Final Game Looms for Seventeen Fourth-Years

The football team is looking to rebound this weekend against rival Wash U. The squad has the added motivation of celebrating its 17 fourth-years on Senior Day.

By Miranda Burt

The Maroons will close out the 2016 season at home this Saturday taking on the Wash U Bears in a Senior Night matchup at Stagg Field. The South Siders are coming off their first home loss of the season, in which Chicago lost a double-digit lead to fall to Carnegie Mellon, 37–24. The Maroons now sit at 4–5 heading into a tough matchup with the 7–2 Bears.

While Chicago did give up a big lead last week, the South Siders had many positives to take away from the game as well. Fourth-year quarterback Burke Moser continued his record-breaking senior season with another impressive game, racking up 450 yards through the air along with two touchdowns. His wide receiver duo of first-year Dante Nepa and fourth-year Syd Reynolds combined for 293 receiving yards. Their play, along with third-year running back Chandler Carroll’s 199 total yards and one touchdown, shows the success of the offense this year. The Maroons are averaging 372.8 passing yards per game, and just over 30 points per game. Chicago used this success to bring a three-point lead into the fourth quarter but was outscored 23–0 in the final frame. 

“As an offense, we are really clicking—obviously it’s showing up in the stats department,” Moser said. “Sadly, we aren’t converting it into points as well as we would like to, but we have a lot to build off of as a group. We know that at times we are our own worst enemy. If we can fight through those stagnant stretches and execute a little better, we are golden.”

The offense will have the chance to put up big numbers against a Wash U defense that allows 30.6 points per game. The Maroons’ defense, however, will have to matchup with an offense that averages 38.6 points per game, 354 yards through the air per game, and 137.8 rushing yards per game. The South Siders are allowing over 500 yards per game this year, along with an average of 35.2 points per game. 

“Wash U is a great team, but we plan on doing what we do, nothing special. We matchup with them well and it’s always a big game for the Founder’s Cup, so we are ready to go,” Moser said.

The Bears and Maroons have played the exact same common opponents throughout the Southern Athletic Association season. Wash U is coming off a tough 49–46 home win against Hendrix, a game the Maroons lost earlier on the road 52–28. The Bears also pulled off an overtime win against Chicago’s last opponent, the Carnegie Mellon Tartans. 

The game, along with being the last of the season, is the final contest for the Chicago fourth-years who have donned the maroon for four years. 

“It’s a big deal to me and all of the seniors,” Moser said. “I have a lot of memories on Stagg Field and Senior Day is always emotional. My whole family will be there, and it will be a special moment when they call out the seniors. I am excited for the event as a whole.”

Kickoff is set for noon at Stagg Field, where the Maroons will look to close out the season and Senior Night with an impressive victory.