach Kim ’25 wrote in an email to the Collegian. “Those are our brothers for life and guys who we look up to as role models, so it was really important to honor the seniors.”
After trading 3-and-outs to start the game, the Tigers drew first blood with a passing touchdown. On Kenyon’s next drive, the offense was able to reach the DePauw 7-yard line, but an incompletion on fourth-and-three gave the Tigers the ball. DePauw stretched their lead to 14-0 with a rushing touchdown with just over four minutes remaining in the quarter, before tacking on another score with under eight minutes remaining in the half. Down 21-0, the Owls finally began to find their footing, as Ryan O’Leary ’23 found Kim for a stunning 75-yard touchdown pass. On their next drive, the pair connected to score again, on both a 77-yard touchdown pass and the two-point conversion, cutting the Tigers’ lead to 21-14. However, the Tigers roared back with another touchdown and headed into the break with a 14-point lead.
During halftime, Kenyon honored the 1972 football team, the only undefeated team in program history (7-0-1), for its 50th anniversary. Unfortunately, the 2022 Owls were unable to replicate that same success in the second half, as the Tigers scored 24 unanswered points to take a 52-14 lead heading into the fourth quarter. Though Kenyon scored 21 fourth-quarter points, including Kim’s third and fourth touchdowns of the day, DePauw came out on top 58-35.
Despite the lopsided final score, multiple players had career days. In his final game at McBride Field, O’Leary threw for 466 yards, just two yards short of Kenyon’s single game record. Kim broke the program record in receiving yards, finishing the game with 280 yards. Though the record is meaningful to Kim, who was named to the D3football.com National Team of the Week for the second time this season, he emphasized how much his success is due to the team around him. “To be at the top of the record book in Kenyon’s storied history is definitely a cool feat, but if anything, it speaks volumes to my teammates around me who make my job easy,” he said. “Any one of our guys could be just as successful, so I’m blessed to be a product of those guys and our coaches.”
The Owls will next travel to Crawfordsville, Ind. to face the Wabash College Little Giants. For Murray, putting together a complete performance will be paramount to finding success. “We have plenty of talent but we have yet to put together a complete four-quarter game,” he said. “We see it in flashes, but we are still working on consistency.”