Despite another impressive showing from quarterback Mike Hartwell ‘13, the Carleton College football team dropped its home finale to Gustavus Adolphus College by a score of 41-27. Hartwell completed 26-of-39 passes for 261 yards and three touchdowns, and the Knights’ seniors figured in all four scores in their final game at Laird Stadium.
Carleton (3-6, 1-6 MIAC) had an opportunity to get on the board early when Dan Cook ‘15 forced a fumble on the opening kickoff, and Pat Dale ‘15 pounced on the ball to give the Knights possession at the Gustavus 26-yard line. However, Carleton failed to move the chains, as D.J. Turner’s ‘13 reception came up two yards short on 4th-and-8.
The Gusties took little time to capitalize, executing an 11-play, 82-yard drive to take a 6-0 lead. To cap it off, running back Jeffrey Dubose dashed 16 yards to the end zone, his first of four touchdowns on the day.The Knights responded on their next drive, marching 67 yards in just over two minutes. Hartwell hit classmate C.J. Dale for a 31-yard score to put the Knights ahead, 7-6.
This advantage was short-lived, as Gustavus took just under four minutes to recapture the lead. Quarterback Tim Stepka rumbled nine yards to the house, putting the Gusties up 13-7 near the end of the first quarter.
The Knights were not ready to let the game slip away, as they manufactured a 14-play, 84-yard drive to tie the score at 13-13. Early in the second period, Hartwell completed his second touchdown pass of the game, placing a perfect ball over Anthony Kemper’s ‘13 back shoulder for a five-yard score.
Gustavus scored a pair of Dubose touchdown runs before intermission to take a 27-13 lead into the break.
The Knights continued to battle, cutting into the Gusties’ lead midway through the third quarter on a nine-yard touchdown dash by Andy Zweber ‘13. This marked the fourth straight game in which Zweber reached the end zone, and he leads Carleton with eight touchdowns on the year.
Late in the third period, with the Knights facing 4th-and-inches, Hartwell attempted a quarterback sneak but came up short, giving the Gusties possession near midfield. They capitalized with a 50-yard drive, capped off by a 15-yard touchdown pass from Stepka to Michael Hintze to make the score 34-20 in favor of Gustavus.
The Knights wouldn’t go away without a fight, engineering a 58-yard drive in just under three minutes. Hartwell dialed up Turner for a one-yard score to bring Carleton within a touchdown.
However, the Gusties put the game away on their next possession with a 31-yard touchdown pass from Stepka to Dubose, his fourth score of the contest. Carleton was unable to counter, and the clock wound down on the Knights.
Luke Reppe ‘14 led Carleton with 13 stops, and seniors Paul Hoffer and Mike Elder continued their stellar campaigns, contributing nine and eight tackles, respectively.
Carleton travels to the Metrodome next Saturday, Nov. 10, to face Augsburg College in the season finale for both teams. Kickoff is slated for 1 PM Live audio will be available on Knights Online with Gordy Kosfeld calling the action on KQCL 95.9 FM in the Northfield/Faribault area.