LAKE FOREST, Ill. – The University of Chicago football team closed out its 2017 campaign with a scoring barrage, downing host Lake Forest College 33-13 Saturday in the Maroons' Midwest Conference championship week game on the road.
With the win, UChicago concluded its season with a 6-4 overall record and finished second in the MWC North Division standings behind conference runner-up St. Norbert, who fell to overall champion Monmouth in Saturday's title game, 9-6. Monmouth earns the conference's automatic bid into the upcoming NCAA Division III playoffs.
Maroons senior running back Chandler Carroll had a stellar day in his final game in a UChicago uniform, running for 236 yards and two touchdowns on 39 carries. He added four catches for 29 yards while churning out an average of 6.1 yards per carry on the ground. Fellow senior captain Andrew Beytagh had one last play for the books too – he capped UChicago's scoring with a 98-yard extra-point, interception return late in the fourth quarter.
The Foresters (8-2) hit the scoreboard first, completing a 9-play, 65-yard drive on a Joey Valdivia 2-yard run with 12:19 to go in the first quarter. It was nearly all Maroons after that, kick-started by a stellar play on special teams.
With the Foresters trying to punt from their own 10-yard line, senior defensive back Guy Stockwell broke through the Lake Forest line to block the kick and the Maroons recovered in the end zone to tie the game at 7-all after the ensuing Mike Kurzydlowski extra point.
It was UChicago's defense who came up with the next big play, as linebacker Dylan Faires forced a Lake Forest fumble on its first play from scrimmage and teammate Bill Rotnicki came up with the recovery at the LFC 25-yard line.
That would set up a Kurzydlowski 30-yard field goal to give the Maroons a 10-7 lead.
There wouldn't be another score until just 27 seconds left in the second quarter, when sophomore quarterback Marco Cobian found Trevor Anderson for a 15-yard touchdown pass to make it 17-7 UChicago at the break.
Carroll would find the end zone twice in the second half, once on a 2-yard scamper in the third and again on a 4-yard score in the fourth to help the visitors build a 31-7 lead. Lake Forest would add one more touchdown, a Valdivia 1-yard run with 6:39 to play, but it was Beytagh who would add one more stellar highlight to his career with his 98-yard interception return for two points.
UChicago finished with 366 total yards of offense and the Maroons defense held the Foresters to just 227. The Maroons recorded 22 first downs compared to just 10 for LFC, and UChicago converted on 7 of 16 third downs, while holding the Foresters to just 2 of 12.
First-years Ryan Montgomery and Jackson Ross each tallied eight tackles, with Montgomery adding a tackle for loss and a force fumble. Senior Peter Casey, in his final game, finished with four tackles, a sack, and 1.5 tackles for loss for 13 yards.