In a game where every point mattered, senior kicker Charles Courtney had 12 of them to help lead the Lake Forest College football team to a 48-46 triumph over visiting Carleton College on Saturday.
Courtney made a pair of field goals and was 6-for-6 on extra points while three failed extra point attempts by the Knights proved to be the difference.
Senior tailback Joey Valdivia scored half of the home team's points on three touchdown runs and a reception for a score. He carried the ball 26 times for 194 yards, caught four passes for 58 yards, and added a 28-yard kickoff return. He has seven total touchdowns and 611 all-purpose yards after just two games this season.
The Foresters were also successful through the air as junior quarterback Jagan Cleary passed for 261 yards and, for the second straight week, connected for touchdown passes to three different receivers. Sophomore wide receiver Stanford Ellis had three receptions for a team-high 79 yards with a touchdown and junior wideout Chris Edomwande grabbed four passes for 54 yards and a score.
Senior safety R.J. Pompey and sophomore linebacker Johny Laponte led the home team with 11 tackles apiece while senior cornerback Trevor Bain added 10. Bain also picked off a pass and returned it 41 yards to set up a fourth quarter touchdown. Laponte and junior linebacker Charlie Timmerman forced Carleton fumbles with Timmerman and senior cornerback Jenri Salonga recovering them. Laponte and senior linebacker Pat McDonaugh each accounted for 3.0 of the home team's nine tackles for loss in the contest with two of McDonaugh's coming on sacks.
The Knights took the early lead on the only touchdown of the first quarter and doubled their advantage on another score early in the second.
A 38-yard touchdown pass from Cleary to Ellis got the Foresters on the scoreboard with 9:30 to play in the first half and a 4-yarder from Cleary to Valdivia with 5:33 to play in the period tied the score at 14.
Carleton responded with a pair of touchdowns in the final 2:11 of the second quarter and took a 28-14 lead into halftime.
Valdivia took over at the start of the third quarter. After receiving the second half kickoff a yard deep in the end zone, he returned it to the 28. He then gained 20 yards on the first play from scrimmage in the half and four yards on the second. The third was a 48 yard sprint to the end zone to make the score 28-21.
The Knights turned the ball over on downs on their first possession of the second half and the home team quickly tied the score at 28 on a 9-play, 77-yard drive that ended with a Valdivia 18-yard touchdown run.
Lake Forest's next drive stalled at the Carleton 13 and Courtney connected on a 30-yard field goal to give the home team its first lead of the day.
Carleton came back and scored the first touchdown of the fourth quarter but led by just three after the extra point attempt hit the left upright and bounced back onto the field.
Forester junior Nick Edlund returned the ensuing kickoff to the Lake Forest 47, which turned out to be just two Valdivia carries away from the end zone and a 38-34 lead. Valdiviacovered 43 yards on his fifth rushing score of the season and 43rd of his career.
Bain's interception stopped the next Carleton drive and the 41-yard return gave the Foresters the ball at the Knights' 13-yardline. Cleary hit Edomwande for a score on the next play and Courtney's sixth extra point of the afternoon made the score 45-34.
Lake Forest appeared to be on its way to another touchdown on its next possession but a lost fumble inside the Carleton 5-yardline thwarted the scoring opportunity. After stopping the visitors on fourth down, the Foresters made it a 14-point game with 3:51 to play on Courtney's second field goal of the contest, a 29-yarder.
Carleton marched down the field quickly and scored a touchdown with 1:17 on the clock. The extra point, however, was blocked by Laponte.
The Forsters were forced to punt and the Knights took over at their own 22 with 28 seconds remaining. A couple of completions and a pair of 15-yard penalties on Lake Forest left the visitors just 30 yards from the goal line with just an untimed down to play. They came down with the ball on a pass to the end zone to make the score 48-46. However, the Carleton receiver was unable to come down with the ball in bounds on the two-point conversion attempt, giving the Foresters the narrow victory.
The 46 points scored by Carleton was the most the Foresters have ever allowed in a victory and the 94 points between the two teams combined matched the second-highest total in a Lake Forest contest.
The Foresters are now 2-0 on the season while Carleton fell to 0-2.
After a weekend off, Lake Forest will travel to Lawrence University on September 23 for a 5:00 p.m. game.