Recap courtesy of Tom Mix and the Fargo Forum
MINNEAPOLIS – Fourth quarters during road games in the Twin Cities have not been kind to the Concordia football team this fall.
There was the heartbreaking one-point loss in Arden Hills two weeks ago, and on Saturday, the Cobbers let a large lead slip away late against Augsburg.
This time, however, Concordia hung on for a 38-31 Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletics Conference victory at Edor Nelson Field.
"Flashbacks were coming back," sophomore quarterback Griffin Neal said, referring to the Bethel game.
Augsburg outscored the NCAA Division III No. 21-ranked Cobbers 24-0 in the final 16 minutes of regulation to make things interesting.
"After that Bethel game, you always have that in the back of your mind," junior wide receiver Mark Whiting said. "It was scary, but we are glad to pull out the win."
Concordia (6-1, 4-1 MIAC) had been in full control the first three quarters. The Cobbers appeared to have the game well in hand when Chris Gilson caught a 34-yard touchdown pass from Griffin Neal. That score gave Concordia a 38-7 lead with 5:41 left to play in the third quarter.
Augsburg answered with a 10-play, 75-yard scoring drive, capped by an Ayrton Scott 10-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Swanson on fourth down.
Scott threw two more touchdowns – a 5-yarder to Wesley Waytashek and a 54-yard strike to Swanson – in the fourth quarter.
A 39-yard field goal by Waytashek with 3:06 left in regulation pulled the Auggies (5-2, 4-2) to within a touchdown.
After holding Concordia to a three-and-out on the ensuing possession, Augsburg got the ball on its 1-yard line with 48 seconds.
"It was fun to make it interesting," Augsburg head coach Frank Haege said. "The game was almost to the point where you were ready to put the (second team) in. That is how down we were, but we kept the starters in. We went into a hurry-up offense just hoping to get a spark and we caught a spark, made some plays. … It was fun."
Augsburg's comeback came to a halt when Concordia senior cornerback John Bye intercepted a pass from Scott.
"We have a lot of confidence in our defense," Neal said. "We knew they were going to come through with this one."
Despite its breakdown in the second half, Concordia put together a near-flawless first half.
Neal connected with Whiting on touchdown passes of 45 and 56 yards and also rushed for a 21-yard touchdown.
"Our defense created some turnovers and got the offense on the field," Cobbers head coach Terry Horan said. "Our offense was executing. The second half was the flip of that. (Augsburg) gained some confidence, while we were trying to chew some clock. We lost our momentum a little bit, but we hung on. It is a win and we will take it."