Football takes on St. Thomas, former coach

By Pat Murphy

The football team kicked off the 2008 season by making the short trip down Summit to clash with neighborhood rival UST for the first time since 2001, when Macalester’s football team left the MIAC. Facing a team with more than double the amount of players on its roster, the Scots fell to the Tommies by a final score of 35-10. Statistically, the teams were similar, but in the end, the Tommies came out on top by minimizing mistakes and capitalizing on red zone scoring opportunities. Because, like John Madden once said, “Scoring more points than your opponent is key to winning those
tough games.”

Although the Tommies scored more points, Macalester’s squad had several strong performances. The defense was led by linebacker Brian Foster ’11, who led the team with seven unassisted tackles and a forced fumble, while playing with a cast on his broken hand. Cornerback Graham Brown ’12 had four unassisted tackles and an interception that prevented a would-be UST touchdown. The offense was led by tailback Jake McDonnell ’10, who ran for 71 yards and a score. The aerial attack was led by Matt Mitchell ’11 and Jon Elliot ’11, who had 51 and 48 receiving yards, respectively.

This season marks a new era in Macalester football, as new head coach Tony Jennison takes over the reins from Glen Caruso, who abruptly left last year for the head coaching position at UST. Jennison, the defensive coordinator under Caruso, feels up to the challenge of turning around a program that has not had a winning season since 1986.

Last year, the team just missed breaking that streak, going 4-5. When asked about the prospects for the first winning season in over 20 years, Coach Jennison said that he feels the team is “absolutely” up to the task this year. He admitted that it would not be easy and that the team will “need its young guys to come along.”

Regardless of the wins and losses at the end of the season, Coach Jennison made clear that he expects his players to “play hard, play together, and play for each other.”

This year’s team boasts one of the largest rosters the team has had in years. Nearly two-thirds of the team is underclassmen, many of whom will get a chance to make a serious impact on the field right away.
The Scots home opener is this Saturday, September 13, at 6:00 p.m. versus Crown College.