The Beloit College football team fell to Macalester 42-26 in their first Midwest Conference-North matchup of the season Saturday afternoon at Strong Stadium in Beloit.
Macalester threatened on their first possession but a missed field goal gave the Buccaneers the ball back on their own 20.
Beloit responded driving the ball down to the Scots’ 20-yard line but a 37-yard field goal attempt came up short.
On the Scots’ next drive, a 33-yard completion was followed by a 14-yard rushing touchdown to give Macalester the 7-0 lead nearing the end of the first quarter.
Beloit responded with a drive on the shoulders, or legs, of running back Joey Werner. After a personal foul against the Scots on the kickoff, the Bucs took over at their own 46. From there, Werner was tapped for six carries gaining 43 yards and taking the Bucs down to the 11-yard line. On third and nine, Erick Mitchell dropped back to pass and found Tyler Korous over the middle for 11-yard touchdown strike. Andy Berlin’s kick knotted the game 7-7.
The Scots went to the air in their next drive with four of the six plays featuring the pass. A 29-yard completion from Cody Petrich to Alec Beatty followed by the point after gave Macalester the lead back, 14-7.
The gap swelled ass Dane Ku Blake picked off Mitchell and returned it 25-yards for paydirt extending the Scots’ advantage to 21-7.
Mitchell was intercepted on the next drive at the Macalester 12-yard line but the Bucs’ defense gave the ball right back to the Beloit offenses. On the second play of the Scots’ drive, Kyle Brown jumped a route for the interception. The 15-yard return was shortened by a penalty but the Bucs still had good field position starting the drive at the Macalester 32.
Mitchell went back to the air finding Kentreyal Carraway for a 20-yard strike to cap the drive. Berlin’s point after attempt was blocked and the Scots took the 21-13 lead into the lockerrooms.
Macalester took the kickoff to begin the second half driving 70 yards in nine plays to widen the gap to 28-13.
Once again, the Buccaneers responded. Werner and Juan Reyes bolstered the drive combining for 27 yards on the ground. Mitchell found Carraway for the second time in the redzone, this time a three-yard touchdown strike, to pull Beloit to within eight, 28-20.
After the Scots opened the fourth with a 12-play, 68-yard touchdown drive, the Bucs trailed 35-20 with 11:25 left in the game. Forced to punt on their next drive, the Bucs’ defense came through with a big stop. Beloit’s defense forced the three-and-out but a booming 63-yard Macalester punt, aided by a friendly Scots’, roll pushed the Bucs back to their own 18.
The Scots defense responded forcing a three-and-out on the Bucs. Beloit tried to get the Scots to jump offsides but as the play clocked ticked down, the Bucs shifted to punt formation.
The Scots called for the fair catch near midfield and on the first play of their drive, Grady Munro found Alec Beatty for 51-yards extending the lead to 42-20.
Broakeen Sheffield provided a spark with a 29-yard kickoff return as the Bucs’ drive started at their own 34. On third and three from the Beloit 41, Mitchell dropped back and floated one down the middle of the field hitting Korous perfectly in stride for the 38-yard gain. Werner followed with a 12-yard scamper. Two plays later, Mitchell dropped back, scanned and found Reyes streaking toward the far side. Reyes reeled in the strike at the two-yard line and turned up field crossing into the endzone just inside the pilon to make it 42-26 with just over two minutes left to play.
The Bucs attempted the onside kick but Macalester recovered.
Playing until the final whistle, the Beloit defense came up big again. This time Josh Milligan intercepted a Munro pass at the Beloit 32 to give the Bucs one more shot. The Bucs drove the ball quickly up the field with Mitchell finding Ethan Conley for 18-yards, followed by two completions to Korous for 28-yards, but time ran out as the Buccaneers were knocking on the door.
Werner led the Buc backs with 111 yards on 23 carries. Korous was Mitchell’s favorite target on the day with 12 catches for 128 yards and a touchdown. Carraway caught three Mitchell strikes for 30 yards and two touchdowns.
Mitchell was 21-36 for 212 passing yards and four touchdowns on the day.
The Buccaneers will head north to meet Ripon College Saturday, October 13. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.