In 500th win, Tartan football gets revenge on rival Maroons

Carnegie Mellon wins 500th game this past weekend at The University of Chicago. (credit: Celia Ludwinski/Operations Manager) Carnegie Mellon wins 500th game this past weekend at The University of Chicago. (credit: Celia Ludwinski/Operations Manager)

On Saturday, Nov. 5, the Tartans traveled to Chicago to play the University of Chicago Maroons. In this UAA Conference battle, the Tartans prevailed 28–13, moving the Tartans to .500 in conference play (1–1), and 5–4 overall. This victory was the 500th in Carnegie Mellon franchise history.

A five-play drive to open the game led to a 7–0 Tartan lead. On a halfback draw, junior running back Patrick Blanks found a hole up the middle, then bounced to the outside for a 27-yard run for the touchdown.

The ensuing drive by the Maroons ended with a field goal by kicker Joe Saurer. The drive lasted eight plays before the 29-yard field goal.

With the score now 7–3, the game would see turnovers on consecutive drives, with each team fumbling the ball. But the Tartans recovered to score on an 11-yard run by Blanks, yet again, to make the score 14–3.

The Tartans’ defense dropped off at the end of the first half, allowing the Maroons to cut the lead to one. After a seven-play, 94-yard drive, quarterback Kevin Shelton scored on a one-yard run. Then, as the clock ticked to end the first half, Saurer kicked his second field goal, this one a 39-yarder. At halftime, the score was 14–13.

To start the second half, the Tartans marched 77 yards down the field, featuring a 45-yard pass from sophomore quarterback Rob Kalkstein to sophomore wide receiver Tim Kikta. Two run plays by senior running back Chris Garcia were all it took for the Tartans to find the end zone. The score was now 21–13.

Blanks scored his third touchdown of the game on a seven-yard run early in the fourth quarter. That ended an 11-play, 93-yard drive, and giving the Tartans the 28–13 lead, good enough for the win.

Blanks ended with a career high 171 rushing yards, 16 carries, and three touchdowns to lead the Tartans. His 171 rushing yards were 40 percent of the Tartans’ total offense (428 yards).

Junior linebacker Nick Karabin led the Tartans’ defense with nine tackles, and sophomore linebacker Eric Rolfes added eight. Junior cornerback Sam Thompson tied the school record for most interceptions in a season with his two interceptions in this game, for a total of seven on the year.

The Tartans’ regular season ends Saturday, when they face the Case Western Reserve University Spartans at Gesling Stadium. Kickoff is at noon.