The Scarlet & Black

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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Football falls to 0-3

Jacob Bernholtz ’17 rushes against Macalester College last Saturday. Photo by John Brady.

The football team lost a home game to Macalester College 21-16 last Saturday afternoon  at Rosenbloom Field. The Pioneers, after losing their third consecutive game, dropped their record to 0-3 on the season.

Down by 10 points going into the third quarter, the team rallied to take the lead 16-13 behind a four-yard touchdown run by Jacob Bernholtz ’17 and a fumble recovery for a touchdown by Rich Renteria ’15. But Grinnell could not hold on to its lead as Macalester responded with a safety and touchdown in the final quarter to seize the victory. 

“They made plays when they needed to make plays and we didn’t,” wrote Renteria in an email to The S&B.

Offensive standouts of the game include quarterback Sam Poulos ’16, who threw for 130 yards while running for another 94, and wide receiver Zach McGriff ’18 with three catches for 38 yards.

Jacob Bernholtz ’17 rushes against Macalester College last Saturday. Photo by John Brady.
Jacob Bernholtz ’17 rushes against Macalester College last Saturday. Photo by John Brady.

In practice, the coaching staff has emphasized running in a positive direction in which yards are gained, as opposed to a negative direction in which yards are lost. The practice certainly paid off for the quarterback.

“Sam did some really nice things, especially tucking the ball and running downhill for positive yards,” said head coach Jeff Pedersen ’02. “[But] he hurt us at times while running sideways.”

Defensively, the team allowed the fewest points so far this season. Standouts were Renteria, David Ternes ’15 with 13 tackles and Daniel Munger ’15 with 11 tackles and a forced fumble.

“David is leader of the defense and he’s played pretty well this year, making a lot of tackles,” Pedersen said. “Renteria has been a destructive force, causing fumbles and recovering fumbles.”

Despite the loss, Pedersen was impressed with the way the team fought and remained competitive for the entire game.

“That’s something we’ve showed all three weeks really,” Pedersen said. “We’ve been better in the fourth quarter than the other teams.”

According to Pedersen, the loss will have implications when it comes to recruiting. After beating Macalester back-to-back times in 2010 and 2012, Grinnell got the upper hand in attracting recruits. This year’s loss might turn the table around.

“We didn’t play the last few years, and they beat us on recruits,” he said. “Now that they’ve got the edge on us this year, that’s going to be tough to overcome in the recruiting battle,” Pedersen said.

The Pioneers next play against Lawrence University (1-2) in Appleton, Wis. tomorrow at noon. The next home game for the team will be on Saturday, Oct. 11 against Cornell College.

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