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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Football loses last game of the season, finishes .500

On a windy Fall afternoon, the comeback attempt by Grinnell College fell short in a 31-21 home loss to Carroll University this past Saturday, Nov. 5th.

Cody Webber '13 rushes against Caroll COllege on Saturday, Nov 5. Photograph by Andrew Kelley.

In a battle of Pioneers, Carroll came out strong, posting 31 points to Grinnell’s zero in the first three quarters. The home team retaliated and scored three touchdowns in the fourth, but it proved to be too little too late. Carroll finished their season at 7-3, 6-3 in the Midwest Conference, while Grinnell ended up 5-5 overall and 4-5 in conference.

Grinnell’s passing game was off for the first three quarters and the Pioneers ended up going 23-for-60 through the air. In an email to the S&B, Head Coach Jeff Pedersen ’02 attributed some of the problems in the first three frames to the elements.

“If I could do anything differently I would have played the game on Sunday! The wind was a major factor in our passing game,” Pedersen wrote.

The wind subsided a bit near the end of the game, but the Pioneers ran out of time to put points on the board.

“Our offense just sparked too late in the game,” Andrew Clark ’14 said.

Despite the loss, two Grinnell players managed to tie single-season team records.

Clark, a cornerback, registered an interception to tie the single-season record of six set by Matt Johnston ‘01 in 1999.  On the other side of the ball, Wide Receiver Robert Seer ’12 caught nine passes to tie the record of 84 receptions set by Head Coach Jeff Pedersen ’02 when he played for the team in 1999.

Clark was aware of the record during the game and after he picked off the pass, he received some encouragement from his teammates to take sole possession of the record.

“My teammates were telling me … I should break it, try and get one more,” he said.

As for Seer, getting his name in the record book is nothing new. He broke the Grinnell career receiving touchdown record on Oct. 15 at Lawrence. Two weeks later, he broke the career receiving yardage and receptions records on the road against Illinois College.

“It felt really great to break the records, the touchdown one especially because it helped my team win,” Seer wrote in an email.

The circumstances surrounding the record Seer tied on Saturday were unique, since the man whose record he was chasing was standing on the sidelines, coaching him.

“Tying Coach [Pedersen] this year was pretty funny,” Seer wrote. “It was kind of a joke because earlier in the year he sort of made a comment about how I wouldn’t beat him, even though I know he wanted me to.”

Before the game, Coach Pedersen knew Seer needed nine catches to tie his record, but said that the record had no impact on his play-calling.

“Once the game starts … you’re just calling the best play for the given situation.  Rob has had a tremendous career, and he’s earned every record he’s broken … or tied,” Pedersen wrote.

Like the team records, this season is history, which leaves the team time to reflect.

“We set some very lofty goals for this team, so there is definitely some disappointment with the 5-5 overall record,” Pedersen wrote. “I’m proud of the things we were able to accomplish this season.”

Next season poses some question marks as the team looks to replace some major contributors.

“It’s going to be very tough to lose this senior class,” Pedersen said.

“We’re losing two very good receivers with Seer and Logan [Granera] and we’re losing Jimmy [Borrasso] as a quarterback,” Clark said.

Mike McCabe ’13 played quarterback most of the year and brings experience to next year’s quarterback position, though Seer and Granera’s shoes will be tough to fill.  However, next year’s team does have a lot to offer.

“We’ve got a solid nucleus of returning players that we’re very excited about.  As always, we’ll need a great incoming class of first-years to help fill out our roster, but we’re excited moving forward,” Pedersen said.

The goal of next year’s team is clear.

“MWC Championship is always the goal!,” Pedersen wrote.

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