MOORHEAD – Concordia’s football record book required revisions Saturday afternoon thanks to the performance turned in by senior quarterback Griffin Neal.

Neal passed for 272 yards and two touchdowns in Concordia’s 42-7 Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference victory over Hamline at Jake Christensen Stadium.

Those totals allowed Neal to claim the school record for career passing yards and tie the record for career touchdown passes.

“I’ll probably reflect more on the records a couple months after the season is over,” Neal said. “I wasn’t worrying much about them. I knew if we came out and executed on offense there would be a good chance I’d get them (Saturday), but there was no added pressure. There is still a lot of football left to play this season and we have to focus on our final two games of the year.”

Neal was 17 of 23 passing in the game and now sits at 5,327 yards in his career. He also rushed for 38 yards.

The previous passing record was held by Michael Dunham, who passed for 5,235 yards from 2008 to 2011.

“We expect great things from Griffin every game,” Concordia head coach Terry Horan said of Neal, who tied Ryan Hebrink’s career passing touchdowns record of 44.

Neal nearly broke the career touchdown passes record on the same play he broke the passing yards mark. The former Fargo South standout connected with junior running back Cooper Gauldin for a

22-yard pass in the second quarter. Gauldin was stopped just shy of the goal line.

“It would have been nice to kill two birds with one stone, but it will be just that much sweeter if I can break that record next week,” Neal said.

Concordia – ranked No. 20 in the poll – scored on the opening drive of the game. Senior fullback Alex McLean capped the five-play, 67-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown.

“We knew we’d be able to make some plays,” McLean said. “We just couldn’t afford to come out and play sloppy to start the game. We set the tone early in the game and made some big plays.”

McLean rushed for 76 yards and two touchdowns for the Cobbers (7-1, 5-1 MIAC).

Concordia led 29-0 at halftime and dominated the first half by outgaining Hamline 414-137 in total offense.

“I liked the way we came out of the gates,” Horan said. “We didn’t want this one turning into a trap game with our game against St. Thomas looming. We have no room for error. We came out and executed in all three phases of the game, and that was great to see.”

Brandon Zylstra caught four passes for 88 yards for Concordia.

The victory sets up a conference showdown between Concordia and St. Thomas next Saturday in St. Paul.

The Tommies lost to Bethel 35-24 on Saturday and now sit at 3-2 in conference play.

The Cobbers now hold a 59-11 all-time series advantage over the Pipers (2-5,

0-5). Concordia has won the past 23 meetings between the two schools.

Hamline 0 0 0 7–7

Concordia 14 15 7 6–42

CON–McLean 1 run (Wagner kick)

CON–Zylstra 3 pass from Neal (Wagner kick)

CON–Zylstra 50 pass from Neal (Hutchinson run)

CON–Fraboni 1 run (Wagner kick)

CON–McLean 13 run (Wagner kick)

CON–Grove 2 run (pass failed)

H–Drewlo 25 pass from Johnson (Coughlin kick)


First downs 15 24

Rushes-yards 28-139 37-218

Passing 200 298

Comp-Att-Int 20-40-1 19-27-1

Punts-Avg. 2-12 3-38.7

Fumbles-Lost 0-0 1-1

Penalties-Yards 5-20 8-96

Time of possession 27:42 32:18


RUSHING: H, Duncan 14-66, Harris 2-64, Ferkinhoff 6-14, Mitchell 1-4, Eskuri 1-3, El-Araby 1-(-1), Johnson 1-(-5), Bona 2-(-6). CON, McLean 8-76, Neal 7-38, Zylstra 1-34, Grove 5-20, Southwick 2-18, Hutchinson 3-12, Thorson 3-7, Morical 1-6, Montonye 3-5, Gauldin 1-4, Johnson 1-2, Fraboni 1-1, Shields 1-(-5).

PASSING: H, Bona 16-34-1–149, Johnson 4-6-0–51. CON, Neal 17-23-1–272, Grove 2-4-0–26.

RECEIVING: HAM, Sherman 4-77, Kampa 2-34, Drewlo 1-25, Adam 4-23, El-Araby 4-18, Ferkinhoff 1-9, Pesola 2-8, Duncan 2-6. CON, Zylstra 4-88, Shields 5-63, Fraboni 3-55, Gauldin 2-31, Southwick 1-17, Johnson 1-16, Morical 1-9, Baune 1-2.

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