Joey Valdivia Scores Six Touchdowns in Foresters' Rout of Knox

Photo by Matt Weidner
Photo by Matt Weidner

Senior tailback Joey Valdivia rushed for 203 yards and a program record-tying six touchdowns on Saturday as the Lake Forest College football team defeated visiting Knox College 55-17.

It was the third 200-yard rushing day of the season for Valdivia, who carried the ball just 14 times in the game. His six scores matched the total posted by Forester Athletic Hall of Famer Corey Honore against Beloit College in 1996. Valdivia's 14.5 yards-per-carry average on the day is also a school record and he moved into first place in team annals with 36 rushing touchdowns in his career. His 1,422 yards on the season are just 33 shy of Honore's school record from 1996 and he climbed into fourth place in program history with 2,248 rushing yards in his career.

Valdivia's 224 all-purpose yards on the day were actually the Foresters' second-highest total. Senior wide receiver Alex Pasiewicz led all players in the contest with eight catches and 141 receiving yards. He also totaled 79 yards on three kickoff returns and reached the end zone on a 54-yard punt return. It was his first career punt return touchdown and he has now scored rushing, receiving, kick return, and punt return touchdowns over the last four seasons. In addition to increasing his school record totals for kick return yards in the season and career, Pasieiwcz cracked the top 10 in team history with 1,232 career receiving yards and climbed into sixth place with 332 career punt return yards.

Forester sophomore quarterback Jagan Cleary connected on 19 of 24 pass attempts for 274 yards in the game. His 2,093 passing yards this season rank fifth in team history and his 79.2 completion percentage on the day is a new program record.

Junior safety R.J. Pompey led the Lake Forest defense with nine tackles while freshman linebacker Riley Buncic was next with a career-high eight. Freshman linebacker John Laponte finished with seven stops, as did senior linebacker Joe Nitti.

The Foresters out-gained the Prairie Fire 573-350 on the afternoon and the home team's yardage total was the fourth-highest in school history. Lake Forest has now scored a team record 333 points this season, 11 more than the previous mark set in 2011.

Valdivia scored from 45 yards out for the first points of the game and from the 33-yardline to make the score 13-0. After a Knox field goal, Valdivia capped off another drive with a 21-yard touchdown and the home team led 20-3 after the opening quarter.

Lake Forest extended its lead on a 1-yard touchdown run by Valdivia with 9:57 to play in the second quarter and Valdivia reached the end zone for the fifth time in the half with just seven seconds on the clock, making the score 34-3.

Valdivia tied the school record for touchdowns in a game on an 8-yard run just 73 seconds into the second half. The Prairie Fire finally reached the end zone with 6:30 to play in the third period but the Foresters answered with the punt return touchdown by Pasiewicz, which made the score 48-10 with a quarter to play.

Senior tailback Charlie Quinn scored the Foresters final points on a 5-yard touchdown run with eight minutes on the clock. Quinn carried the ball 12 times for 56 yards in the contest and surpassed 2,000 rushing yards for his career. A final touchdown by Knox with less than two minutes to play closed out the scoring.

Lake Forest improved to 7-2 overall this season and 5-2 in Midwest Conference play. Knox fell to 1-7 overall and 1-5 in the league.

The Foresters will close out the 2016 season at Grinnell College next Saturday. The game will begin at 1:00 p.m.