ST. LOUIS, Mo. – The University of Chicago football team closed out its 2013 season at rival Washington University in St. Louis and came out on the losing end 17-7 on Saturday.
The Maroons finished the year with a 6-4 overall mark and a 1-2 record in conference games. The Bears (8-2, 3-0) won their second-consecutive University Athletic Association (UAA) title.
UChicago totaled 228 offensive yards (159 passing, 69 rushing) and turned the ball over four times (two interceptions, two fumbles). Washington-St. Louis compiled 146 rushing yards and 198 passing yards for a total of 344. The Maroons forced one fumble and intercepted one pass.
The game started sloppily as both teams exchanged fumbles on their opening possessions. Washington-St. Louis caught a big break on its second possession when a roughing the punter penalty helped extend the drive. The Bears eventually punched the ball in from one-yard out to take a 7-0 lead in the first quarter.
The hosts scored again thanks to some fourth-down trickery in the second quarter. On 4th-and-10, punter John O'Connor tossed a 20-yard completion to the UChicago 25-yard line. After stalling out at the 15-yard line, Washington-St. Louis booted a 32-yard field goal to go up 10-0.
UChicago's second possession of the third quarter looked promising after a short punt gave the Maroons prime field position. Senior quarterback Vincent Cortina hooked up with sophomore wide receiver Sam Coleman on a 24-yard pass play on fourth down to reach the seven-yard line. However, an aborted field-goal attempt resulted in a turnover on downs.
The Maroons broke onto the scoreboard early in the fourth quarter with a 12-play, 74-yard drive. Junior running back Zak Ross-Nash ran into the end zone from four yards out to make the score 10-7. But Washington-St. Louis answered back with a 10-yard touchdown pass on fourth down with 2:13 left in the game to account for the final score.
Ross-Nash ran the ball 15 times for 58 yards and one touchdown. Cortina completed 18 of 38 passes for 159 yards and two interceptions. Sophomore wide receivers Coleman (67 yards) and Cole Thoms (47 yards) caught six passes each.
Senior linebackers Ben Wade and Brian Duffy led the defense with 11 tackles and 10 tackles, respectively. Senior defensive tackle Michael Cifor collected 1.5 sacks and five tackles while junior defensive tackle Scott Mainquist collected two sacks amongst his four tackles. Junior linebacker Schuyler Montefalco added seven tackles and one forced fumble. Sophomore cornerback Vincent Beltrano tallied his fifth interception of the season in the secondary.