Grinnell College’s football team caught fire in the final period of Saturday’s season finale, but it was too little too late as Carroll University came away with a 31-21 victory at Rosenbloom Field.
Carroll jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the first period, added 17 more points in the second frame for a 24-0 halftime lead and was up 31-0 after three quarters.
The hosts roared back with 21 points in the final frame. Grinnell finished its campaign at 5-5 overall and 4-5 in the Midwest Conference, while Carroll improved to 7-3 in all games and 6-3 in the league.
Two Grinnell players tied Pioneer single-season records in the contest. Robert Seer ’12, who has already rewritten the record book, caught nine passes in the game to finish the season with 84 receptions. That ties the mark of current Pioneer head coach Jeff Pedersen in 1999.
Additionally, Andrew Clark ’14 had an interception to finish the campaign with six. That ties the mark set by Matt Johnston in 1999.
Drew Blumberg ’13 led the defense with 11 tackles in Saturday’s game, while Tom Brinkman ’13 had nine and Jeremy Wiles ’14, David Ternes ’15, Brian Taylor ’13, Colton Feller ’14 and Kelsey Davis ’12 had eight apiece.
Besides Clark, Max Keller ’14 also had an interception.
Seer had 118 receiving yards, while Logan Granera ’12 added five catches for 138 yards. Cody Weber ’13 rushed 21 times for 103 yards.
After falling behind by 31, Grinnell got its first score at the 12:52 mark of the fourth period when Jimmy Borrasso ’12 hit Seer with a 21-yard touchdown pass. Daniel Munger ’15 kicked the point after. The TD was set up by a 70-yard completion from Borrasso to Granera the play before.
Grinnell got on the board again with 2:55 left when Weber raced 11 yards for a TD. Again, Munger had the point after. Among the key plays in the drive was a 23-yard completion from Borrasso to Harpreet Singh-Mann ’12.
Grinnell’s defense held and forced a punt. After Borrasso completed a 34-yard pass to Granera, and then an incompletion, Weber scored from 2 yards out. Munger’s kick made it 31-21 with 1:42 left.
The Pioneers kept up the excitement when they recovered the ensuing onside kick. They drove as deep as Carroll’s 19-yard line before turning the ball over on downs.
Carroll ran out the clock from there to preserve the victory.