On a night when Hamline celebrated some of the greatest athletes from its past, a very present athlete stole the show. Austin Duncan broke the school record for rushing in a game by 73 yards when he carried the ball 48 times for 298 yards but the Pipers lost to Carleton, 20-17, before an enthusiastic crowd of 2,000 at Klas Field.
Oddly, Duncan didn't score a touchdown in this phenomenal effort. The New Orleans sophomore did not have a single losing carry as he passed the 500 yard mark already in rushing for the year.
The Pipoers held the edge in nearly offensive category. They outgained the Knights, 463-260. They had a time of possession advantage of nearly 2-1 (39:40-20:20). But they also missed three field goals, including two at the end of the game.
Still, it was night to remember as the school welcomed back its two NCAA champions from last year (track and field's Becky Culp and gymnastics' Courtney Benson) and the members of the last HU football team to win a MIAC title -- the 1988 contingent.
Hamline struck first with Forrest Coughlin connecting on a 29 yard field goal to cap a six play, 68 yard drive midway in the first quarter. The Knights responded quickly to take a 7-3 lead but QB Tim Bona returned the favor with a five yard scoreing run in the second quarter. Carleton came up with a field goal of its own and the teams left the field at halftime knotted at 10.
Hamline got the first break of the second half.Bona unloaded a 59 yard punt that pinned Carleton to its own 6. On the first play, CC back John Baker was jarred by HU linebacker Cody Vaughn. Baker fumbled and Anthony Hill pounced on it at the Carleton 3. Bona found Phillip Sherman in the end zone for the TD and HU led, 17-10.
The advantage lasted unbtil midway in the fourth quarter when Carleton took advantage of a short punt to go 41 yards in six plays for the TD and extra point that tied the game again.
The Pipers then went on a long drive. Duncan carried the ball nine times out of the 17 plays as HU started at its own 15 and got to the Knight 5. But the field goal attempt sailed wide and the game headed into overtime.
Hamline had first crak in the OT, getting to the Knight 5. But Bona was sacked on third down and the field goal attempt missed. The Knights then took the ball to HU 3 when they converted the field goal to escape with the win.
As for Duncan, his effort blew out the old single game mark of 228 set by Dave Hawkinson against Bethel in 1985.
The Pipers fell to 1-1 overall, 0-1 in the MIAC. Carleton is now 2-0, 1-0. Hamline plays at Augsburg (2-0, 1-0) next Saturday. Game time is 1:00 p.m.