Football closes year with loss to Hamline, finishes 2-8

By Pat Murphy

Although the football team went 2-8 on the 2009 campaign, the team made strides that left them optimistic about next season. Coming into the 2009 season, the Scots were looking to build on their 4-6 record from last year. However, three close losses and a slew of injuries kept the team from reaching their goal of a .500 season. Keeping in mind that of the 22 starters on offense and defense, only three seniors were regular starters. This led to many of the younger players getting valuable playing time that will hopefully translate to success in the future.

After the 2008 season, the defense lost some of its most talented and experienced players, but the younger players filled the holes and stepped up, keeping the team in games throughout the season. While linebacker Josh Boomgaarden ’10 anchored the defense, a number of freshmen stepped up to have excellent seasons. Among them were CB Aaron Gallegos ’13, CB David Melms ’13, CB Tyler Hill ’13 and LB Zach Englert ’13.

The Scots’ offense suffered from inconsistency throughout the season. They outscored their opponents by a combined 66 points in their two wins, but struggled to keep pace in other games. The loss of starting running back, T Joe Loiselle ’12 in the third game of the year due to a broken arm threw a wrench in the offense’s plans for the remainder of the season. Jake McDonnell ’10 stepped up to fill in for Loiselle’s absence, but the Scots were left thin at the position. When McDonnell went down five weeks later against Luther, the Scots were left without any running threat. The running backs managed less than 80 yards combined in the last two games. Without an effective running threat, the offense sputtered, scoring only six points in the final two games. In all of the team’s close losses, they were hurt by the offense’s inability to be effective at the end of the game, getting outscored 98-45 in the fourth quarter. Head coach Tony Jennison acknowledged the offensive struggles. He also said that there will be some changes to the offensive formations, but didn’t want to give too much away.

The team will certainly miss the departing seniors, but numbers-wise, the loss is minimal. Considering that the team could have easily been 4-6 or 5-5, and that there are only five seniors graduating, there is certainly reason for optimism. The team will begin its offseason workout regime after thanksgiving. Jennison said that an increased focus on speed and agility will help the team to be more explosive next year.