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Eric Peterson, Published October 03 2010

Tandem of turnovers hampers Concordia in loss to Gustavus

Concordia was giving on Saturday, a trait that doomed the Cobbers on homecoming.

Concordia had back-to-back turnovers midway through the second quarter, a stretch that shifted momentum.

Gustavus took advantage, scoring two touchdowns in the final six minutes of the half en route to a 38-14 victory in Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference football at Jake Christiansen Stadium before 5,819 fans.

“We just made too many mistakes,” Cobber head coach Terry Horan said. “We’re not a team that can afford to make turnovers. … We just killed ourselves and the momentum just kind of switched.”

The Cobbers (1-4, 0-3 MIAC) have lost three straight games and have allowed an average of 44.7 points per game the past three games.

“We’re just inconsistent and we’ve got to figure it out soon,” Cobbers senior safety Zach Debeltz said. “We all know what we can do and we’ve seen it. It’s just the fact of executing.”

The Cobbers and Gusties were tied 7-7 in the second quarter when the Concordia miscues started.

Cobbers quarterback Mike Dunham found Kent Johnson over the middle for a 19-yard gain. However, Johnson got popped near the Gustavus 40-yard line and fumbled. The Gusties recovered, taking over at their own 37 to halt that potential scoring threat.

Concordia forced a Gusties punt four plays later, but Debeltz muffed the ensuing punt. Gustavus again grabbed the loose ball, this time at the Cobbers’ 19-yard line.

On the next play, freshman running back Jeffery Dubose scooted into the end zone to stake the Gusties to a 14-7 lead with 5 minutes, 20 seconds to play in the second quarter.

Gustavus never trailed from that point, pushing its lead to two touchdowns seconds before halftime.

Junior quarterback Logan Becker scored a 1-yard touchdown plunge with 2 seconds to play in the second quarter on fourth-and-goal for a 21-7 lead.

The Gusties were 5 of 7 on fourth-down conversions.

“I think that was huge.” Becker said. “That was huge to set us up for the rest of the game and kind of gave us a lot of confidence that we could get those tough downs.”

Quarterback Mike Dunham returned to the Concordia starting lineup after missing last week’s game with an ankle injury. The junior was solid in his return, completing 20 of 38 passes for 271 yards and two touchdowns.

The Cobbers finished with 21 first downs and 328 yards, but had three turnovers. The Gusties had zero turnovers.

“It was just kind of mental mistakes,” said Concordia junior wide receiver Bronson Shepherd, who finished seven catches for 93 yards and a touchdown. “Guys were fighting hard. It was just a tough game.”

The Cobbers host Carleton next Saturday.

“The only thing we can do is continue to keep working,” Horan said. “I only know one way to go and that’s to work hard and hopefully good things can happen with this crew. We’ve just got to shake it off and we’ve got to move forward.”

Gustavus 7 14 14 3–14

Concordia 7 0 7 0–38

CC–Shepherd 2 pass from Dunham (Diaz kick)

GAC–Creighton 16 pass from Becker (Huepenbacker kick)

GAC–Dubose 19 run (Huepenbecker kick)

GAC–Becker 1 run (Huepenbecker kick)

GAC–Dubose 10 run (Huepenbecker kick)

CC–Weller 19 pass from Dunham (Diaz kick)

GAC–Sulaski 27 pass from Becker (Huepenbecker kick)

GAC–Huepenbecker 19 FG

TEAM STATISTICS

GAC CC

First downs 21 21

Rushes-yards 48-147 24-57

Passing 256 271

Comp-Att-Int 21-29-0 20-39-0

Punts-Avg. 3-30.7 3-34

Fumbles-Lost 0-0 4-3

Penalties-Yards 7-68 5-46

Time of Possession 38:14 21:46

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING: GAC, Dubose 28-107, Becker 14-32, Mena 1-10, Lane 4-(minus-1), Team 1-(minus-1). CC, SaariBovre 8-43, T. Johnson 3-33, Baune 1-3, N. Johnson 3-1, Dunham 9-(minus-23).

PASSING: GAC, Becker 21-29-0 256 yards. CC, Dunham 20-38-0 271, Team 0-1-0 0.

RECEIVING: GAC, Mena 8-59, Creighton 5-84, Wagner 4-54, Dubose 3-32, Sukalski 1-27. CC, Shepherd 7-93, SaariBovre 4-52, Whiting 3-44, Starke 3-22, K. Johnson 2-41, Weller 1-19.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513.

Peterson’s blogs can be found at www.areavoices.com