Foresters Start MWC North Play with 24-7 Victory at Macalester

Photo by Larry Radloff,
Photo by Larry Radloff,

Senior linebacker Johnny Laponte tied for game-high honors with nine tackles and intercepted a pass for the second straight week in Lake Forest's 24-7 victory at Macalester College on Saturday.

Lake Forest senior defenseive end Jordan McInerney also finished with nine tackles, among them 1.5 sacks and 2.5 tackles for loss. He now has 7.0 sacks and 12.0 tackles for loss at the halfway point of the regular season and his 44.5 career tackles for loss are just 5.5 shy of the program record.

Laponte's second-quarter interception was the first of three for the Foresters. Junior cornerback Jordan Briggs, who had one called back by a penalty in the second, registered his second of the season late in the third quarter and senior cornerback Jeremy Brown added the first of his career with 57 seconds to play in the game.

The Lake Forest defense has now surrendered just 10 points in the last two games combined and the unit has allwed just 10.4 points per contest on the year.

The offense on Saturday was led by sophomore tailback Stone Matthews, who ran for a game-high 71 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries and added a team-high 74 receiving yards on two catches. Senior quarterback Bill Degnan completed 13 of 24 passes for 198 yards and a touchdown to junior wideout Ted Crane. Degnan also scored himself on a 1-yard run.

Neither team put any points on the scoreboard in the first half, which included five punts, three turnovers, and four unsuccessful fourth downs.

After two scoreless quarters, the Foresters and Scots combined for 28 points in the third, beginning with Crane's 43-yard touchdown catch on the visitors' first possession of the half. A blocked punt by Lake Forest freshman Danny Baker went out of bounds at the 1-yardline and Degnan took it in from there to make the score 14-0.

The Scots responded with a 10-play, 79-yard touchdown drive that cut the margin in half and the home team got the ball back when the ensuing kickoff caromed off a Forester blocker and back into the hands of the kicking team.

The next play, however, was an interception by Briggs at the Forester 9. Matthews then took over, rushing for 28 yards on five carries and adding a 68-yard reception on 3rd-and-8 to take his team all the way to the end zone.

The visitors traveled 63 yards on 17 plays and took 8:45 off the fourth quarter clock on their next possession, which ended with a 28-yard field goal by senior Michael Bounds.

Brown's interception a minute later finished off the victory.

Lake Forest is now 4-1 overall this season while Macalester fell to 2-3. It was the first Midwest Conference North Division game for both teams.

The Foresters will continue league play at home against Ripon College next Saturday. Kickoff is set for 1:00 p.m.