Football team falls 32-17 to Kenyon in Homecoming game


Joseph Tingley

Lucas Morton, ’16, misses a touchdown pass during the game against Kenyon College on Sept. 26, 2015.

Alex Holmes, Sports Editor

The Gators football team fell to Kenyon College 32-17 in the Homecoming weekend game, leaving the Gators 0-4 in the season.

Head Coach Mark Matlak said the team showed a strong effort level and played hard against Kenyon.

“We played harder than usual and showed a lot of effort and heart,” said Joe DeSanti, ’17. “We competed well in all four quarters which is a huge step for us. We were more excited for the Homecoming game than other and wanted to get a win and show we are changing the program.”

In the first half of the game the Gators scored two touchdowns and a field goal, keeping the score close until the third quarter.

The team is suffering from 12 injuries from Saturday’s game, and according to Matlak, currently has 15-20 injuries overall.

“The injuries make it harder, the younger guys on the team are getting more reps in during practice, but they don’t have as much experience,” DeSanti said.

Matlak said having so many injuries on the team leads to difficulty practicing and adjustments have to be made.

“I don’t think we’re doing as much contact as we would like to have, especially when you get a lot of injuries it certainly makes it tougher to prepare for the games,” Matlak said. “It’s like anything, you have to adapt and get the team to see what they need to see before they play.”

Even with multiple injuries in Saturday’s game, the Gators pushed forward against the Lords.

“We did a good job bouncing back. We had a spark in the first half that we need to carry through the whole game,” said Logan Lee, ’19.

Lee completed six of nine attempted passes for a total of 106 yards and a touchdown.

“I think the team attitude was good going into Homecoming. They were excited about it, it’s always a special game when the alumni come back and some of their teammates are back,” Matlak said.

Even with the added excitement and success in the first half, the team faced challenges through the game.

“Communication between us as players was a challenge. We were prepared but did not execute like we should have because our communication wasn’t as strong,” DeSanti said.

Matlak agreed with DeSanti and said the team faced a good opponent.

“We need to improve execution, it has been a main theme from the first five weeks of the season,” Lee said.

The team is using practice as an opportunity to improve and work through the variety of injuries and challenges they have faced.

“A challenge this season has been beating ourselves, we have to overcome that and execute,” Lee said.

Matlak believes the team needs to improve in all areas of the game.

“We’re nowhere near where we need to be. I think our execution level of our systems, offensively and defensively, we need to improve,” Matlak said. “We’re making a lot of mistakes and beating ourselves, and I think that’s highly frustrating for coaches and for players. You see stretches where we do really well and then stretches where we don’t, and you have to be consistent to get better.”

The Gators will return to the field at Oberlin College on Saturday Oct. 3 at 3 p.m.