Tartans defeat Tornadoes at Cèilidh

University President Subra Suresh performs the coin toss for the Cèilidh football game last Saturday.  (credit: Jason  Chen/Junior Photographer) University President Subra Suresh performs the coin toss for the Cèilidh football game last Saturday. (credit: Jason Chen/Junior Photographer) Credit: Jason  Chen/Junior Photographer Credit: Jason Chen/Junior Photographer

The Tartans celebrated their Homecoming game by defeating the Geneva College Golden Tornadoes 34–27 in a double overtime thriller on Saturday. The Tartans are now 2–2 after handing Geneva their first loss of the season.

Geneva jumped on the scoreboard first, scoring a touchdown on a four-yard pass for a quick 7–0 lead.

The Tartans stormed back, driving 63 yards down the field to tie the score at seven. Sophomore running back Max Reinertsen spearheaded the drive with a run of 23 yards and another of 22 yards. Senior quarterback Rob Kalkstein’s first completed pass of the day — a two-yard pass to senior wide receiver Tim Kikta — finished the touchdown drive.

The second quarter began with success for Carnegie Mellon as Kalkstein found junior wide receiver Tim Swanson for a 56-yard run down the sideline. Just three plays later, Kalkstein scored on a five-yard scamper for their first lead of the day, 14–7. Two field goals by the Golden Tornadoes and a 15-yard pass from Kalkstein to Reinertsen ended the first half with a score of 21–13.

The Golden Tornadoes opened the scoring in the second half after a 15-yard touchdown pass. Geneva tried for a two-point conversion, but was unsuccessful, leaving the score at 21–19. Just before the end of the quarter, Kalkstein completed a touchdown pass to senior tight end Bryce Pardoe advancing the score to 27–19. The Tartans’ extra point attempt was blocked — a key development that kept Geneva within one possession.

With just under three minutes left in the fourth quarter, the Golden Tornadoes completed another touchdown and were successful this time with the two-point conversion tying the score at 27.

Kalkstein’s pass, the team’s chance for a game-winning drive, was promptly intercepted. This gave Geneva an opportunity for their own game-winning drive starting at the Carnegie Mellon 45-yard line. The Tartans’ defense was unable to stop the Geneva advance, however, and the Golden Tornadoes were set up for a game-winning field goal from the Tartans’ 18-yard line. Fortunately for the Tartans, the Geneva field goal attempt failed.

The first overtime started well for the Golden Tornadoes, who scored a touchdown after just three plays. The Tartans responded well again as Reinertsen found himself in the end zone after a three-yard pass from Kalkstein.

Double overtime began with the Tartans on offense first, and they scored in just five plays: Reinertsen completed his third touchdown of the day so the Tartans could take the lead, rushing into the end zone from six yards out.

Geneva College failed to complete four passes in a row, and senior Tartan defensive backs Jack Butler and Liam McGrath each racked up a pass breakup on third and fourth down, securing the Tartan victory.

“It was definitely one of the greatest games I’ve ever played in, and it was the first time that we seemed like one team. This game definitely gave us a big boost in morale moving forward,” Butler said.

The Tartans will hit the road next Saturday when they play St. Vincent College at 1 p.m. in Latrobe, Pa.