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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Pioneers lose home opener

By J. Francis Buse

Last year, a pass or two was the key to success in Grinnell Football’s home opener, a one-point win against Cornell College. Last Saturday, a pass or two may have given the Pioneers the boost they needed as they lost to the Cornell College Rams 28-21.

“There were a few plays here and there that we needed to make for a different outcome,” Head Football Coach Max Hawsey said.

Led by Hawsey, who returns for his second season as head coach, the Pioneers watched their five-point lead at halftime evaporate, only to come within an onside kick with less than a minute left of erasing their seven-point deficit.

While Grinnell nearly matched Cornell in passing yards, Cornell rushed for nearly a hundred more yards than Grinnell. One interception gave Cornell a 60-yard return for a touchdown and another prevented a touchdown for the Pioneers.

In the fourth quarter, quarterback Mike Bogard ’12 lofted a pass to a Grinnell wide-receiver for what seemed to be a Grinnell touchdown to tie the game. However, the Rams came up with the ball for an interception.

“We had opportunities and didn’t take advantage,” defensive end John Hereford ’10 said. “It was really small mental mistakes that allowed Cornell back in the game and allowed them to get their lead.”

“The quarterback’s the key to the offense,” Hawsey said. “There’s no one more frustrated than Mike Bogard.”

Bogard rushed for 58 yards, as well as completing 15 of 36 passes, with three interceptions and two touchdown passes, both to Robert Seer ’12. Kelsey Davis ’12 would score Grinnell’s only rushing touchdown of the day with two minutes left in the first quarter. 

“Kelsey Davis has been very consistent—one of those guys you can certainly count on,” Hawsey said. “He’s a playmaker for us, and we’ve got to get the ball in his hands even more.”

On defense, Hereford led the team with 15 tackles for the day, and as a whole, the solidly spread defense held Cornell’s offense to 21 points.

“Ben Johnson played tough all day and the defensive line did well. Curtis McCoy and Kyle Lobaugh did a great job of having pressure on Cornell’s quarterback late in the game, which allowed us to get a lot of stops,” Hereford said.

“We should be winning games if we’re only giving up that much [on defense],” Hawsey said.

Tomorrow, Grinnell matches up against Midwest Conference heavyweight St. Norbert. Last week, the St. Norbert Pioneers topped regional powerhouse Wartburg College with an overtime touchdown. The team is led by junior quarterback Rob Berger, who rushed for 127 yards in 16 attempts and completed 28 passes in 37 attempts for 317 yards. Berger racked up two rushing touchdowns and four passing touchdowns in the 42-35 win.

“Even more so than the last game, we have to limit mistakes and make them work for everything they get. We have to drive the football down to get points,” Hereford said.

Editor’s note: The only break in the game’s play came when Umpire Mike Mallberg suffered a heart attack on the field late in the first quarter. Mallberg, who has refereed several Grinnell games over the past eight years, was resuscitated on the field by stand-by EMS and a local physician and transported to Grinnell Regional Medical Center. According to Stacy Christians, Mallberg’s daughter, he is in stable condition after undergoing surgery at Methodist Hospital in Des Moines Thursday morning.  A letter to the editor from his family can be read in editorials.

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