Sports

Tartan offense explodes for 51 points, team now 4–0

Senior cornerback Sam Thompson (No. 17) had two punt returns on the game for 31 total yards, with his longest being a 19-yard return. (credit: Kelsey Scott/) Senior cornerback Sam Thompson (No. 17) had two punt returns on the game for 31 total yards, with his longest being a 19-yard return. (credit: Kelsey Scott/)

The Tartans looked dominant on the turf at Gesling Stadium again, clobbering the DePauw University Tigers on Saturday by a score of 51–28. The 51-point offensive outburst helped the Tartans reach a total record of 4–0 for the season.

Junior full back Zachary Erra-Hernandez led the way for the Tartans, rushing for 116 yards and three touchdowns on 14 carries. As a whole, the team rushed for an incredible 220 yards, averaging an astounding 5.4 yards per carry.

The Tigers’ inability to stop the Tartans’ rushing game opened up the passing game, as junior quarterback Rob Kalkstein completed 13 of his 15 passes for 314 yards and three touchdowns. Kalkstein hit DePauw early, completing an 83-yard touchdown pass to sophomore wide receiver Timothy Swanson on the first play of the game after the opening kickoff.

“We had great protection for Robbie [Kalkstein] and his receivers ran excellent patterns,” said head coach Rick Lackner. “Robbie made great in-game choices, all a part of good preparation by offensive coordinator Rich Erdelyi and his staff.”

Swanson was Kalkstein’s favorite target for the game, but only marginally. Swanson had four receptions for 153 yards and two touchdowns, while junior wide receiver Tim Kikta had three receptions for 95 yards and a touchdown.

While the DePauw defense had no trouble racking up yardage, Carnegie Mellon’s ability to force turnovers kept the Tigers’ offense off the field. DePauw’s interim head coach Scott Srnka relied too much on first-year quarterback Justin Murray, who threw two interceptions in the game. Murray threw 40 times, only completing 20 passes, although he found the end zone four times.

The Tartan defense also forced three fumbles, recovering two. Senior linebackers Nick Karabin and Chris Blomstedt led the team with 11 tackles each, and Karabin forced and recovered one of the aforementioned fumbles. Sophomore outside linebacker Alex D’Angelo was the receiver for both of Murray’s interceptions.

This Saturday, the Tartans travel to Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Ind., to play the Little Giants. Kickoff is at 2 p.m.