Football beats Grove City 28–21, drops 34–27 decision to Allegheny

It’s only two weeks into football season, and the Carnegie Mellon football team already has two games under its belt. On the first Saturday of September, the Tartans fought to a 28–21 win over Grove City College, but dropped a 34–27 decision to Allegheny College last weekend. Currently, the Cardinal and Gray stand at 1–1.

The Tartans nabbed their first win away at Grove City College. The Wolverines tried to move the ball down, but several errors put the ball back into Carnegie Mellon’s possession. With only 6:12 left on the clock, sophomore Jake Nardone completed a 54-yard play to give the Tartans a 7–0 lead. The Wolverines responded shortly after, with a 32-yard rush to even the score at 7–7.

An interception by sophomore Owen Parker gave sophomore Patrick Blanks the opportunity to score a 5-yard touchdown, giving the Tartans the lead again with only 20 seconds on the timer.

Carnegie Mellon entered the second quarter with a 14–7 lead, and a strong defense kept the Wolverines at bay until 7:54 in the third quarter, when Grove City’s Clayton Hall managed a 39-yard touchdown past Tartan defenses. With a new furor, the Tartans answered back just a minute later, when Rob Kalkstein passed to Chris Garcia, who scored a 29-yard touchdown to give the Tartans a 20–14 advantage. Elli Carnevale completed a field goal for the extra point.

To add to the team’s momentum, Nick Karabin forced a Wolverine fumble seconds after kickoff, which was recovered by Dan Miller at the 30-yard line. With the ball back in Carnegie Mellon’s possession, Justin Pratt sealed a 1-yard rush to widen the gap to 28–14. The Wolverines managed just one more touchdown before the Tartans received their first victory of the season.

The Tartans did not have the same luck against Allegheny and suffered a 34–27 defeat.The Tartans started off strong, with Carnevale making a field goal to set the score at 3–0 just minutes into the game. But two scoreless possessions and smart passing by the Gators led to a 28-yard touchdown for Allegheny with nine seconds left on the clock. With the Tartans trailing 7–3, Pratt once again took matters into his hands and completed a 4-yard touchdown in the beginning of the second quarter. Yet the Tartans were not able to hold off the Gators’ relentless offense and found themselves trailing once again at the start of the second half, 10–7.

A field goal by Carnevale put the score at 13–13, and a sack by Kalkstein moved the ball up the field to the 47-yard line. With 2:14 left in the third quarter, Kalkstein completed a pass to Garcia, who rushed a 3-yard touchdown. Yet their small victory was short-lived; the Gators completed a 46-yard pass, and a 3-yard touchdown by the Gators’ David Strawser set the score at 20–20.

Gator offense soon shot past Tartan defenses, and the Tartans found themselves down 34–20. A 12-yard pass to Tim Kikta closed the gap for the Tartans to 34–27, but they could not equalize before time ran out.

The Tartans gear up this Saturday for the first home game of the season in Gesling Stadium, with the kickoff set for noon.