Football suffers first loss of the season at Wabash
The Tartan football team tried to keep its undefeated streak alive Saturday when playing the No. 17-ranked Wabash College Little Giants in Crawfordsville, Ind. After a tremendous first quarter, in which the Tartans jumped out to a 21–7 lead, the Little Giants played big and took the game from Carnegie Mellon, 54–28.
Junior quarterback Rob Kalkstein had a good day throwing the ball, completing 17 of his 24 passes, but only found the end zone once in a pass to senior running back Patrick Blanks.
Blanks also scored another time running the ball, and junior fullback Zachary Erra-Hernandez scored in the rushing game.
The offense, as a whole, played solid football. However, it was a complete lapse on the defensive side of the ball, evident by the 54 points Wabash put up.
The number of fumbles in the game was also overwhelming, as the Tartan offense fumbled the ball three times, twice with Wabash recovering.
The Little Giants racked up 556 yards of total offense and averaged a monstrous 8.1 yards per play. Carnegie Mellon had trouble corralling the Wabash speed, losing in number of tackles to the Little Giants, 80–59.
Missed tackles is a problem that needs to be addressed as the team heads into this week’s game against the Denison University Big Red.
However, the highlight of the game came on a Wabash punt fielded by senior cornerback Sam Thompson at the 8-yard line. Thompson returned the kick 92 yards for the touchdown in the first quarter.
That play should have given the Tartans more motivation and drive, but the touchdown seemed to light a fire under the Little Giants instead.
Senior quarterback Chase Belton had a great all-around performance for Wabash College. His 13 for 23 passing for 183 yards is modest, but he did complete four passing touchdowns and ran in three touchdowns himself. Belton rushed 20 times for 193 yards on the day.
On Saturday, the Tartans play Denison University at home. Kickoff is at 1 p.m.