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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Feven Getachew
Feven Getachew
May 6, 2024
Michael Lozada
Michael Lozada
May 6, 2024
Nathan Hoffman
Nathan Hoffman
May 6, 2024
Harvey Wilhelm `24.
Harvey Wilhelm
May 6, 2024

Football Rushes to victory against Beloit

A week after the Grinnell College Football team dominated visiting Lake Forest with their passing attack, the Pioneers traveled to Beloit College and beat the Buccaneers 28-21 with a more balanced strategy.

Mike McCabe ’13 was as reliable as ever, throwing for 333 yards on 30-of-51 passing, but the other offensive leaders weren’t the usual suspects.  Cody Weber ’13 and Trent Baker ’15 had their biggest games of the season as Weber ran for 127 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries and Baker added seven passes for 140 yards, including one touchdown. Grinnell advanced to 3-2 on the season and 2-2 in the Midwest Conference (MWC) as Beloit dropped to 1-4 on the year and 1-3 in conference.

“It was just great to see different guys stepping up. … [Wide Receivers Robert] Seer [’12] and Logan [Granera ’12] didn’t have as big of an impact as they usually do,” Coach Jeff Pedersen ’02 said.  “It was great to see Cody have a big game rushing the ball.  It was great to see Trent Baker with some catches.  And then, early in the game, Harpreet [Singh ’12] and Jason Peters [’14] both had some big catches.”
Weber ran the ball well, despite the fact that he started the year as a slot receiver. Injuries to the top two running backs, TJ Schaid ’13 and Nick Hinojosa ’13, required Weber, who played running back in high school, to step up over the last three games.

Weber has no qualms playing out of position.

“I’m okay with doing whatever is going to help our team the most, and right now that’s me at running back,” Weber said.

Injuries have played an unfortunate role in the Pioneers season.  Weber had only run for 85 yards this season prior to Saturday’s game and it looked as if Grinnell might be missing their first-string running backs badly.  However, Weber rose to the challenge.

“We weren’t anticipating on running the ball well. Just because of some injuries [to Schaid and Hinojosa].  But then, that’s what was working, so we stuck with it,” Pedersen said.

Baker noticed the toughness of the team in dealing with their many injuries.

“Both sides of the ball, we have some guys banged up and I know a lot of guys played through some injuries to make it happen, and that really shows the character we have on our team and that we’re willing to do anything to get it done,” he said.

One of those playing with an injury was McCabe.  He managed to lead the offense, as usual, despite sustaining a foot injury in the first quarter.

Other players have stepped up in time of need.  Weber’s move to running back opened up the slot receiver spot, which Singh and Baker have filled.  On the defensive side of the ball, an injury to Kevin Hwang ’14 against Monmouth on Sept. 10 necessitated Rich Renteria ’15 fill the void.  Renteria, who has 19 tackles in the last two games, and Baker are both freshmen who weren’t expected to make this big of a contribution this early, but are doing so anyway.

“We knew [Renteria and Baker], as well as several other freshmen, were very good players, but they were supposed to have guys ahead of them.  Because of injuries to certain people, they’ve had to play more than they expected,” Pedersen said.

Riding a two game win streak, the Pioneers look to Saturday’s home showdown with Knox College at 1 p.m.

“[Knox] is the closest thing we have to a rival, Pedersen said. “They beat us last year, which we thought was an upset and we’re not very happy about it.  So we’ve got to not get caught up in revenge…We’ve got to look at what happened last year and make the corrections.”

Baker and Pedersen speculated what to expect from the Grinnell and Knox offenses, respectively.

“Cody [Weber] definitely showed that he could run the ball and carry us on the ground.  I know Knox’s run defense is a little better than years’ past. We’ll definitely need a solid air attack to help out our running back,” Baker said.

“[Knox’s] offense will use some different formations, some unbalanced looks, so we got to be prepared for that,” Pedersen said.

After a couple of solid wins, the team is excited to be given a chance to extend their streak on Saturday.

“I’m just excited to keep playing,” Weber said. “It should be a fun weekend for a home game.”

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