Cobbers bounce back with dominating win over Hamline
MOORHEAD-When Alex Berg made a diving interception Saturday afternoon, it was easy for many Concordia football fans to wonder: Why couldn't he have made that catch last week?"It just one of those things that happens," Berg said, referring to an i...
MOORHEAD-When Alex Berg made a diving interception Saturday afternoon, it was easy for many Concordia football fans to wonder: Why couldn't he have made that catch last week?
"It just one of those things that happens," Berg said, referring to an interception he dropped that may have sealed a win over No. 4-ranked St. Thomas last week. Instead, the Cobbers lost in the final seconds.
"You just wish you could go back and get that one play back. But, you just have to move on."
Berg and his Concordia teammates certainly did that, as the Cobbers bounced back from last week's heartbreaking loss with a convincing 34-14 win over a Hamline team that came to Jake Christianson Stadium with a 4-1 record and a nationally-ranked passing offense.
Berg, a sophomore linebacker from Fargo Shanley High School, was a big part of the Cobber defense that came up with four interceptions. None was bigger than Berg's pick near midfield with 13 seconds left of the first half.
When defensive lineman Kirby Siewert hit Hamline quarterback Justice Spriggs, the pass wobbled and Berg made a diving catch. Two plays later, Dylan Hoerchler made a shoelace catch of Michael Herzog's high-lofting 33-yard 'Hail Mary' pass just inside the end zone to give the Cobbers a 21-0 lead as time expired in the first half.
"I just broke on the ball and tried my best to get under it," Berg said of his interception.
"That was huge," Concordia head coach Terry Horan said of Berg's pick. "You can say all you want about last week. He (Berg) felt really bad about it. It's football. Things happen. You've got to play the next play. The most important game is the next one. He performed.
"And I thought our defense just played stellar today. They certainly won the football game."
The Cobbers even scored on one interception. When Brady Drake popped the ball out of the hands of Hamline receiver Deon Bishop, Matt Ahrndt grabbed the loose ball and returned it 48 yards for a touchdown to give the Cobbers a 14-0 lead.
"I was in the right place at the right time," said Ahrndt, a senior safety from Benson, Minn. "This was a huge bounce back game for us. When things happen like they did last week, you always have some doubts creeping in your mind. It was a fun day."
When Hamline was threatening to cut into the 14-0 lead, the Cobbers came up with another interception. This time, defensive back Dallas Raftevold dove in front of Hamline receiver Kevin Marzolf and made a diving catch on the one-yard line.
"That was a very athletic play," Horan said of Raftevold, a junior from Fargo South High School. "He 'Supermans' out for that one. That was a big-time catch."
And it was a big-time, bounce back win for the Cobbers-who take a 3-1 conference record and 4-2 overall record to Augsburg next week.
"That's all we heard all week was how hard it was going to be to bounce back from that St. Thomas loss," Raftevold said. "We just had to strap up our boots and get to work."
Berg agreed, admitting the St. Thomas loss is one that will stick with you for the rest of your life.
"But you just have to let it go and focus on the next game," said Berg, who led the Cobbers with 12 total tackles. "Our mindset all game was to just finish. We were playing to finish. It was a good day."
Hamline 0 0 6 8- 14
Concordia 0 21 0 13- 34
C-Johnson 2 run (Clifton kick)
C-Ahrndt 48 interception return (Clifton kick)
C-Hoerchler 33 pass from Herzog (Clifton kick)
H-Kampa 6 pass from Spriggs (kick blocked)
C-Montonye 3 run (kick blocked)
H-Spriggs 3 run (Kampa pass from Spriggs)
C-Montonye 2 run (Clifton kick)
Rushing: Hamline, El-Araby 8-22, Kampa 1-9, Hampton 2-4, Spriggs 9-1. Concordia, Montonye 14-78, Johnson 12-50, Herzog 9-17, Dane Ringquist 5-17.
Passing: Hamline, Spriggs 33-53-4 for 222 yards. Concordia, Herzog, 3-11-0 for 48 yards.
Receiving: Hamline, Kampa 11-141, Bishop 7-49, Harris 7-39, El-Araby 5-19. Concordia, Hoerchler 1-33, Montonye 1-8, Connelly 1-7.