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Gibson ties school record, leads Dragons to homecoming victory

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Minnesota State University Moorhead receiver Damon Gibson breaks away from Minnesota Crookston defenders on his way to a 46-yard touchdown Saturday, Oct.8, 2016, at Alex Nemzek Field.David Samson / The Forum2 / 3
Minnesota State University Moorhead's Deiondre Taylor (34) and Aaron Doan (21) team up to tackle Minnesota Crookston running back AndrePerson Saturday, Oct.8, 2016, at Alex Nemzek Field.David Samson / The Forum3 / 3

MOORHEAD—Minnesota State Moorhead wide receiver Damon Gibson was the model of scoring efficiency Saturday night, Oct. 8, at Alex Nemzek Stadium.

Gibson caught four passes and all went for touchdowns. His performance vaulted the Dragons to a 41-12 homecoming victory against Minnesota-Crookston in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference football at Scheels Field.

"That is pretty good catch-to-touchdown ratio," Dragons head coach Steve Laqua said with a smile.

Gibson tied a program record for touchdown catches in a game, tying three other Dragons. Former wide receiver Bruce Green was the last MSUM player to catch four TDs in a game back in 2006. Gibson finished with 140 receiving yards against the Golden Eagles.

"Things were kind of working I guess," Gibson said.

Gibson did most of his damage in the first two quarters, catching three passes for 94 yards and three scores. The 6-foot-4, 230-pounder from Beardsley, Minn., scored two TDs in the final five minutes of the second quarter. His 46-yard TD catch from quarterback Demetrius Carr gave the Dragons a 20-6 lead with 4 minutes, 53 seconds remaining first half.

Gibson added a 19-yard touchdown catch from Carr, on a fade route, to give the Dragons a 27-6 lead with 3:45 remaining in the second quarter.

The Dragons scored 21 points in the final 8 minutes of the first half.

"I think that was much needed," Gibson said. "The momentum was kind of going down. We kind of got a little pep talk from coach and decided to get it going."

The Dragons defense had a stellar first half, limiting the Golden Eagles to 58 yards on 44 plays through the first two quarters. Senior linebacker Aaron Bohl had 1.5 sacks in the first half to help fuel that performance. Bohl finished with four tackles.

"We knew we were coming with an aggressive game plan," Bohl said. "When we play aggressive, have an aggressive mindset, we play a lot better."

Dragons linebacker Abe Roehrich had an interception in the second quarter that he returned to the Golden Eagles 46-yard line. On the next play, Gibson caught a touchdown pass.

On the ensuing kickoff, Roehrich recovered an onside kick at the UMC 49. Five plays later, Gibson was in the end zone again to give the Dragons a 27-6 lead.

"I thought our defense was aggressive with the game plan," Laqua said. "The players came out and played fast and set the tempo. I was impressed with our defensive play."

Gibson capped his performance early in the third quarter, adding another 46-yard touchdown catch. On the play, Gibson caught the ball over the middle, shook off a defender near the 30 and then scampered into the end zone, giving MSUM a 34-6 lead with 14:06 to play in the third quarter.

"When he's rolling, he's unguardable," Bohl said of Gibson. "It's fun to watch."

UMC 0 6 3 3--12

MSUM 6 21 7 0--41

MSUM--Gibson 29 pass from Carr (kick failed)

UMC--Maw 28 FG

UMC--Maw 28 FG

MSUM--Stone 1 run (Tjosvold kick)

MSUM--Gibson 46 pass from Carr (Tjosvold kick)

MSUM--Gibson 19 pass from Carr (Tjosvold kick)

MSUM--Gibson 46 pass from Carr (Tjosvold kick)

UMC--Maw 36 FG

UMC--Maw 29 FG

MSUM--Bixler 1 run (Tjosvold kick)

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING: UMC, Curtis 8-24, Person 19-22, Kowalenko 4-10, Jochim 2-0, Cole 4-(-15), Spier 7-(-33). MSUM, Stone 13-79, Colgrove 16-56, Carr 5-35, Sweep 3-23, Hall 9-18, A. Hartness 1-17, Meehl 1-10, Bixler 1-2, Kabambi 1-0.

PASSING: UMC, Spier 8-20-2 107 yards, Cole 3-9-0 25. MSUM, Carr 9-16-0 162, Meehl 2-5-0 39, Hodge 0-1-0 0, A. Hartness 0-1-0 0.

RECEIVING: UMC, Connette 9-118, Person 1-7, Kowalenko 1-7. MSUM, Gibson 4-140, Breske 2-39, Moore 3-14, Ambrose 2-8.

Eric Peterson
Peterson covers college athletics for The Forum, including Concordia College and Minnesota State Moorhead. He also covers the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks independent baseball team and helps out with North Dakota State football coverage. Peterson has been working at the newspaper since 1996.

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