MOORHEAD, Minn. (10/09/10)-- Concordia returned to the past to break out of the future. The Cobbers rushed the ball 44 times and scored three rushing touchdowns as they ground out a 26-14 win over Carleton on Saturday in Moorhead. The win snaps a three-game losing skid for Concordia and ends the Knihgt's two-game winning streak.
The difference in the game was Concordia's ability to consistently gain yardage on the ground and the defense's ability to bend but not break. The Cobbers only allowed one touchdown in Carleton's five trips to the red zone. Another huge factor was Concordia's defense on third downs. Heading into the game, CC had allowed opponents to convert on 35% of their third-down chances. On Saturday, CC held the Knights to 1-for-11 on third-down attempts which got the defense off the field before the Knights could put up time-consuming drives. Carleton only had three drives in the game that last longer than 3:35.
Another key factor came from time of possession. A week after holding the ball for barely 20 minutes, Concordia posted 29:11 of time of possession. That allowed the Cobber defense time a chance to rest and stay fresh for critical third down situations.
Concordia's defense also came up with one of the key plays of the game. With the Cobbers holding a 10-point lead with under two minutes to play in the first half and Carleton starting to drive for score, senior Luke Hvidston jumped an out route, picked off a Vaughn Schmid pass and raced 31 yards for a touchdown. That gave the Cobbers a comfortable 20-6 lead at the break.
For the game Concordia had 225 rushing yards on 44 attempts as they averaged 5.1 yards per carry. The Cobbers only threw the ball 14 times in the four quarters - the fewest of the season. CC junior quarterback Michael Dunham was 7-for-14 for 69 yards. He was also one of three Cobber players to rush for at least 50 yards in the game. He finished with 50 yards on eight attempts.
Carleton had 388 yards of total offense. The Knights had 216 yards on the ground and 172 passing yards.
Neither team was able to score in the first quarter as both teams struggled to convert on third downs. The two teams combined to go 1-for-7 on third down and had five punts in the first 15 minutes. Concordia threw the ball nine times in the opening quarter and would only five more times in the remaining 45:00.
The Cobbers opened the scoring in the second quarter when they went on a nine-play 80-yard drive that was capped by a Brett Baune 2-yard run. Concordia ran the ball on all nine plays on the scoring drive. That trend continued on their second scoring possession when they ran the ball seven of the eight plays and Ben SaariBovre scored his second touchdown of the yard on a 9-yard run.
That set the stage for Hvidston who intercepted the second pass of Carleton's next possession. He gave Concordia a 20-6 lead at the half - a lead that the defense never relinquished.
The Cobbers added a Trent Johnson 10-yard run midway through the fourth quarter to cap the scoring.
Baune led the Cobber rushing attack. He ran the ball 11 times and gained 57 yards. SaariBovre also had 11 carries and finished with 52 yards. Bronson Shepherd was the top receiver for CC as he caught three passes for 31 yards.
Schmid was 8-for-22 for 91 yards and also had 30 rushing yards for Carleton. Jon Lien led all rushers for the game. He had 14 carries and 82 yards. Conor Lynch had a game-high 16 rushing attempts and ended with 77 yards. Killian Murphy caught eight passes for 80 yards.
Cobber senior co-captain Guy Rudolph had a career game. He finished with a game-high 15 tackles and had 1.0 sacks. Zach Debletz had 11 tackles while Jordan Doschadis had 7.0 tackles and 1.0 tackles for a loss.
Concordia hits the road to play Augsburg on Saturday, Oct. 16 at 1 p.m.