Tartan football the victor at Cancer Awareness Game
The Tartans won the Cindy Lackner Memorial Football Game 41–21.
Football fans dressed in pink to honor the late wife of head coach Rick Lackner and to support finding a cure for breast cancer at the team’s home game against the Denison University Big Red on Saturday.
“It was great to be able to dedicate this game to coach’s wife and come with a win,” senior cornerback Sam Thompson said.
Junior quarterback Rob Kalkstein had a fantastic game, completing 10 of his 14 passes for 186 yards and a touchdown.
While most of Kalkstein’s passes were pinpoint accurate, a few of them required difficult catches from his receivers, including a 41-yard completion to junior receiver Tim Kikta at the end of the third period. Kikta ran a corner route and beat his defender, but the throw was off line. Kikta adjusted and caught the ball just a couple inches off the ground before diving onto the turf.
Kikta had just two receptions in the game, but both had big gains as he recorded a total of 96 receiving yards.
Senior running back Patrick Blanks was dominant in the running game, carrying the ball 14 times for a whopping 155 yards, averaging 11.1 yards per carry. He found the end zone three times in the game. Junior running back Michael Trentalange added a touchdown of his own.
Statistically, the two offenses performed evenly. The Tartans’ 427 yards of total offense was almost matched by the Big Red’s 394 yards.
The difference in this game was ball security. The Tartans committed zero turnovers, recovering their only fumble of the game. However, Denison University threw two interceptions and fumbled the football three times, losing possession on two of them. The Big Red also lost the ball on downs twice, while the Tartans converted two fourth down plays for the first.
“Our defense gave up a lot of yards, so forcing turnovers was critical to stopping the Big Red offense,” Thompson said.
Junior inside linebacker Akwasi Brefo led the Tartans’ defense with nine tackles. Junior safeties Jack Butler and Alex Basinski added seven tackles each. The Tartans’ defensive line gave Denison senior quarterback Max Paulus a headache, sacking him six times. Kalkstein was well-protected in this game; he was only sacked once.
The 5–1 Tartans will face the Ohio Wesleyan University Battling Bishops next Saturday at home. Kickoff is at 1 p.m. at Gesling Stadium.