The Macalester Scots football team made history at Macalester Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 9, when they defeated the Hamline Pipers 23-14. The victory moved the Scots to 2-0 on the season following their 31-20 opening weekend victory over the Carleton Knights. The Scots had not pulled off this double act since 1985. They had also never before held both the Paint Bucket, the traveling trophy which is contested annually between the Scots and Pipers, and the Book of Knowledge, the trophy awarded to the winner of the game between Mac and Carleton.
The importance of the moment was not lost on quarterback Christian Adams ’18, who went 24-41 for 311 yards and two touchdowns in the victory over Hamline.
“[It’s been a] long time coming,” Adams said. “Everybody that has been a part of this program kept believing in us, and it’s a very proud moment [for us].”
Adams was far from the only player to have a star turn in the Hamline game. Wide receiver Alec Beatty ’19 had eight receptions for 101 yards and a touchdown while linebacker Phil Wettersten ’19 led the team in tackles with eight. However, the player of the game and the Midwest Conference Defensive Player of the Week was co-captain and defensive back Cash McGregor ’18, who had two fumble recoveries, an interception, two pass break-ups, and five tackles during the victory.
The win was special for McGregor, and for Macalester’s senior class at large.
“As a senior class, we had not beaten Hamline in our careers before Saturday so it meant a lot to us to finally get the win against them,” he said.
He went on to talk about the unique atmosphere of the game, and what it added to the occasion as a whole.
“It was incredible,” McGregor said. “I don’t think I have ever looked back at the crowd and seen that many people cheering us on from the student section.”
The honor for McGregor makes it two weeks in a row that Scots have won Conference-wide accolades. In the season-opening victory over Carleton, Wettersten had 11 tackles, one sack, and two interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown, earning him Midwest Conference Defensive Performer of the Week honors. On the offensive side of the ball, Beatty posted five receptions for 172 yards and two touchdowns against Carleton, earning him a spot on the D3Football.com Team of the Week and a notable performance nod from the MWC.
In addition to Wettersten’s impressive defensive performance against Carleton on Sept. 2, the team showed persistence and determination by coming back after the half with two touchdown connections of greater than 60 yards between Adams and Beatty in the third quarter.
Supporting the team’s offense, the defense held Carleton to a single touchdown for the entire second half.
That the Scots have gotten off to a strong start is no surprise to the team. They prepared for the season through last spring and summer, and were ready to play as soon as they set foot back on campus, as co-captain and running back Jacob Jones ’18 attested to.
“From the time the guys reported to camp, the team has been focused,” Jones said. “Everyone worked hard in the off-season and was eager to get the season underway.”
The hot start has Macalester thinking about where this season could take them. Last year the Scots went 7-3 (6-2 Conference), and they are targeting an even stronger finish for 2017. Both Jones and Adams highlighted the ability that the Scots have throughout the team, and that they want to win the Conference title and return to the National Playoffs.
Jones put it simply: “Our ultimate goal is [a] Conference Championship and [the] playoffs.” The Scots have a bye this weekend before they open Conference play on September 23 against Monmouth.