Coombs powers Lords to a winGAMBIER, Ohio (November 6, 2004) Kenyon College sophomore Alby Coombs rushed for 163 yards and a touchdown Saturday while lifting the Lords football team to a 20-12 win over the Hiram College Terriers. The victory improved Kenyon's record to 2-7 overall and 2-4 in the North Coast Athletic Conference.
Coombs did all of his work on 39 carries. He now has 1,303 rushing yards this season and if he can match his Saturday output next week against Denison University, he'll share Kenyon's all-time single-season rushing record of 1,466 yards, which was set by Anthony Togliatti in 1999.
The Lords didn't try to hide the fact that they were going to lean on Coombs. The powerful tailback carried the ball eight times in Kenyon's opening drive. He capped off the 65-yard march down the field with a three-yard touchdown run, his twelfth rushing touchdown of the season.
Hiram (0-9, 0-6 NCAC) answered early in the second quarter when quarterback Max Kravitz lofted a six-yard touchdown pass to Greg Kibler in the corner of the end zone. The Terriers missed the extra point attempt and failed to score for the rest of the half.
Freshman Rafael Sanchez tried to spark another Kenyon drive, but midway through the second quarter he exited the game with a mild knee sprain. Senior Nick Stalick re-entered at the quarterback position and got the Lords into the end zone just before the half expired. His 12-yard toss to sophomore Carlin Shoemaker (Graham, WA/Bethel) gave Kenyon a 13-6 halftime lead.
Hiram again answered with another Kravitz touchdown pass in the third quarter. This time the Hiram junior hit Niarchos Kincaid on a 28-yard scoring strike. Kenyon senior John McBride blocked the extra point attempt to keep the Lords in front by one point.
On Kenyon's next possession, Shoemaker put together a 41-yard kick return. He then hauled in three passes from Stalick, the last one being a nine-yard touchdown. Shoemaker finished the game with six catches, 73 yards and two scores. He also switched over to the defensive side of the ball late in the game and came up with a big interception that halted a Hiram drive deep in Kenyon territory.
Stalick wrapped up his last game at McBride Field by completing 12-of-27 passes for 115 yards and two touchdowns. He guided the Lords to 304 yards of offense, giving the team a combined total of 3,473 yards this season. That total is just 87 yards shy of the College's single-season record of 3,560 yards of total offense set by the 1984 team.
Defensively, Kenyon held Hiram to a dozen points, the lowest total by a Kenyon opponent over the course of the program's last 12 games. Freshman Josh Cowgill led the Lords with 12 tackles and a forced fumble. Senior linebacker Calvin Hatfield added nine tackles and three quarterback hurries.