The Maroons turned in a dominant homecoming performance this past Saturday with a convincing 37–6 victory over their Midwest Conference South (MWC–S) division rivals, the Knox College Prairie Fire. With overall attendance at Stagg Field totaling 1809, the Maroons played in front of an impressive and energetic crowd. Noting the positive environment, fourth-year quarterback Marco Cobian said, “There’s always a great atmosphere to Homecoming games because of the opportunity to play in front of all of the former teammates, alumni, and students who come out to support.”
UChicago entered the game as favorites, ranking higher than their opponent on both sides of the football. With strong play all around in their decisive victory against the Prairie Fire, that seems unlikely to change. UChicago now sits second in the MWC–S, trailing Illinois College by only one game after winning their last three.
Capitalizing on an impressive defensive performance, the Maroons maintained a consistent offensive attack through both halves on Saturday, totaling 410 offensive yards and scoring five touchdowns, while converting all six red zone opportunities. A strong ground game undoubtedly contributed to the Maroons offensive success, as the Maroons carried the ball for 182 yards and three rushing touchdowns. Scoring the first of these was third-year running back Vittorio Tricase, who made his season debut on Saturday after dealing with a lingering hamstring injury. After the game, Tricase expressed how glad he was to be back: “There was a lot of excitement built up and I was just happy to be back out there with the guys.” He attributed much of his success on the ground to UChicago’s offensive line, which he described as “dominating up front.” Cobian shared this sentiment, stating “I couldn’t be prouder of the way our offensive line played.”
Cobian managed two touchdowns, rushing for one and passing to fourth-year wideout Dante Nepa for the other. Nepa finished the game with 70 receiving yards and a pair of touchdowns. The other points for the Maroons were earned through third-year Mike Martinson’s first-quarter touchdown and fourth-year kicker Daniel Ducic’s 23-yard field goal.
Meanwhile, Knox College struggled to put points on the board thanks to a stifling Chicago defense, which hauled in three interceptions for the game and allowed a mere six points. Fueled by several standout performances—like that of third-year defensive tackle, Jackson Ross, who recorded a team-leading 12 tackles—the Maroons held the Prairie Fire to 228 yards on offense, of which only 61 came on the ground. Chicago also consistently stopped Knox’s offense on third down, allowing only three conversions in 13 attempts. Noting the excellent defensive performance, Tricase said, “The defense played outstanding as they have been all year.”
After Saturday’s solid victory, Cobian said, “Overall, we are very happy to be heading in the right direction and improving every week.” Tricase added, “This season has the potential to be a special one for us, but we have to keep putting in the work.” The Maroons will certainly look to do just that as they prepare to face Cornell College on the road this Saturday at 1:00 p.m.