ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Power Bowl: Cobbers turn on the juice

It was a Hollywood movie-script afternoon for Andrew Passanante Saturday at Jake Christiansen Stadium. The Concordia receiver was returning from major knee surgery against his former team in one of the biggest games of the year. The senior was ne...

Image

It was a Hollywood movie-script afternoon for Andrew Passanante Saturday at Jake Christiansen Stadium.

The Concordia receiver was returning from major knee surgery against his former team in one of the biggest games of the year.

The senior was nervous, excited -- and unstoppable.

Passanante, who transferred from Minnesota State Moorhead to Concordia two years ago, caught seven passes for 104 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Cobbers to a 42-28 victory over the Dragons in Power Bowl V.

"This is sweet," said Passanante, who was named the game's offensive player of the game. "I couldn't have asked for more."

ADVERTISEMENT

The 6-foot-3, 195-pound junior from Hawley, Minn., suffered a two torn knee ligaments during a game against Wisconsin-Stout last season.

He missed Concordia's final four games and finished with just 13 receptions for 176 yards and two scores.

It was a long road to recovery.

"There were six long months of rehab," he said. "I still work out quite a bit to keep it strong."

There were no signs of rust against the Dragons.

Passanante, a third string quarterback for the Dragons in 2000, gave the Cobbers a 7-0 lead with an 8-yard touchdown reception from Ryan Hebrink in the first quarter.

He added a 44-yard touchdown reception to give the Cobbers a 28-0 advantage with 31 seconds remaining in the first half.

Passanante outleaped two Dragon defenders in the end zone to come away with the score.

ADVERTISEMENT

The play, which was voted the top offensive play of the game, left MSUM stunned.

"We outthought ourselves in the first half," Dragons coach Ralph Micheli. "And we didn't play as well as we could have on defense."

The Cobbers had 201 rushing yards at halftime. MSUM, which racked up more than 260 rushing yards a game last year, went into the locker room with just 53.

The Dragons turned things around in the second half, however, led by a surprising passing game.

First-year starting quarterback Jon Frykman tossed a 68-yard touchdown pass to Chad Davison early in the third quarter to make the score 28-7.

Frykman, a senior, was 5 of 7 for 130 passing yards in the second half. He finished 5 of 12 for 174 yards and an interception.

The Dragons' running game also came to life in the second half, grinding out 77 yards on 18 carries.

Frykman scored on runs of 19 and 8 in the third quarter to cut the Cobber lead to 35-21.

ADVERTISEMENT

But the MSUM defense was unable to stop the Cobbers when it needed it most.

Hebrink capped 68-yard, 11-play drive with a 5-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter to seal the victory.

The drive, which took almost five minutes, left just 2:57 on the clock.

"We knew we needed to get out to a quick start to gain some confidence," Cobbers coach Terry Horan said. "And we definitely did that today."

Clark led the Cobbers with 118 yards on 17 carries. Jeremy Hinderks finished with 94 rushing yards.

Hebrink was 8 of 14 for 139 passing yards and three touchdowns. The three-year starter also had 78 rushing yards on 17 carries.

Senior receiver Chad Davison collected seven receptions for 134 yards to lead the Dragons.

Concordia cornerback Josh Vickerman, named the defensive star of the game, finished with nine tackles and an interception.

"We knew our offense was going to be strong because we had a lot of guys coming back," Horan said. "But we still had to execute. I thought our technique was outstanding and our defense did some really good things in that second half."

Readers can reach Forum reporter Heath Hotzler at (701) 241-5562

What To Read Next
Area recreation scores and schedules.
Regional and local scores and schedules.
The Black Hawks trailed by two goals with just over six minutes left to play but rallied and upended Fargo in overtime on Saturday.
South Dakota State running away with regular season title