Although it has been universally accepted for years that Carleton College is superior to St. Olaf in pretty much every regard, including academics, parties and party-related games, maturing after high school, and football, the Knights’ dominance became official last Saturday when Carleton spoiled St. Olaf’s homecoming festivities with an authoritative 21-7 victory, ending an Olaf Cereal Bowl winning streak that dates back to 1997.
The Oles were clearly outplayed by a high-powered Knight offense that featured the smooth moves and previously unseen speed of senior wide receiver Matt Frank (he’s an All-American) and the strong arm and dazzling smile of senior quarterback Shane Henfling.Henfling completed 25 passes on the day for 262 yards and 3 touchdowns, and continued his climb up the record book by moving into fourth place in school history with 34 career scoring strikes.
Henfling’s favorite blonde target, senior running back Steve Ramey, put on a dazzling show of his own, coming up with 5 receptions for 75 yards and a late first-half touchdown, but the game ball for the Knight offense went to Frank.The pride of Caledonia, Minnesota put on a Sportscenter-worthy display in what was perhaps the best game of his very distinguished career. An overmatched Ole secondary could only look on, awestruck, as Frank piled up 131 yards on 11 catches and pulled in 2 scores before a third quarter injury ended his day.
It has been speculated that, had he been able to play the entire game, Frank would have set every school receiving record (Carleton or St. Olaf), signed a multi-year deal with Nike, and inspired a Disney sports movie (Why Even Bother Trying To Stop Me: The Matt Frank Story).While the injury to Frank may have given the Oles a flicker of hope, that hope was quickly “Zillered” by a commanding Knight defense led, unsurprisingly, by All-American senior safety Drew Ziller. Ziller had a team-high 12 tackles and a pair of momentum-shifting sacks. Ziller’s punishing performance, which left many Oles in tears, was felt across the country, and the Byron, Minnesota native was rewarded with a nomination for national defensive player of the week.
Also standing out for the stalwart Knight defense was sophomore safety Neil Kolstad, who added a fumble recovery and an interception in the endzone to his 4 tackles. It is this kind of superior talent, coupled with an unselfish, team-first style of play that has made Coach Ramler’s defensive unit the envy of the entire conference.Also leaving a path of jealousy in their wake were the Cheerboys. Officially recognized as the heartthrobs of the MIAC, these classy and spirited men and women led the rest of the Knight faithful in the perfect example of showing up the Oles. Despite being surrounded by a black-and-gold sea of blonde hair, blues eyes, and an undeserved sense of accomplishment, the Cheerboys were able to demonstrate that an extremely annoying St. Olaf fight song is no match for a few clever cheers, some extremely attractive body paint, and a well-rehearsed dance number.
So thoroughly demoralized and unable to brag about football any longer, many St. Olaf students haven’t spoken since midway through the third quarter of last Saturday’s game.As tradition dictates, after the game the dejected St. Olaf team was forced to hand over the fabled Goat Trophy, awarded every year to the winner of this cross-town rivalry. The Goat breathed an audible sigh of relief upon being exchanged, and is said to have smiled for the first time in 12 years.
Even more crowd-pleasing was the march down to Bridge Square (warning: major football victory celebrations negate all traffic laws), where The Eagle (the statue that faces the grounds of the annual Cereal Bowl victor) was returned to its rightful alignment, facing the beautiful, much less preppy Carleton campus.
It should be noted that late Saturday night a group of unhappy Oles spat in the face of all that is good (actually, “we spit in the face of all that is good” is the official St. Olaf school motto) and turned The Eagle back towards their own dejected school.
Their poor sportsmanship has been corrected, though, and I guess we really shouldn’t have expected anything better out of any Ole.Be sure to check out the Knights this Saturday as they hope to continue their winning ways against the alliterative Augsburg Auggies in the Carleton homecoming game. Festivities include the wacky, lovable antics of the Carleton Cheerboys, probably some sort of dance routine, and a battle for sole possession of the top spot in the MIAC.