NORTHFIELD, Minn. -- Facing its fourth ranked opponent in the last six weeks, the Carleton College football team put a scare into No. 19 Concordia College. The Knights (4-4, 2-4 MIAC) nearly erased a three-touchdown deficit in the final period, but in the end, the Cobbers (7-1, 5-1 MIAC) prevailed by a score of 35-27.
Trailing 35-14 at the beginning of the fourth quarter, Carleton executed back-to-back scoring drives to pull within a touchdown, but the Cobber defense stifled the Knights in the red zone on their final possession of the game to hold on for the victory.
John Baker (Sr./Minneapolis, Minn./Breck) paced the Knights’ offense, carrying the ball 15 times for 59 yards and a career-high three touchdowns. A week after passing for a personal-best 269 yards, Conor Lynch (Sr./Salem, Ore./South Salem) eclipsed that mark, connecting on 24-of-49 passes for 319 yards and a touchdown. His favorite target was Anthony Kemper (Sr./Prior Lake, Minn./Prior Lake), who hauled in eight catches and easily surpassed 100 receiving yards for the second consecutive game, tallying a total of 149 yards and a score.
At the end of the third quarter, the Cobbers appeared to be in control, maintaining a 21-point advantage. However, the Knights were not ready to surrender. After forcing a Concordia three-and-out, Carleton took over near midfield and wasted little time in narrowing the deficit. A two-yard connection from Lynch to Kemper capped a four-play, 53-yard drive to pull the Knights within two scores.
The Cobbers faced 3rd-and-2 on their next possession when Pat Dale (Jr./Fox Island, Wash./Charles Wright Academy) knocked a pass out of the hands of the Concordia receiver to force a punt. The Knights then marched 65 yards in just under four minutes to close the gap even further. Baker’s third touchdown of the day, this one coming on a one-yard plunge, moved the score to 35-27.
The Carleton defense forced a third-consecutive three-and-out to stay within striking distance. The Knights took over at their own 29-yard line with just under three minutes remaining on the clock. Facing 3rd-and-10, Lynch completed a 44-yard strike to Kemper to move into Concordia territory. Another connection with Kemper pushed Carleton into the red zone, but the Cobber defense held the Knights and forced a turnover on downs to seal the victory.
Defensively, Mason Schnarr (Fy./Evansville, Ind./Francis J. Reitz) paced the Knights with 11.5 tackles on the day. Mitch Heflin (So./Wayzata, Minn./Wayzata) contributed ten of his own, and Luke Reppe (Jr./Northfield, Minn./Northfield) picked up his first interception of the season.
The Knights will look to bounce back next Saturday, Nov. 9, when they travel to St. Peter to face Gustavus Adolphus College. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. Live audio of the game will be available on Knights Online with Gordy Kosfeld calling the action on KQCL 95.9 FM in the Northfield/Faribault area.