River Forest, IL - On a beautiful Saturday afternoon, Concordia-Chicago (1-1) hosted Albion College (2-0) in a non-conference matchup. CUC looked to bounce back from a tough 52-25 loss to Olivet College last week. The Cougars approached the game with an emphasis on defense against the Britons who scored more than 50 points in both games they have played this season. In the first half, the CUC defense held their own with the high-octane Albion offense, but still found themselves trailing 22-20. In the second half, the Cougars lost their ability to contain the visitors, and the Britons rolled with a 57-42 victory.
Beginning the game, CUC received the ball. Freshman Jordan Sepulveda started the game behind center. After being forced to punt, Concordia-Chicago recovered a muffed punt deep in Albion territory. Moments later, Lance Moise scampered for 22 yards setting up a Sepulveda three-yard touchdown run to give the Cougars a 6-0 lead. Albion would follow that drive with a field goal to make it 6-3 but, on their following drive, Demetrius Rufus demonstrated the tip drill, intercepting the pass and setting up the CUC offense with great field position. A fumble derailed the drive and gave Albion possession going into the second quarter.
Entering the second quarter with a bang, the Britons passed their first play from scrimmage for a 26-yard touchdown. However, CUC soon heard the Cougar faithful roar, as a long kickoff return was the prelude to an Eric Hoff touchdown coming from 51 yards out by Sepulveda for a lead of 13-10. Albion did not stay quiet for long. A quick response on offense made it 16-13 and then a three-and-out forced the Cougars to punt. On the punt, the Britons brought the pressure and blocked it all the way back to the two-yard line. Collectively, the CUC fan section sighed out of relief when the defense held Albion to a field goal.
The Cougars would start their next drive with Rob Granquist under center, and it would end with a 19-yard rush by Moise to help CUC regain the lead 20-19. However, Albion chipped in one field goal to conclude the scoring in the first half, and Concordia-Chicago went into the half with a 22-20 deficit.
Kicking off the second half, the Albion offense turned it up to another level and scored in five plays at a distance of 45 yards to extend their lead to 29-20. Following the narrative, the Cougars answered back quickly. Moise continued his dominant game with a 54-yard rush to put CUC back into the red-zone. Tylor Martens gave Moise a breather for one play, which led to a four-yard touchdown run and a 29-27 score. The Cougar defense ramped up the pressure and regained possession of the ball after forcing a punt. Unfortunately, on the next CUC possession, they would fumble in their own territory which would lead to a Albion touchdown two plays later.
Everything seemed to unravel for CUC after the third quarter and the Britons pieced together a couple of scoring possessions to extend their lead to a comfortable 50-27 margin. Trying to put the pieces back together, Griffin Beaudette rifled a pass towards the back left corner of the end zone right into Hoff's hands to shrink the margin to 57-34. Beaudette dominated the next drive and drove the Cougars down the field. The drive would end in an Andre Jones rushing touchdown from a yard out. After the two-point conversion, the score stood at 57-42. The scoring would stop there and the game would end with a final score of 57-42.
Key contributors included Hoff and Moise. Hoff added four receptions for 76-yards and two touchdowns. Meanwhile, Moise's final totals showed a monster stat line of 268 rushing yards and a touchdown even after being withheld from play the whole fourth quarter.
Concordia-Chicago will return to action on Saturday, September 29th at Lakeland University in the opening of Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference play. Game time is set for 1 p.m.