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Maroons Rally Past Rhodes 17-14 in Blues Bowl

Maroons Rally Past Rhodes 17-14 in Blues Bowl

From University of Chicago Athletics

The University of Chicago football team forced three-straight turnovers in the final five minutes of the game and rallied past Rhodes College 17-14 on Saturday. Junior Karol Kurzydlowski kicked a 23-yard field goal with 12 seconds left in the game to seal the win in the second-annual Blues Bowl.

The Maroons improved to 4-0 for the second season in-a-row and dealt the Lynx (4-1) their first loss of the year. UChicago also claimed the traveling guitar trophy which is given to the Blues Bowl winner each year.

Rhodes led the game 14-6 late in the fourth quarter and drove into UChicago territory. After three-straight running plays, the Lynx faced fourth-and-two on the 33-yard line. But the visitors threw an incomplete pass to turn the ball over on downs.

UChicago senior quarterback Patrick Ryan responded by throwing three quick strikes to his receivers on consecutive plays. His first pass under pressure went 39 yards to junior wide receiver Sam Coleman, who snagged it along the far sideline. Ryan followed up by zinging the ball to senior wide receiver Tom O'Neill for 17 yards and then completed the drive with an 11-yard touchdown to Coleman. The 67-yard drive only took 58 seconds off the game clock. However, the Maroons still needed to convert a two-point conversion to tie the game. The hosts used effective misdirection and Ryan tossed the ball to wide-open sophomore tight end Brian Welch for the conversion.

On the ensuing Rhodes drive, junior cornerback Vincent Beltranopicked off the quarterback on third down and ran it back to the Lynx 29-yard line. The visitors sacked Ryan on the first play of the drive and the Maroons soon faced third-and-19. Once again, the senior signal caller found Coleman for a big 23-yard completion in the red zone. UChicago ran the game clock down and lined up for the go-ahead field goal with 16 ticks left. Kurzydlowski then stepped in and booted the ball through the uprights from 23 yards out.

Rhodes made one last desperation heave on the game's final play, and junior safety Jacob Romeo intercepted the ball. His pick was the third of the day for the Maroon defense.

In the first quarter, the home team took an early lead on its second possession. Beltrano forced and recovered a fumble at midfield to give the offense prime field position. Rhodes assisted the drive with a pair of penalties on third down to put the Maroons at the six-yard line. Senior running back Zak Ross-Nash punched the ball in from that distance to make the score 6-0. The ensuing PAT attempt missed.

The Lynx put together a 13-play drive in response. But the Maroons held strong near the goal line and stuffed a fourth-and-goal run for a loss.

Rhodes started the third quarter with another march to UChicago's red zone. Once again, the home team forced a fourth-and-goal play, which was intercepted at the one-yard line by sophomore linebacker Hayden Harrow. But the Maroons coughed the ball up on its first offensive play and Rhodes picked it up in the end zone for a touchdown.

The visitors held the ball for 13 minutes in the third quarter. Rhodes covered 74 yards in 14 plays at the end of the quarter and tossed a two-yard touchdown on the opening play of the fourth quarter. The score stood at 14-6 before the late heroics by the Maroons.

UChicago was held to 41 yards rushing on 34 carries and lost 45 yards thanks to five sacks allowed. Ross-Nash tallied 72 yards on 18 carries and scored one touchdown. Ryan accounted for 175 yards on 10 of 18 passing with one touchdown. Coleman grabbed six passes for 112 yards and a touchdown.

Rhodes ran the ball 42 times for 113 yards (2.7 yards per carry) and owned time of possession for 36:17 compared to 23:43 for the Maroons. The Lynx also had 168 yards passing with three interceptions.

Sophomore linebacker Jackson Garrey was active all over the field and made a career-high 12 tackles. Senior linebacker Schuyler Montefalco and senior defensive tackle Scott Mainquist recorded nine tackles each. Beltrano and Romeo each totaled eight tackles and one interception. Senior defensive end Brandon Bolock was consistently in the backfield with seven tackles and four tackles for a loss.