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ISSUE 117 VOL 6 PUBLISHED 10/31/2003

Running game powers Oles to win

By Ken Foote
Sports Editor

Friday, October 31, 2003

After dropping four straight conference contests, the Ole football team won its first game in over a month by dismantling Hamline 43-13 on Oct. 18. The team hoped to build on that momentum as they welcomed Macalester to Manitou Field for the final home game of the season. The Oles had plenty of reasons to be confident heading into the showdown with the Scots, not the least of which was having MIAC Players of the Week Brian Senske ’04 and Nate Johnson ’05 on the field.

Senske was named MIAC Offensive Player of the Week after torching Hamline for 253 yards and 3 touchdowns in less than three quarters of play. Johnson earned MIAC Special Team Player of the Week by averaging 44.5 yards on two punts and 57 yards per kickoff on six kicks.

After putting on an aerial display against the Pipers, the Oles unleashed the ground game, chewing up 358 yards of turf en route to a 47-14 victory over Macalester.

The Oles jumped out early thanks to a trick play in which wide receiver Nate Lund ’04 threw a 29-yard touchdown strike to Nick Rost ’07. Rost found pay dirt again early in the second quarter as he broke loose for a 79-yard touchdown.

Macalester, who accumulated 472 yards of total offense, fired right back to cut the lead to 14-7 after a Matt Munson four-yard touchdown run capped a nine-play, 68-yard drive. However, that proved to be the closest the Scots would get as Lund struck again, this time on the receiving end, from 12 yards out to make the score 21-7 in favor of the Oles going into the half.

The Oles came out for the second half and picked up right where they left off. Bobby Andrade ‘07 reeled of touchdown runs of 2 and 23 yards, the latter of which came on a fourth-and-one play to stake the Oles to a comfortable 34-7 lead.

The defense had trouble stopping the Macalester attack, surrendering 28 first downs and nearly 300 passing yards, but they kept the Scots out of the end zone most of the afternoon and made the big plays when it counted. With just under eight minutes left in the fourth and Macalester inside the St. Olaf 20-yard line, Anthony Rogers ‘05 stepped in front of a Macalester pass and returned it 88 yards for a touchdown, effectively ending any hope the Scots had of making a comeback.

All in all, the Oles racked up 597 yards of total offense. Impressive as that was, the most astonishing statistic was the 320 all-purpose yards compiled by Rost.

Rost set a St. Olaf rookie record by amassing 131 receiving yards, 93 rushing yards, 64 kickoff return yards and 32 yards courtesy of punt returns, which accounted for his 320 all-purpose yards. For his efforts, he was named MIAC Offensive Player of the Week.

The pair of lopsided wins brings the Oles’ record to 3-5 overall and 2-4 in the MIAC. The team can finish .500 in both the overall and MIAC standings if they win their last two games, both on the road, against Concordia and Gustavus.

Winning on Saturday will be no easy task. The Cobbers are 5-2 and ranked 34th in the latest Division III football poll published in Dan Hansen’s Gazette, a highly respected collegiate football publication.

Saturday’s action gets underway from Jake Christiansen Stadium in Moorhead at 1:00 p.m.

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