Time of Poss.
GALESBURG, Ill. – The Carleton College football team (1-1) seemed to be in control of the contest late in the fourth quarter, only to watch the host Knox College Prairie Fire (1-1) score two touchdowns within a 90-second span and hand the Knights their first loss of the season, 23-20.
Knox started the afternoon's scoring by taking the opening kickoff and marching 63 yards on seven plays including a 21-yard touchdown pass from Matt McCaffrey to Ilir Emini. The Knights answered with a 12 play, 71-yard drive capped by Tyler O'Keefe's third touchdown run of the season. A field goal for Knox put the Prairie Fire up 10-6 at the end of the first quarter.
No points were tallied during the second and third quarters. Carleton drove deep into red zone in both stanzas but could not convert either time on fourth-and-short.
That set the stage for a wild final 15 minutes.
The Carleton ground game continued to chew up yards, and touchdown runs of 7 and 16 yards by Logan Emholtz and Zach Creighton, respectively, put the Knights in front 20-10 with 4:39 remaining the in the contest.
A lot changed over the next two-and-a-half minutes. Knox put together a 59-yard scoring drive that took only 40 seconds off the clock. The hosts then recovered a perfectly executed on-side kick, and four plays later MaCaffrey scampered 25 yards for the go-ahead touchdown leaving just over two minutes on the clock
On the ensuing drive, the Knights fumbled deep in their own territory with Knox recovering. The Carleton defense came up with a key stop and then blocked a field-goal attempt, keeping it a three-point game. A 21-yard pass from Creighton to Chris Madden moved the Knights out near midfield, but later on the drive, an interception on 4th-and-8 sealed the result in Knox's favor.
Andy Gustafson paced the Carleton ground attack, amassing a career-best 180 yards on 17 carries. Overall, the Knights rushed for 299 yards, their highest output since totaling 307 yards during an overtime victory at Macalester on Oct. 22, 2011.
With that much success on the ground, Creighton attempted only 16 passes in the game, with five of them coming during the Knights' final drive.
Meanwhile, McCaffrey passed for 282 yards, completing 25 of 42 attempts. He also added 55 more yards on the ground, including fourth-quarter touchdown runs of 6 and 25 yards.
Kwaku Bodom led the Knights defense in tackles for the second time this season, collecting nine tackles, eight of them solo stops.
Carleton opens MIAC play on Sept. 19 with a visit to Augsburg College for a 1 p.m. kickoff.