"Disappointing. We played down today, and I am not sure why," commented Head Football Coach Jim Catanzaro after Saturday's loss to Grinnell.
"They are a talented team offensively. Their quarterback didn't run a lot, but he ran in critical times. Their passing game gave us fits defensively. Robert Seer is, in my opinion, one of the top two wide receivers in the league, and we didn't have an answer for him. We tried man, we tried zone, and we couldn't seem to stop him. It was like when Dan Carter played for us. He was going to get his, and we knew the ball was going there, and couldn't seem to stop him," said Catanzaro of the Grinnell wide receiver who had 11 catches for 156 yards and 3 touchdowns.
The Foresters were stout against the Grinnell running game, giving up only 2.7 yards per carry, but through the air was another story, as Grinnell amassed 338 yards through the air. The only more staggering statistic, was that the Forester offense racked up more yards than the Pioneers 443-408.
"A few things really tripped us up today. The long kick return, and the fumble, were extremely costly, not only on the field, but from an emotional start. You put together a great drive offensively to start the game, and go get the 7-0 lead. Then on the kickoff, you give up a 60 yard return to the 17 yard line. Most good offenses are going to score from that point. Our defense pushed them to fourth down, but weren't able to get the stop on 4th and goal. Then later in the quarter the defense comes up with a big goal line stand, on a big 4th down sack by John Dillon, and then two plays later, we turn the ball over on the 10 yard line. So their first two scores covered a total of 27 yards. You can't let a team build a lead that way," said Catanzaro.
"I think that the referee's got into our players heads as well. Especially in the secondary. A few questionable calls, and then the number of pass interference calls that were made. I have never in my life seen the number of defensive holding/pass interference calls in one game. There were 5 or 6 calls, and one negated an interception by us," said Catanzaro. "We need to clean up our pass coverage this week in practice. A couple of players have gained extensive playing time due to injuries, and they need to start playing at a higher level if they want to continue being on the field."
Offensively, the Foresters exhibited their best balance of the 2011 season. Junior Al Mitchell recorded 22 carries for 121 yards to pace the Forester rushing attack. The passing game saw another solid day by Pete Scaffidi as he completed 31 of 46 passes for 317 yards and 2 touchdowns. Scaffidi completed passes to seven different receivers, who were lead by senior Kevin Davis with 14 catches for 157 yards and a touchdown.
"KD put together a nice game, but I can guarantee you that he felt like he left a few catches/yards on the field. I know that he gave all that he had, and his performance showed that," said Catanzaro. The 14 catches in one game is the second highest total for a single game in school history. Only Dan Cole vs. Monmouth in 1990 recorded more catches in a single game (17).
"We have a big challenge this week against Carroll. They are coming to Lake Forest on a mission. They had an unusual early season loss against Illinois College, and they sent notice to the conference after they beat Ripon College that they are still a team to be reckoned with. They have a tremendous duo at running back, and they have some very talented tight ends, that we haven't seen a lot of the last two weeks. Our guys are going to have to have a great week of practice this week as we get ready for homecoming," concluded Coach Catanzaro.
Players of the Week:
Offensively: Junior RB Al Mitchell (22 carries for 121 yards and 2 TDs, 6 catches for 22 yds)
Defensively: Senior Safety Luke Butts 9 tackles, including 2 TFL's
Special Teams: Junior LB Aidan Price
Scout Team Player of the Week: Freshman DE Ramel Samuel
Lineman of the Week: Gil Munoz