From University of Chicago Athletics
Chandler Carroll scored a career-high four touchdowns to pace the University of Chicago football team in its 28-8 home victory against Lawrence University on Saturday.
The Maroons (3-2 record) won their third-straight contest and moved to 1-0 in the Midwest Conference North Division. The Vikings fell to 1-4 overall and 0-1 in the MWC.
Carroll was the focal point of the offense from the get-go, and he delivered big plays throughout. The senior running back rushed 21 times for 104 yards and three touchdowns on the ground, while also catching five passes for 47 yards and another touchdown.
Howling winds throughout the afternoon kept the teams ground bound for most of the action. The two sides combined for 86 running attempts versus 35 passing attempts.
However, it was Lawrence who got on the board first. The Vikings punted on their second possession of the game, but recovered the ensuing fumble after the ball bounced off the returner's facemask. On the very next play, Trevor Spina ran it in from 24 yards out for the score. A two-point conversion pass put the visitors up 8-0.
On UChicago's next possession, Lawrence recorded a pick-six. But a pass interference call on the play wiped out the turnover. The Maroons did not waste their second chance. Carroll ran the ball on four-consecutive plays and eventually took a two-yard plunge across the goal line with 3:46 left in the first quarter.
The defense helped set up UChicago's next score of the game. After sophomore defensive end Ben Christensen's sack forced a third-and-long, senior safety Grant Byrne snagged an interception deep in Viking territory. On the next third down, freshman quarterback Campbell Garrett connected with senior wide receiver Jamie Rieger for a 22-yard gain. Carroll then promptly ran the ball into the end zone two plays later.
The home side executed a stellar hurry-up series in the last minute of the half. Garrett guided his team down the field swiftly, traveling 63 yards in four plays that only ate up 30 seconds of game clock. He capped it by finding Carroll open in the right flat for a 14-yard touchdown catch. UChicago took a 21-8 lead into the break.
Lawrence took charge at the third quarter's onset with a grinding seven-minute drive that traveled 69 yards over 15 plays. The visitors got all the way to the Maroon four-yard line, but the defense stepped up to deny them. A fumble on first down lost Lawrence two yards, then a stretch run to the right was stymied for another three-yard loss. Senior defensive end Erik Dammen-Brower stepped up on third down and squashed a quarterback run for minus-two yards. Lawrence then missed a 28-yard field goal wide left.
Rieger was again the target for a long gain as he hauled in a 37-yard pass two plays after the missed kick. Carroll produced another big play by breaking free through the teeth of the defense and speeding past for a 39-yard touchdown run. The extra point gave UChicago the 28-8 final margin of victory.
The Maroon defense came ready to play and gained strength as the game progressed. The home side tallied a pair of season highs with 16 tackles for loss and six quarterback sacks. The defensive line was particularly effective at stuffing the run, holding Lawrence to 1.9 yards per carry. All told, UChicago only allowed 156 total yards for 2.4 yards per play.
Christensen and freshman defensive tackle Jackson Ross were the most active on the scoresheet with 11 tackles each. The duo combined for three sacks and 4.5 tackles for loss. Junior defensive tackle Michael McGinley was a menace to the quarterback as well with two sacks and 2.5 tackles for loss. Senior defensive end Peter Casey put up a team-high 3.5 tackles for loss. Casey and sophomore linebacker Henry Winebrake had eight tackles each.
UChicago ran for 119 yards and passed for 158 yards for a total of 277 (5.0 yards per play). Garrett completed 11 of 20 with one touchdown. Rieger hauled in four receptions for 102 yards (25.5 yards per catch).