For the 88th time in their storied history, the Carleton Knights took on the St. Olaf Oles in their annual battle for the Goat Trophy, named for the most well-respected of all Oles (an actual farm animal, class of ‘79) in the Cereal Bowl, named for delicious Malt-O-Meal cereal (especially Frosted Mini Spooners).
Despite an impressive first-half offensive output, the Knights fell behind late in the second quarter on the way to their sixth loss of the season. After pretentiously-spelled Ole running back Coty Watkins scored on an opening-drive 1-yard run, the Knights put up 21 unanswered points on the strength of quarterback Shane Henfling’s ’09 ridiculous talent. The St. Olaf defensive backs, most notably cornerbacks Sven Johnson and Leif Erickson (or something like that), were simply no match for Henfling’s poise and accuracy. With the help of receiver Matt Frank’s ’09 hands and tight end Steve Ramey’s ’09 facial hair, Henfling finished the contest with a career-high 421 passing yards, 4 touchdowns, and a school-record 33 completions. Frank finished with an All-American-like 12 receptions for 129 yards and 3 touchdowns, while Ramey added 101 yards on 6 catches. Also eclipsing the 100-yard plateau was senior running back R.J. Jackson, who piled up 127 yards on 8 receptions, capped off by a 41-yard touchdown catch on a screen pass in the second quarter. Further fattening of the record books was done by wideout Chris Gardner ’09, who’s 44 yards was enough to make him only the third player in school history to reach 1,000 receiving yards in a single season.
Almost needless to say is that safety Drew Ziller ’09 was once again impressive, and led all Knights defenders with 12 tackles, 2 pass break-ups, and 2 fumbles forced. His stats would have undoubtedly been much gaudier had the St. Olaf players not begun sprinting out of bounds simply to avoid getting hit by the Byron, Minnesota native. Perhaps even more beautiful than Ziller’s tackling form, though, was a fourth-quarter 61-yard Jeff Potempa ’09 punt that made this reporter forget the entire second half of the game (although rumor is nothing noteworthy happened after halftime).
Speaking of beautiful, the Carleton Cheerboys and a large, rowdy number of the Knights faithful put the popped collars and fake tans of the tone-deaf, off-key Ole fans to shame. After quickly realizing their own inadequacy as fans, many of the St. Olaf High School students in attendance resorted to tactics best described as being like school in July (no class). While several valiant security guards did their best to keep the Oles corralled, not even a bleeding, unconscious fan and an arriving ambulance were enough to convince many sheep-like Black-and-Golds that emergency services, as a rule of thumb, should have the right-of-way. Summed up eloquently by Executive Cheerboy Gabe Ulman, “Honestly, who doesn’t get out of the way for an ambulance? Oles, that’s who. I mean, what do they teach over there?”
The Knights will finish what has been an up-and-down year this Saturday when they travel to St. Peter to take on even more black-and-gold Scandinavians, the alliterative Gustavus Golden Gusties, in what is sure to be a fantastic season finale.