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Result: L 14-35

Football at Augsburg College

Saturday, October 1st, 2011 – 1 p.m. at Minneapolis, Minn. - Edor Nelson Field

Second Half Struggles Continue in Loss to Augsburg

By David Stillerman '14

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – After another impressive showing in the first half, the Carleton College football team looked poised to pick up their second win of the season, as the Knights carried a two-touchdown lead into halftime. But following intermission, the Knights (1-3, 1-2 MIAC) failed to reach the end zone again and were plagued by four turnovers. Meanwhile, host Augsburg College turned each of those miscues into touchdowns, scored 35 unanswered points over the last quarter and a half and cruised to a 35-14 victory to stay undefeated on the season.

The Knights dominated the first half of play, controlling the ball through a consistent rushing attack. Running backs Jon Lien (Sr./Lindstrom, Minn./Chisago Lakes) and John Baker (So./Minneapolis, Minn./Breck) combined for 89 yards on the ground, and this allowed Carleton to dictate the tempo throughout the first two quarters. The Knight air-attack was also clicking before intermission, as quarterback Mike Hartwell (Jr./Lakeville, Minn./Lakeville North) was a perfect 14-for-14 on his pass attempts totaling 118 yards and two touchdowns, one each to Lien and Baker. The Carleton defense held the Auggies to only 106 total yards, and the Knights carried a 14-0 advantage heading into the locker room.

This all changed when the teams returned to the field for the second half. The Auggies (4-0, 3-0 MIAC) outgained the Knights by over 200 yards in the final two quarters, dominating on both sides of the ball. The Carleton turnovers gave Augsburg short fields to work with, resulting in touchdown drives of 15, 33, 62 and 31 yards.

Carleton struck quickly, taking the lead on their intial drive of the game as Hartwell hit Lien for a six-yard touchdown. The Knights were threatening again early in the second quarter, and Hartwell lofted a pass to Chase Gottschalk (So./Independence, Minn./Orono) for an apparent touchdown. However, a holding penalty forced the Knights to repeat the down, and they failed to convert on the drive, keeping the score at 7-0. Later in the quarter, Hartwell accounted for his second touchdown of the day, hitting Baker for a ten-yard score. Baker’s first career touchdown gave the Knights a 14-0 advantage in the waning minutes of the second quarter. Augsburg’s final attempt before intermission came up short when Paul Hoffer (Jr./Plymouth, Minn./Wayzata) picked off an errant pass, and the half came to a close with the Knights in front by two scores.

The third quarter started on a promising note for Carleton, as Max Timm (Jr./Shakopee, Minn./Shakopee) picked up his first interception of the season, stopping an Augsburg drive that had appeared to be gaining momentum. But the Knights couldn’t capitalize, as a Hartwell pass was intercepted and returned deep into Carleton territory. Following this turn of events, the Auggies quickly scored their first touchdown of the day on a six-yard dash by Tyler Maxwell.

Later in the quarter, the Auggies capitalized on a Carleton fumble and tied the score at 14-14 following a successful two-point conversion. The Knights’ next drive last but one play as Hartwell was intercepted again, giving Augsburg its first opportunity to take the lead. The Auggies 10-play drive was capped by Maxwell’s three-yard plunge early in the fourth quarter, pushing the home team in front to stay.

After taking the lead, Augsburg never looked back. They recorded two more touchdowns on the day, while the Knights failed to come up with a method to stop the Augsburg offensive attack. The Auggies outgained the Knights 411-280 yards.

Offensively, Hartwell, Lien, and Baker led the Knights. Hartwell finished the day 14-for-17 for 118 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Lien carried the ball nine times for 45 yards. In addition, he had five catches for 31 yards and a touchdown. Baker rushed 19 times for 85 yards. He also caught two passes for 14 yards and a score.

The Knights return to Laird Stadium next weekend, as they host Concordia College-Moorhead (3-2, 1-2 MIAC) in another conference showdown. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. All games this season can be heard on KQCL 95.9 FM in the Northfield/Faribault area and worldwide via Knights Online.

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