MOORHEAD - Concordia defensive end Noah Welsh entered his senior season with three career sacks. He's already doubled that output through three games.
Welsh leads the Cobbers with 4.5 sacks, including a 2.5 effort in a 54-7 Minnesota Intercollegiate Conference football victory at Augsburg last Saturday.
"He's always relentless," Cobbers head coach Terry Horan said. "He never stops moving his feet. He's a senior. He's played a lot of football for us."
The 6-foot, 260-pound Welsh, from Spicer, Minn., also had seven tackles against the Auggies, an effort that earned him MIAC defensive player of the week honors.
Welsh is second on the team with 18 tackles for the 2-1 Cobbers. He had 15 tackles and 1.5 sacks in nine games last season.
"I think he was pretty disappointed in how maybe he played last year," Horan said. "I know he really wanted to change that. He's playing with a different attitude right now."
Welsh and the Cobbers limited Augsburg to 200 yards on 61 plays. The Auggies only points came on a touchdown pass late in the third quarter after Concordia had built a 48-0 lead.
"We played extremely well in all three phases," Horan said. "We started really fast, which was a positive."
The Cobbers also revved up their running game against Augsburg, rushing for 433 yards on 53 attempts. Sophomore running back Rylie Sheridan and senior fullback Dane Ringquist each rushed for more than 100 yards and two scores.
The Cobbers bounced back after being limited to 96 yards on 31 attempts in a 24-6 loss at No. 12-ranked Wisconsin-Whitewater the previous week.
"There was a little bit more of a sense of urgency with our kids," Horan said. "They were excited that it was the league opener."
The Cobbers (2-1, 1-0 MIAC) host winless Hamline (0-3, 0-1) on Saturday.
"We can't let our guard down," Horan said. "We know we have to get better."
Dragons bounce back with big win
Minnesota State Moorhead followed a 53-point road loss a couple weekends ago with inspired play last Saturday at Scheels Field at Alex Nemzek Stadium.
The Dragons built a 35-point lead in the third quarter en route to a 42-28 victory against Northern State in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference play.
"I think the energy level that we came out with was as good as I've seen here in my time," Dragons head coach Steve Laqua said. "It's probably hard to create on a weekly basis."
The Dragons (2-1, 2-1 NSIC) were coming off a 60-7 loss at No. 24-ranked Minnesota-Duluth in Week 2.
"They were extremely motivated. That was nothing that anybody was really proud of," Laqua said of the loss at Duluth.
The Dragons have a rivalry game at 6 p.m. Saturday against the University of Mary (0-3, 0-3) at MDU Resources Community Bowl in Bismarck. The game is played for the Paddle Trophy. MSUM has won the previous three meetings in the series.
"This is a big game for a lot of our kids," said Laqua, referring to the number of players from North Dakota on the Dragons roster.
Dragons sophomore receiver Grady Bresnahan, from Casselton, N.D., is one of the North Dakota players. Bresnahan had a big game against Northern State, catching 11 passes for 97 yards and a touchdown. Bresnahan missed the UMD game due to injury.
"They were all short passes and he turned them into significant gains," Laqua said.
Sophomore quarterback Jakup Sinani got the start against Northern State after junior quarterback Bryce Meehl was sidelined with a lower leg injury. Sinani completed 23 of 36 passes for 238 yards and three touchdowns against the Wolves, while rushing for 62 yards on eight attempts.
"I think our offense clicked. He spread the ball around really well," Laqua said. "I thought he made some really good plays with his legs. I think that really sparked our offense."
Laqua said Meehl will be a game-time decision against Mary.