BELOIT - Prior to Saturday's home finale, Beloit College head football coach Ted Soenksen spoke about his team needing to put all phases of the game in unison.
Everything in harmony is terrific. Discord is disaster.
The Buccaneers' senior-influenced defense played outstanding football against Macalester (4-5, 2-3). The offense and special teams, though, were like the worst karaoke imaginable and a 27-0 loss at Strong Stadium was the result.
Soenksen wasn't shy in giving praise to a defense that held the Scots to just nine first downs, eight rushing yards and 144 yards in total offense. That unit was led by senior Andrei Prikodko, who had 13 solo tackles, two tackles for loss and a sack and earned MWC Player of the Week honors. James Miranda had two sacks and two forced fumbles and fellow seniors Caleb Wachal, Michael Lafayette and Xavier Haynes also were superlative.
"I am so proud of those guys," Soenksen said. "Our defense played unbelievable. (Macalster) and seven straight three-and-outs in the second half. Hopefully our defense is something we can build on. We graduate some guys, but hopefully that mentality carries into our last game and into next year."
Beloit's offense was directly responsible for 20 of the Scots' points, including a pair of pick-sixes, and contributed to all of them. The Bucs outgained Macalester - barely - with 172 yards, but never found the end zone and was directly responsible for at least 20 of the Scots' points.
"It sure would be nice not to give up points on offense," Soenksen said. "We basically gave them three touchdowns."
They didn't exactly help on the first score, either. Taking over after a punt at their 7, the Bucs went backwards, punted from the 1 and gave Macalester the ball at the Beloit 29. On second down, Krishn Rapoor scored from 26 yards out on a short pass from Grady Munro.
The Bucs (1-8, 1-4) looked ilke they caught a break when Macalester roughed their punter to keep a drive alive and quarterback Diontia Charles seemingly ran for a first down at midfield. He fumbled, however, and Dane Ku blake scooped up the ball and returned it to the Beloit 6. It took Macalester four downs, but Randy Beidelschies dived into the end zone from the 2.
Already down 14-0 at the half, the Bucs made matters worse when Brady Thompson picked off a pass and returned it 67 yards for Macalester's third score and 21-0 lead. Teammate Ku blake burned Beloit again with a 75-yard pick-six in the fourth quarter. The Bucs blocked the point-after, but trailed 27-0.
The Bucs defense turned in several impressive stands to keep it that close. Macalster was 1-of-8 in the red zone.
"Offensively we have spots here and there where it looks like we're going to get things going, but then we line up wrong, or we drop a snap or have a bad snap," Soenksen said. "We throw a bad pass or drop a pass. The one thing I know about these guys is that they're giving me 100 percent. They've bought into it. Execution is just not there yet."
• NOTES: Beloit rotated quarterbacks. Charles was 7-of-16 for 56 yards with two interceptions and a couple of fumbles. Alex Alvarez was 2-of-6 for six yards with an interception. ...Efren Young led the Bucs with eight carries for 27 yards. ...Tyler Assiff led Beloit in receiving with seven catches for 39 yards. Season leading receiver Juan Reyes has left the team.
• UP NEXT: The Bucs face South Division foe Knox in the MWC's championship weekend on Saturday.
• SATURDAY'S BOXSCORE: MACALESTER 27, BELOIT 0.
Macalester.......14 0 7 6 - 27
Beloit College... 0 0 0 0 - 0
MC -- Krishn Rapoor, 26, pss from Grady Munro (Karl Schuetzle kick)
MC -- Randy Beidelschies, 2, run (Schuetzle kick)
MC -- Brady Thompson, 67, interception return (Schuetzle kick)
MC -- Blake, 75, interception return (kick blocked)
TEAM STATS: First downs - MC 9, BC 10. Rushing - MC 30-8, BC 46-110. Passing - MC 136, BC 62. Passes - MC 23-17-0. BC 22-9-3. Fumbles - MC 4-2, BC 5-2. Punts - MC 6-32.8, BC 4-30.8. Penalties - MC 11-89, BC 3-33.
INDIVIDUAL STATS: Rushing - MC, Kai Akimoto 14-50, Beidelchies 8-17, Rapoor 1-3, Brody Fuller 1-(-10), Munro 6-(-52). BC, Efren Young 8-27, Ethan Hansen 12-23, Charles 13-21, MJ Smith-Dukes 6-21, Nano Reyes 7-18, Passing - MC, Munro 23-17-0, 136. BC, Diontia Charles 16-7-2, 56; Alex Alvarez 6-2-1, 6. Receiving - MC, Johnny Bice 3-47, Rapoor 4-40, Reese Bresson 5-25, Akimoto 1-10, Peter Vitalies 1-7, Fuller 1-4, Munro 1-2, Beidelschies 1-1. BC, Tyler Assiff 7-39, Cyrus Roman 2-23.