Kickoff Return Fortunes Turn Against Gustavus
ST. PETER, Minn. (Concordia Athletics) - In Concordia’s second game of the season, it was an 88-yard kickoff return for a TD that sparked the Cobbers to a victory. On Saturday, in the third game of the season, it was an 89-yard kickoff return for a TD that swung the momentum in the game and sent Concordia to a 36-21 loss at Gustavus.
The Cobbers had just taken a 14-10 lead in the first five minutes of the second quarter on a 30-yard touchdown pass from Tanner Dubois to Zach Wolf, but on the ensuing kickoff, the Gusties were able create a lane up the left sideline which allowed the return man to go 89 yards to the end zone.
The touchdown on the kickoff return started a string of 19 consecutive points for the Gusties which turned a 14-10 lead for the Cobbers into a 29-14 deficit.
Concordia would get to within eight points on a Peyton Mortenson 1-yard run at the start of the fourth quarter but then Gustavus would finish the game with a 9-play, 65-yard drive to push the final total to 36-21.
The loss in the conference opener is the second of the year for Concordia who fall to 1-2. Gustavus wins for the third straight game and is 3-0.
The game started out with all the makings of a 54-50, track meet special. The two teams combined to score on the first six times the ball traded hands. The kickoff return pushed the combine total of points to 31 in the first 18 minutes of play.
The scoring race slowed in the second quarter with the Gusties grabbing the only other points of the opening half on a 30-yard field.
Concordia held the advantage through the air but Gustavus countered with a decided edge on the ground. The Cobbers had 275 passing yards and 94 on the ground for a total of 369, while the Gusties went for 250 passing yards and 220 rushing yards for a total of 470.
Both teams had two turnovers on the day. CC fumbled once and had one interception. The Cobber Black Shirt defense collected fumble recoveries from Ty Moser and Nathan Phillips.
Dubois finished the game by going 24-for-40 for 275 yards and two TDs in the passing game. He also rushed for a team-high 73 yards on 12 carries. Dubois is now averaging 326.3 passing yards per game which is tops in the conference.
Senior wideout Andy Gravdahl posted his second straight 125-yard plus receiving game. He caught seven passes for 127 yards and scored the team’s first touchdown on the second drive of the game. He now has 331 receiving yards this year which is the most for a single season in his career and second most in the MIAC this year.
Wolf continued his touchdown steak this season. He caught a season-high six passes for 73 yards and one TD. He has now scored one touchdown in all three of the Cobbers’ games this year.
Noah Jenson led the Cobber defense from his linebacking position. He came away with a game-high nine tackles, including eight total tackles. Ty Moser had 8.0 tackles to go along with the fumble recovery, while Phillips, Marshall King, Grant Schoen and Sam Hegg-Entzion all finished with 5.0 tackles each.
UP NEXT: The Cobbers will face another tough text next weekend when they host No.5-ranked St. John’s for Homecoming on Saturday, Oct. 2 at 1 p.m. The Johnnies are 3-0 on the year and are coming off a 31-25 win over No.15 Bethel.
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