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St. Norbert Rallies in Second Half to Top Macalester

From Sports Information Director, November 7, 2015 | Football
by Dan Lukes,, (920) 403-4077

ST. PAUL, Minn. - St. Norbert College scored 18 unanswered points in the second half to rally from a nine-point halftime deficit to post a 25-16 win over Macalester College in a Midwest Conference North Division game at Macalester Stadium.

The Green Knights (9-0, 5-0 MWC North), ranked No. 18 in the AFCA Division III Coaches' Poll, trailed Macalester 16-7 at halftime. St. Norbert responded with a pair of Elijah Fort touchdown runs and a long field goal from Spenser Thompson-Meyers to pull out the win.

St. Norbert, one of 10 NCAA Division III teams remaining that are unbeaten and playoff eligible, will meet Monmouth College (8-1, 5-0 MWC South) at 1 p.m. Saturday, November 14 at Schneider Stadium in De Pere for the Midwest Conference championship.

The Green Knights opened the game with a pair of three-and-outs, which led to Macalester taking a 3-0 lead after its second possession on a 34-yard field goal by Ben Haltmaier. St. Norbert answered with a 12-play, 74-yard drive finished by a 15-yard touchdown run by Elijah Fort on the last scrimmage play of the first quarter for a 7-3 lead.

Macalester (4-5, 2-3) took the lead midway through the second quarter on a 1-yard Alec Beatty touchdown run at the 6:49 mark, but the lead was just 9-7 after the point-after try was missed. The Scots got another defensive stop and scored again just 33 seconds before halftime on another 1-yard plunge by Beatty for a 16-7 lead carried into halftime.

St. Norbert wasted little time getting back into the game when it forced Macalester into a three-and-out on the second half's opening possession. The Scots' punt was blocked by Jake Kerkorian and recovered by Jacob Wells at the Macalester 17-yard line. The Green Knights needed just three plays to score on a Fort 4-yard touchdown run to cut the deficit to 16-14.

The Green Knights then got a fourth-down stop near midfield and turned that into three points on a Thompson-Meyers 48-yard field goal with 5:30 left in the third quarter and a 17-16 lead.

The two teams jostled for field position until St. Norbert widened its lead early in the fourth quarter. The Green Knights took over at their own 38-yard line with 14:26 remaining, and melted 5:21 off the clock before scoring on a 2-yard touchdown run by Fort with 9:12 to go. Matt Harrity hit Jerry Blake on a two-point conversion to widen the lead to nine.

Macalester punted on its next possession, and while St. Norbert didn't score on its next series, it drained another 5:12 off the clock before the Scots got the ball back with two minutes left in a two-score game. Macalester drove to the St. Norbert 39-yard line but could get no closer.

St. Norbert outgained Macalester 313-285 in total offense, with the Green Knights churning out 276 yards on the ground. Fort rushed 18 times for 105 yards and three touchdowns, giving him 18 rushing touchdowns on the season - tied for the second-most in St. Norbert history. Brad Boockmeier rushed 21 times for 103 yards. The duo's 100-yard rushing games gives St. Norbert five different players with 100-yard rushing games in the last two weeks.

Macalester was led by workhorse running back Zandy Stowell, who rushed 26 times for 136 yards. Four different passers combined for 123 yards passing for the Scots.

Wyatt Veseth led the St. Norbert defense with 14 tackles, while R.J. Callow added 11 stops. Frank Laterza recovered a fumble and had a brilliant one-handed interception in the first quarter to collect two takeaways.

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