Concordia-Moorhead Uses Late-Game Defensive Stand To Beat Carleton

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NORTHFIELD, Minn. (11/02/13)—Three out of four quarters was just enough as Concordia used a late-fourth quarter defensive stand to hold off Carleton 35-27 in Northfield on Saturday.

The Cobbers cruised to a 35-14 lead after three quarters of play but then watched the Knights rattle off a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns to cut the lead to eight points. Concordia finally finished off the game with a defensive stand at their own 16-yard line after Carleton got the ball back with 2:47 to play.

The victory pushes Concordia into sole possession of second place in the MIAC standings. The Cobbers have now won three straight games and are now 5-1 against conference opponents. CC moves to 7-1 overall in 2013. Carleton falls to 4-4 in all games and 2-4 in league play.

Concordia was able to cruise to a 14-7 lead after one quarter and then a 28-7 halftime lead thanks to a devastating ground game and an economical air attack. All four of the Cobbers' scores in the first two quarters came on the ground. CC had 304 of their 435 total offensive yards in the first half of play. Concordia had 142 rushing yards on 28 carries in the first and second quarters and quarterback Griffin Neal was 11-for-16 for 162 passing yards. The Cobbers scored on four of their first five drives of the game.

The second half was a different story as the Cobbers tried to run out the clock. Concordia scored on just one of their seven drives in the third and fourth quarters. CC had six first downs and 104 yards in the third quarter but did not have a first down in the fourth quarter and gained just 27 total yards.   

The new-found balanced offense for Concordia came away with 228 passing yards and 207 rushing yards. Carleton finished the game with 362 total offensive yards. The CC defense held the Knights to just 43 rushing yards but gave up a season-high 319 passing yards.

Concordia used their ground game to carve out a decisive 37:56-22:04 edge in time of possession. The 37:56 is a season high for the Cobbers.  

Neal completed 66.7% (16-for-24) of his passes in the game finished with 228 passing yards and threw for one score. He also ran for 18 yards and one TD.

Alex McLean was the workhorse on the ground. He rushed the ball 10 times for a game-high 66 yards. He also scored one of the four rushing TD's for Concordia. Matt Peterson scored the team's first touchdown on a 16-yard run and had 39 total rushing yards. He also had caught four passes for 68 yards. Domenic Fraboni had the other rushing score for CC while Jon Baune caught the lone TD reception which turned out to be the game-winning score on the day.

Brandon Zylstra was the team's leading receiver on the day. He had four catches for 74 yards.

Kenyon O'Brien and Levi Hintermeister were the team's top tacklers on the day. Both players had six total tackles. Junior defensive end Nate Adams had five tackles but added 2.0 sacks and now has an MIAC best eight tackles on the year. He also had a team-high two pass break-ups as Concordia busted up 11 passes on the day. Nick Leen had the other sack for the Cobbers.

Concordia will finish off their back-to-back conference road games when the square off against defending MIAC champion St. Thomas on Saturday, Nov. 9 at 1:10 p.m. in St. Paul. The Tommies are 4-2 in conference play and are coming off a 17-14 win over Augsburg.  

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