NORTHFIELD, Minn. – Paul Hoffer (Sr./Plymouth, Minn./Wayzata) recorded the longest interception return for a touchdown in recorded Carleton College football history, and Anthony Kemper (Sr./Prior Lake, Minn./Prior Lake) grabbed his first two touchdown receptions of the season to lead the Knights to a 21-20 victory over Macalester College. With the victory, the Knights retained possession of the Book of Knowledge for the 10th consecutive year.
The Scots struck early with a 25-yard Auburn Jimenez field goal on their first drive of the game, but the Knights quickly responded by executing a nine-play, 76-yard drive to the end zone. Kemper collected his first score of the game on a 12-yard pass from quarterback Conor Lynch (Jr./Salem, Ore./South Salem) to put Carleton ahead, 7-3.
The Knights widened the margin on their next possession when Kemper recorded his second touchdown in as many drives, this time on a 28-yard connection from quarterback Mike Hartwell (Sr./Lakeville, Minn./Lakeville North).
After a solid kick return, Macalester capitalized with a seven-play, 57-yard drive, capped off by running back Mike Adams’s one-yard plunge.
With the Scots threatening deep in Carleton territory late in the second quarter, Hoffer picked off a Clark Bledsoe pass at the one and scampered 99 yards down the far sideline for a score. This return put Hoffer in the record book, surpassing Drew Ziller, who held the previous-best mark with an 86-yard return for a touchdown in 2007 against Minnesota-Morris. He was also only one yard shy of the MIAC record of 100 yards.
Hoffer’s pick-six extended the Carleton lead, and the teams entered the break with the score, 21-10, in favor of the Knights.
The Scots wasted no time in capturing the momentum after intermission. They marched 54 yards in just over two minutes, and running back T. Joe Loiselle capped the drive with a 3-yard rushing touchdown.
Later in the third quarter, Jimenez added his second field goal of the game. This one was from 42 yards out and narrowed the Knights’ lead to just a point.
Macalester threatened multiple times in the fourth quarter, but the Carleton defense held strong to secure the victory. The Knights forced a Loiselle fumble deep in their own territory, and Keenan Hartert (Sr./Glenwood Springs, Colo./Glenwood Springs) came away with the ball to halt a promising drive by the Scots. Later, with less than five minutes remaining in the contest, Ben Nicla (Fy./Suamico, Wis./Bay Port) picked off a Bledsoe pass, which allowed the Knights to run the clock down to under 30 seconds. The Scots had a final chance but were denied by the Carleton defense.
The Knights travel to Collegeville next Saturday for a game against Saint John’s University. Kickoff is slated for 1 p.m. Live audio will be available on Knights Online with Gordy Kosfeld calling the action on KQCL 95.9 FM in the Northfield/Faribault area. They return to Laird Stadium on Saturday, October 18 to face St. Olaf College in a rivalry game. Kickoff for that contest is also scheduled for 1 p.m.