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University of Chicago Department of Athletics & Recreation

UChicago football loses shootout at Rhodes 41-34

Vincent Cortina and Sam Coleman
Vincent Cortina and Sam Coleman

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The University of Chicago football team was dealt its first loss of the season 41-34 at Rhodes College on Saturday. The Maroons dropped to 4-1 and the Lynx improved to 4-1.

Rhodes scored first on a blocked punt that was recovered in the end zone to go up 6-0. UChicago then strung together a pair of long drives that went for 83 yards and 70 yards. Each possession ended with touchdown passes by senior quarterback Vincent Cortina. The Lynx bounced back to tie the score at 13-13 on a five-yard touchdown pass with 51 seconds remaining before halftime.

The second half was action packed as the two teams combined to score on five-consecutive drives. After Rhodes went up 20-13 with a touchdown on its first possession of the half, UChicago answered right back with an 83-yard touchdown pass from Cortina to freshman wide receiver Syd Reynolds. A 73-yard drive by Rhodes finished with a one-yard touchdown plunge to make the score 27-20. Cortina drew the Maroons to within 27-26 by orchestrating an 83-yard drive that ended with a 20-yard touchdown pass to sophomore wide receiver Cole Thoms. The Lynx then drove into UChicago territory, converted a fourth down and then scored on a 19-yard touchdown toss to go up 34-26.

Rhodes blocked another punt for a touchdown in the fourth quarter to extend the lead to 41-26. In the waning minutes of the game, the Maroons kept things interesting. Sophomore wide receiver Sam Coleman caught his second touchdown of the day with 1:55 left on a 35-yard reception from Cortina. The ensuing onside kick went to Rhodes, who ran out the clock.

Cortina set a career-high with 354 yards and five touchdowns while completing of 22 of 34 passes. He was also intercepted once. Coleman tallied six receptions for 139 yards and two touchdowns. Thoms hauled in 10 catches for 97 yards and two touchdowns. Reynolds made two catches for 88 yards and one touchdown.

UChicago's running game was held to 22 yards on 31 attempts. Senior running back Ian Gaines led the team with 11 rushes for 51 yards.

Senior linebacker Ben Wade, junior linebacker Schuyler Montefalco, sophomore cornerback Christopher Dengler and sophomore safety Greg Thome collected eight tackles each. Wade also snagged one interception and freshman defensive lineman Steven McGugan recorded one sack.