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ISSUE 119 VOL 5 PUBLISHED 10/14/2005

Football cruises past Carleton

By Joel Stjernholm
Staff Writer

Friday, October 14, 2005

Led by defensive captain John Davis ‘06, the St. Olaf football team elevated its season record to 5-0 with a 44-14 victory over cross-river rival Carleton College Saturday at Laird Stadium. This marks just the eighth 5-0 start in school history.

Linebacker Davis put St. Olaf’s first points on the board when he returned his first interception of the game (and second of the season) for a 45-yard touchdown. Davis stepped in front of a Darren Caspers pass near midfield and scampered untouched into the endzone. Davis returned another interception for a touchdown later in the game as well, personally equaling Carleton’s entire offensive output.

Davis earned MIAC defensive player of the week honors for his performance. He also recovered a fumble during the contest.

“Davis is a real consistent player,” teammate Peter St. Lawrence ‘07 said. “Everytime he goes out there, he plays so hard, you know that he’s going to make plays. There’s never any letdown with him.”

In addition to Davis, a host of Oles contributed to the defensive effort, including defensive lineman James Bechdol ’08, who earned 4.5 tackles, a sack and blocked a Carleton punt on special teams.

Cornerback Trey Williams ’06 added an interception of his own and recorded six tackles.

The St. Olaf defense forced five turnovers against Carleton, raising their season total to 17. St. Olaf boasts the MIAC’s second best turnover margin at +11.

The Oles were aggressive on the offensive side of the ball as well, accruing 417 total offensive yards. Quarterback Jason Wilsey ’06 connected with receivers on 19 of his 31 pass attempts for 282 passing yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions.

Wide receiver Horace Gant ’08 led the Oles in receiving yards, earning 93 yards on five receptions and a touchdown.

Halfback Jay Higgins ’08 added 79 yards on four receptions, including one 60-yard catch he took for a touchdown.

Tailback Bobby Andrade ’07 led St. Olaf’s rushing attack with 44 yards on four carries, including one 20-yard touchdown scamper. Higgins added another 34 yards on the ground.

Although the Oles are undefeated, they remain hungry, and unsatisfied with any effort they deem less than their best. Improvement and hard work remain key themes for the team.

“It’s great to win one at Carleton,” Higgins said. “But, we’re still improving. We can play a lot better than we did at Carleton, and that’s our goal.”

Cornerback Matt Dean ‘06 agreed with Higgins’ sentiment: “We’re getting better each game. We practice hard every week, and that shows in the games.”.

The Oles will play three of their final four games on the road, including St. John’s University and Concordia-Moorhead on Oct. 29 and Nov. 5, respectively. The Johnnies and Cobbers are both undefeated this season, are clearly the toughest teams remaining on the Oles’ schedule.

The Oles know they must approach the teams carefully – although the Oles have achieved much success thus far in the season, even one loss in the ultra-competitive MIAC can eliminate a team from title competition.

St. Olaf will play its next-to-last home game of the season on Saturday against eighth-place. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.

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