ST. PAUL, Minn. (10/22/11)—It wasn't the prettiest win of the season but it was a win nonetheless as Concordia scored 21 first-half points en route to a 35-15 win over Hamline on Saturday.
It was the fourth straight win for the Cobbers which is the longest winning streak since the 2005 season. Concordia is now 6-2 overall and 4-2 in conference play and currently in third place in the league standings.
In the end it was the Cobber ground game that proved to be too much for the Pipers. Concordia ran the ball 53 times in the game and rushed for 304 yards. It is the third straight week that CC has rushed the ball more than 50 times and it marks the first time all season that Concordia has surpassed the 300-yard rush mark . It is the first time that the Cobbers have rushed for over 300 yards in a game since the 2008 season. Quarterback Michael Dunham did the most damage as he rushed for 102 yards on 11 carries. He also rushed for two touchdowns including a 49-yard touchdown run at the start of the third quarter which pushed CC's lead to 28-9. It is the first 100-yard rushing game for Dunham in his career.
Cobber fullback Brett Baune had another multiple TD game. Baune had scoring runs of 8 and 35 yards and now has 16 touchdowns on the year. He is just three shy of tying the school's single-season scoring mark of 19. Baune has now scored multiple touchdowns in three straight games and in six of the eight overall games. He has also notched at least one TD in all eight CC games this season. Baune also rushed for 77 yards on 14 carries.
The game was decided in the first half. The Cobbers took the opening kickoff and marched 60 yards in eight plays to score on the game's very first possession. It is the fifth time this season that CC has scored on their opening drive of the game. Concordia then scored on their very first possession of the second quarter. Baune capped a 7-play, 67-yard drive with a 35-yard scoring dash – the longest of his career. CC would give up a Piper field goal after fumbling on its own 17-yard line. The Cobbers went ahead 21-3 on a Luke Gotta 2-yard score. It was Gotta's first collegiate TD.
The one hiccup for Concordia in the game came on the ensuing kickoff when the Cobbers allowed an 80-yard return for a touchdown. Hamline was able to lateral the ball back across the field on the play and then went up the right sideline for their first TD in over four games. HU was denied on their two-point conversion to end the half with CC leading 21-9.
The Cobbers then scored on their first two possessions of the second half to push the lead to 35-9. CC led by the same score at the end of the third quarter and then started to rotate players in and out of the game. Hamline scored the final points of the game at the 10:17 mark of the fourth quarter on a 2-yard run that capped a 7-play, 19-yard drive.
Concordia outgained the Pipers 433-205 in total offensive yards. The Cobbers fumbled the ball twice on the day and the turnovers led to 10 of the Pipers' 15 points. CC was -1 in turnover margin for the day, the first time in three games that Concordia has not won the turnover battle.
To go along with his 102 rushing yards, Dunham was 7-for-9 through the air and finished with 129 passing yards. He now has 4,724 passing yards and needs only 166 more yards to become the school's all-time passing yardage leader. Junior Mike Starke led all Cobber receivers. He had three receptions for a career-high 65 yards.
The Concordia defense held an opponent under 250 yards for the third time this season. CC also came away with four sacks in the game and now has a total of 34 on the year. The Cobbers have had at least four sacks in five of the eight games. Linebacker Peter Hvidston had a team-high 10.0 tackles for the Concordia "Black Shirts". Matt Moenkedick, Reed Hefta and Robin Wisner were all credited with 1.0 sacks on the day.
Hamline (0-7/0-5 MIAC) passed for 129 yards on the day – the most of the 2011 season. Quarterback Connor Sathre was 10-for-24 for 129 yards. Tim Queck was his favorite target, catching six passes for 97 yards. Nate Sarrazin had 10.0 total tackles for the HU defense.
Concordia will return home to host Bethel on Saturday Oct. 29 at 1 p.m. in a huge conference contest that could have playoff implications.