SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports

November 9, 2012

Jean DePlacido column: Local linemen key turn around for Kenyon College

What a turn around for the Kenyon College football team this season with two local players leading the offensive line. In the second week of the season the Lords attracted quite a bit of media attention when they faced Earlham College because both teams hadn’t won a game in a long, long time.

The Lords ended their 24 game winless streak that day, and went on to win five more and sit atop the North Coast Athletic Conference tied with two other teams. Last week they came from behind to beat the College of Wooster and increase their win total to 6 which matches the number recorded in the past five seasons combined (6-3 overall, 5-1 in the league). Trailing by three points with less than five minutes remaining the Lords drove 88 yards and scored the winning TD with 10 seconds left on the clock.

The offensive line has been a big factor in Kenyon’s success, and the reason the team is near the top of the conference in rushing yards and points scored. Senior Patrick Maher of Marblehead, who played at Phillips Andover, is the starting center, and fellow senior Cam Ashe of Wakefield, who played for St. John’s Prep, is a guard/tackle.

“We have a new coaching staff, and they’ve made us believe we could win,” said Maher, who is 6-2, 265 pounds. “Coach (Chris) Monfiletto was hired before last spring practice, and he has changed the attitude. Offensively we’ve been doing really well, especially running the ball. Our quarterback Dan Shannon, who is my roommate, is having a great year.

“Our goal is to win our conference, and if we beat Denison Saturday we will clinch at least a tie for the championship. Our conference has an at large bid to the NCAA’s, but there are a lot of tiebreakers involved that might not go in our favor. It would be the first conference championship since the late ‘80’s when Kenyon was co-champs one year.”

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