St. Olaf football defeats Carleton

The St. Olaf football team broke a 15-game losing streak in a thrilling manner, defeating Carleton College at Laird Field on Oct. 17. J.J. Strnad ’16 stole the victory for the Oles, when he caught a game-winning touchdown pass on a nine yard reception with just over a minute remaining.

Following a scoreless first quarter, the Knights finally broke the deadlock with a three-point field goal to take the lead. The score stayed at 3-0 in Carleton’s favor, until four minutes before half-time, when Ezra Coughlin ’15 made a 30-yard field goal attempt to level the scoreline.

The game came to life in the fourth quarter, when Zach Creighton ’17 made a 44-yard run to score a touchdown for the Knights, giving the hosts a 10-3 lead. However, the Oles immediately responded with a 15-yard touchdown reception by receiver Troy Peterson ’18. Coughlin added the extra-point, tieing the game at 10-10.

With just over five minutes left in the contest, Carleton’s Brandt Davis ’17 kicked a field goal to give the Knights a 13-10 lead.

The Oles, however, responded emphatically when Strnad caught a pass from Nate Penz ’16 with 1:08 remaining in the game, lifting the Oles to a 17-13 lead. It proved to be enough, as St. Olaf reclaimed the goat trophy and lifted itself from the bottom of the MIAC ladder.

The St. Olaf defense sacked the Knights quarterback five times, led by John Bennett ’16, who had 1.5.

Coleman Foley ’17 had a team-best 15 tackles while Bennett had seven, including 2.5 for a loss.

St. Olaf held advantages in first downs 22-16, total offense 400-299 and converted on 6-of-15 third down tries. Carleton was 4-for-14 and 1-for-3 on fourth down.

St. Olaf will return to action on Oct. 25 in a home clash against Augsburg College.