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The Scarlet & Black

Football triumphs in final game of season

Carson Dunn ’18 led the team in rushing last Saturday against Lawrence University. Photo by Chris Lee.

The football team ended its season with a big win over Lawrence University 52-14 in the Midwest Conference Championship Weekend at home last Saturday. The victory on the snowy Rosenbloom Field was the first one at home this season.

Despite losing to Monmouth College and Lake Forest College the previous two weeks, the Pioneers were able to regroup one last time together for the seniors.

“[The last game] was in the back of my mind, knowing that after this game I’ll hang up my boots for good,” said Jake Meixler ’15.

David Ternes ’15 added, “We wanted to play for the seniors because there [are] so many of us. Everyone brought together and played as a team.”

The Pioneers started the game with a bang, scoring 21 points in the first quarter and continued to cruise through the rest of the game, at one point leading Lawrence 35-0. Scoring 52 point was exciting for the Pioneers, who have been struggling offensively throughout the season.

“Throughout the season I feel like the offensive line, wide receivers [and] running backs, were on separate pages,” Meixler said. “However, last game we all came together. We blocked well, passed well, ran well, it all came together for our last game … We just clicked.”

Meixler personally had a big game, catching four touchdowns, tying the school record for most receiving touchdowns in a game.

“You don’t plan something like that but it feels good,” he said. “My dad was there for the game and it was fun him being able to see me going out on a high note like that.”

Carson Dunn ’18 also showed promise for the next season by leading the team in rushing yards with 86, including a 41-yard burst in the third quarter.

Carson Dunn ’18 led the team in rushing last Saturday against Lawrence University. Photo by Chris Lee.
Carson Dunn ’18 led the team in rushing last Saturday against Lawrence University. Photo by Chris Lee.

In the defensive side, Ternes ended his successful collegiate career with 13 tackles and an interception. Ternes is second in Grinnell’s all-time tackle list with 418 and holds the record for the most sacks in a game.

According to Ternes, it was fun to be with his teammates for the last time in the fourth quarter when he was on the field with most of the seniors on the team.

“A lot of the guys on defense on the fourth quarter were people that haven’t played defense or the positions they played,” he said. “It was fun to do that. Overall we came together and made the big stops and turnovers to help us get the big win.”

It will be an emotional change for the seniors since they will be taking the athlete out of their role as student-athletes next semester.

“I don’t know what I will do with all the free time I will get,” Ternes said.

“It feels good [to go out on a win], definitely made the transition a lot better, and I know I’m going to miss it,” Meixler added.

Both seniors and Dunn were quick to mention that they felt like the team could have done better and pointed out the loss against Midwest Conference champion Macalester College.

“It’s frustrating to lose to Macalester by five and know that they won the conference championship and we finished second to last,” Meixler said.

The Pioneers had a lot of games where they couldn’t finish the game for a win. Both Meixler and Ternes hope the team can come together for a better season next year.

Ternes is counting on safety Jacob Beecher ’16 to emerge as a leader. Beecher displayed high promise in the last game, contributing eight tackles.

“Jacob will have to step up and be the leader for the defense,” Ternes said.

Dunn, Beecher and the rest of the Pioneers will start their off-season training next week with a commitment to success.

“I will do anything the team needs me to do in order to win,” Dunn said.

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