Cobbers overcome eight lost fumbles in win
ST. PAUL - The Concordia football team tried to give the game away. Hamline refused to take it. The No. 15 Cobbers lost eight of 10 fumbles, but came away with a 24-7 Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference victory against the Pipers on Sat...
ST. PAUL - The Concordia football team tried to give the game away. Hamline refused to take it.
The No. 15 Cobbers lost eight of 10 fumbles, but came away with a 24-7 Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference victory against the Pipers on Saturday at Klas Field.
The win extends Concordia's conference winning streak to 14 games and sets up a showdown with fellow MIAC unbeaten No. 8 St. John's Saturday week at Jake Christiansen Stadium.
"It was just mental," Cobbers coach Terry Horan said of his team's mistakes. "It's focus and concentration. Anytime you go on the road and win with that many turnovers, you are very fortunate."
The Cobbers (5-0, 4-0) controlled both the offensive and defensive lines most of the afternoon.
On offense, starters Grant Weller, Matt McCallum, David Uselman, John Linman and Ryan Johnson opened gaping holes for backs Kevin Williamson, Cory Johnson and Brian Schumacher.
The trio combined for 271 of Concordia's 292 rushing yards.
However, many drives were stalled by botched option play handoffs from quarterback Schumacher to one of his running backs. Schumacher, the reigning MIAC MVP, lost four fumbles.
"I have absolutely no explanation for what happened," Schumacher said. "Our offense is there. We just have to hold onto the ball."
Only one of the turnovers came back to haunt the Cobbers, thanks to an inefficient Hamline offense and a swarming Concordia defense.
The Pipers (2-3, 1-3) managed just 214 total yards, including 73 rushing yards on 38 attempts. The Cobbers' defense finished with five sacks, two interceptions and a blocked field goal.
Six plays after a fumble by Cobber receiver Eric Rodel, Hamline scored on a 1-yard run by quarterback Andrew Seymour with eight minutes, eight seconds remaining in the third quarter to cut the lead to 14-7.
"We were thinking that we were going to come out and start making some plays," said Seymour, who finished 12 of 26 for 104 yards and a pair of interceptions. "We just bogged down a little bit on offense. And they made some plays when they needed to."
Despite five turnovers, the Cobbers ran for more than five yards a carry on 56 attempts.
They also showed signs of a two-dimensional offense for the first time this season, throwing for a season-high 155 yards. Rodel, a junior, had seven receptions for 135 yards and a season-long 37-yard touchdown reception.
Concordia entered the game averaging 73 passing yards.
"Every time we got the ball we could move it almost at will," Schumacher said. "We're fortunate, but we felt like we could have won 50-7."
The Cobbers ran the option to perfection in the fourth quarter, sealing the game with a pair of time-consuming scoring drives.
Concordia ran nine times for 57-yards to score on a 1-yard run from Williamson with 11:01 remaining to make the score 21-7.
Later, senior kicker Brian Halverson capped a 12-play drive - which took more than 5 minutes off the clock - with a 22-yard field goal to put the Cobbers ahead 24-7.
"It's pretty tough to play at Hamline," Concordia strong safety Tanner Radermacher said. "We knew they would give us their all. We just had to play tough."
NOTES: Halverson set a school career scoring record with an extra point on the Cobbers' first score of the day. The Fargo North High School graduate has 206 points. The old record of 200 was set by former wide receiver and current coach Horan. ... The dynamic freshman duo of Johnson and Levi DeVries combined for three fumbles. Johnson fumbled at the 1-yard line into the end zone for a touchback on an 18-yard run early in the second quarter. DeVries muffed two punts that were recovered by the Pipers. ... The Pipers had more yards on punts (288) than total yards (214).
Concordia 7 7 0 10-24
Hamline 0 7 0 0- 7
CC-Williamson 25 run (Halverson kick)
CC-Rodel 37 pass from Schumacher (Halverson kick)
HU-Seymour 1 run (Becker kick)
CC-Williamson 1 run (Halverson kick)
CC-Halverson 22 FG
First downs 25 13
Rush-yards 56-292 38-73
Pass yards 155 141
Pass att-comp-Int. 9-17-0 17-34-2
Total plays-yards 73-447 72-214
Punts-avg. 1-26 8-288
Fumbles-lost 10-8 0-0
Time of poss. 29:44 30:16
RUSHING: CC, Williamson 20-111, Schumacher 18-85, Johnson 11-75, Anderson 3-10, Thoreson 3-8, Reinisch 1-3. HU, Madryga 15-37, Seymour 9-18, Dahmes 6-15, Lexvold 3-10, Laube 1-3, Leary 4-(-10).
PASSING: CC, Scumacher 9-17-0, 155 yards. HU, Seymour 12-26-2, 104. Leary 5-8-0, 37.
RECEIVING: CC, Rodel 7-135, Thoreson 1-11, DeVries 1-9. HU, LaBore 3-57, Hanger 3-22, Miller 3-16, Lexvold 2-19, B. Johnson 2-12, Madryga 2-6, J. Johnson 1-5, Davis 1-4.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Heath Hotzler at (701) 241-5562