Football defeats Kenyon 17–14 to complete three-game road trip

The Carnegie Mellon football team completed its three-game road trip successfully on Saturday with a 17–14 victory over Kenyon College. The win, the Tartans’ second in a row, put their record at 2–1 for the trip and 4–1 for the season.

Although the Tartans would eventually spoil Kenyon’s homecoming celebrations with the victory, it was the Lords who drew first blood. Carnegie Mellon started the game by returning the opening kickoff for 29 yards and driving another 29 yards before turning the ball over when junior running back Justin Pratt was stripped at the Kenyon 6-yard line.

The Lords then completed an eight-play drive that ended with a 41-yard touchdown to put Kenyon up 7–0 with 10:25 to go in the quarter.
Carnegie Mellon senior quarterback Socrates Zacharias was intercepted in the second quarter at the Kenyon 8-yard line, but junior linebacker Mike Shedlosky then stripped Kenyon’s Mike Hermanson, and senior Josh Kresge recovered the fumble at the Kenyon’s 28-yard line. The Tartans’ ensuing drive resulted in Pratt scoring on a 1-yard touchdown run to knot the score at 7 with 12:12 to go in the half. Shedlosky wound up with nine tackles in the game.

Carnegie Mellon sophomore Ray Johnson had a 55-yard fumble return later in the quarter, but the team turned the ball over at the Kenyon 30-yard line. The Tartans managed to take the lead in the third quarter after taking advantage of a Kenyon missed field goal. After the Lords’ Harry von Kann’s 23-yard attempt went wide, the Tartans executed a 14-play, 71-yard drive, leading to a 26-yard field goal by junior place kicker Elliot Carnevale and a 10–7 Tartan lead. The lead was short-lived, however, as Kenyon followed with a 75-yard drive of their own and a touchdown to take back the lead, 14–10.

Carnegie Mellon was not to be deterred, and first-year Dave Biersen returned the kickoff for a 65-yard run to Kenyon’s 18-yard line.
Pratt ended the ensuing six-play drive with a 2-yard run for what would prove to be the winning touchdown, putting the cardinal and gray up 17–14. Pratt finished the day with two touchdowns and 68 yards.

“The team played very inspired and came away with a hard-fought win,” head coach Rich Lackner said. “Our offensive line came up with a very critical drive in the fourth quarter.”

There was still a lot of game left to play after scoring that final touchdown, however, and the Tartans made sure that the Lords didn’t pose any threat to regain the lead.
After keeping Kenyon contained in two separate minute-long drives, the Tartans came up big time with a 17-play drive that took seven minutes off the game clock, giving Kenyon only 1:06 to garner a comeback.

“We moved the ball well all day,” Lackner said. “But the biggest drive of the game was the last one, which took up about 7 minutes and gave Kenyon the ball back with very little time left.”

The football team will play at home in Gesling Stadium this Saturday against Allegheny College, with kickoff set for 1 p.m.