MOORHEAD, Minn. (9/22/12)—It's been 25 years in the making. Concordia erased two decades of home losses to St. John's as they dominated the Johnnies for three quarters of play and went on to win 31-21.
The last time the Cobbers beat the Johnnies in Moorhead was in 1986 when current CC head coach Terry Horan was on the field as a wide receiver. The 25-year dry spell was finally ended with a huge mix of defense and another solid performance from the Concordia offensive line and the entire rushing attack. And oh yeah, the Brett Baune Wrecking Ball Tour continued to gather speed as he ran the ball 32 times, gained 126 yards on the ground and scored two of the team's four TD's. He has now rushed for at least 100 yards in three straight games and has 599 rushing yards on the year. In addition, his two TD's give him five on the season and move him to within eight of breaking Horan's all-time career TD record.
The 10-point win over SJU was also the first time that Concordia has posted a double-digit win over the Johnnies since the 1988 season.
Concordia is now 4-0 in all games and 2-0 in conference play. The last time the Cobbers started a year with four straight wins was 2005. St. John's loses for the second straight week and is now 2-2 overall and 0-2 in the MIAC.
As impressive as Baune has been in the first four weeks of play, the Cobber defense once again proved they were the most underrated unit in the league. Concordia limited the St. John's offense to just 152 total yards through three quarters of play. In addition to not allowing the Johnnie offense to move the ball, the Cobbers also came up with four turnovers – including the pivotal moment of the game in the final minute of play in the first half when senior defensive back Kenyon O'Brien stripped the ball from a St. John's wide receiver and linebacker Peter Hvidston scooped up the ball and ran it back to the St. John's 15-yard line. Concordia scored on the very next play and suddenly a 17-7 nail biter turned into a comfortable 24-7 halftime lead.
In the end, the CC defense allowed only 26 rushing yards. St. John's was able to gain 215 yards in the fourth quarter after the outcome had already been determined.
The Cobber offense put up 347 total yards on the day. CC had 251 rushing yards and threw for 96 more. In addition to Baune's 126 yards on the ground, Matt Peterson carried six times and gained 99 yards. He was involved in the longest Concordia play from scrimmage when he rambled 67 yards on the very first play of the game. "That play really set the tone for the game," commented Baune. "We knew we could have success against their defense after that play."
Chris Gilson and Mark Whiting came away with the other touchdowns for Concordia. Gilson topped off the first possession of the game when he ran around the left end over from 1-yard out. Whiting was the recipient of a 15-yard TD pass from Griffin Neal. That TD pass came right at the end of the first half.
Neal wound up throwing for 96 yards while completing seven of his 13 attempts. He had two interceptions in the second half when the game was out of reach.
Cobber kicker Ben Wagner continued his perfect extra point attack in 2012. Wagner was 4-for-4 on PAT's on Saturday and has now made all 19 of his extra points on the year. He also connected on a 19-yard field goal in the second quarter.
It was a total team defensive effort for Concordia. The Cobbers had four different players with 5.0 total tackles on the day and had three players record 1.0 sacks. Jordan Doschadis had 5.0 tackles and 1.0 sacks. O'Brien also had 5.0 tackles to go along with the one forced fumble. Paul Streich and Hvidston also had 5.0 tackles and nose guard Mark Wychor came away with two forced fumbles.
Concordia will have a two-week break before their next game. After resting through next weekend's bye, the Cobbers will resume play when they square off against nationally-ranked Bethel in Arden Hills on Saturday, Oct. 6.