Neal Gives Cobbers Nod In Offensive Showcase
MOORHEAD, Minn. (10/27/12)—Fans of end-to-end, tons of offense football had plenty to cheer about on Saturday as No.19-ranked Concordia and Carleton combined for over 75 points and 800 yards of total offense in the Cobbers' 57-21 win in Moorhead.
The win helps Concordia keep pace at the top of the MIAC standings. The Cobbers have now won three straight games and move to 7-1 overall and 5-1 in conference play. The seven overall wins is the most for a CC team since the 2007 season. The Knights lose for the third straight game and fall to 3-5 overall and 1-5 in league play.
The stat sheet will highlight the efforts of both quarterbacks with Concordia signal caller Griffin Neal throwing for three touchdowns and rushing for two scores. Carleton QB Mike Hartwell passed for over 300 yards and two TD's.
Neal finished the afternoon by going 10-for-18 for 257 yards and three TD's. It is the third straight week he has thrown for three scores and second consecutive game he has amassed over 250 passing yards. Neal also rambled for two rushing scores and had 41 rushing yards.
A pair of Cobber receivers benefitted from Concordia's willingness to take advantage of a defense stacked against the run. Mark Whiting caught four passes for 148 yards and Mike Starke caught a pair of TD strikes including a highlight reel horizontal diving grab of a ball in the end zone. Whiting's 148 receiving yards marked the second straight week he has totaled over 140 receiving yards.
While the Cobber passing attack was amassing 257 yards through the air, the ground game was its usual self, gaining over 200 yards. CC ran for 217 yards and had three rushing TD's on the day. The biggest rush of the game came on a Ben Wolf 49 yard weaving run that put Concordia up for good at 14-7. Wolf finished the day with 58 yards on two carries. Brett Baune was the team's leading ground gainer. He ran for 61 yards on 12 carries.
The Cobbers continued another reoccurring theme in 2012. Concordia scored on their first possession of the game, the following five possessions and did not trail the entire game. The Cobbers have not trailed for a single second in 2012 – a stretch that covers 480 minutes of play.
Matt Moenkedick led the CC defense against the Knights. Moenkedick had a game-high 13 total tackles. Bryce Hentges had seven tackles and one pass break-up.
The Cobber special teams continued to shine. Hentges returned a kickoff 90 yards for the team's second return TD in the past three weeks. His 90-yard return in the second quarter ties for the longest return in program history. Paul Shol also had a 90-yard kickoff return in 2007 against St. John's. The CC return game averaged 31.8 yards on five kickoff returns.
The win against Carleton sets up a showdown at the top of the MIAC standings next weekend. The Cobbers will host No.3-ranked St. Thomas, and league-leading, St. Thomas on Saturday, Nov. 3 at 1:10 p.m.