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Eric Peterson, Published October 10 2010

College football: Cobbers ‘D’ shines

Concordia’s defense was not only preventing touchdowns Saturday afternoon, the unit also scored one.

Luke Hvidston returned an interception 31 yards for a touchdown to spark the Cobbers to a 26-14 victory against Carleton in Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference football at Jake Christiansen Stadium.

“It’s a big win,” Hvidston said. “We’ve kind of been down on ourselves. We haven’t been playing that well and we needed this up to get us going.”

The Cobbers (2-4, 1-3 MIAC) snapped a three-game losing streak, winning their first conference game this season.

“It just feels so good,” said Cobbers coach Terry Horan. “Our kids, they’re battlers. They could easily throw in the towel, but they kept fighting.”

Concordia had allowed 44.7 points per game in its first three conference games. It gave up just one touchdown against Carleton, which had 12 points late in the game until the Cobbers took a safety with 19 seconds to play in the fourth quarter.

The Knights finished with 388 yards and 26 first downs, but the Cobbers stiffened when Carleton got near the goal line. Concordia finished with 5½ sacks, including two from senior defensive end Aaron Schindler.

“We weren’t doing everything perfect, but we were going to stick with it,” said Hvidston. “We decided this was the game we were going to play a full game and not get down on ourselves even when there was adversity.”

Hvidston gave the Cobbers a 20-3 lead with 1 minute, 17 seconds to play in the second quarter. The senior stepped in front of a Carleton receiver screen pass in the left flat, secured the ball and raced 31 yards into the end zone.

“Hvidston had a break-the-game-open type of play,” said Horan.

“We needed some big plays and when you have fun it just happens,” Hvidston added.

The Cobbers also ran the ball with success, rushing for 225 yards on 44 attempts, an average of 5.1 yards per carry. Concordia had three different players rush for at least 50 yards and had a fourth gain 43 yards on the ground.

“It just makes everything a lot easier in the overall scheme of things,” Cobbers senior running back Ben SaariBovre said of the ground game. “It’s just fun to win.”

SaariBovre finished with 52 yards on 11 attempts, good for 4.7 yards per carry. He had a 9-yard touchdown run that staked the Cobbers to a 13-3 lead with 1:54 remaining in the second quarter. That TD run was part of a 20-point Concordia second quarter.

“I think really kind of sunk in where the seniors said ‘We only have a few games left,’ ” Hvidston said. “We don’t want to be remembered as a team that wins zero conference games.”

Saturday was the first game in the final half of the season for Concordia, and also a fresh start in SaariBovre’s mind.

“Hopefully, we can play out the season like we did today and get some more ‘Ws.’ ” said SaariBovre.

Carleton 0 6 0 8–14

Concordia 0 20 0 6–26

Concordia–Baune 2 run (kick blocked)

Carleton–Miller 32 FG

Concordia–SaariBovre 9 run (Diaz kick)

Concordia–Hvidston 31 interception return (Diaz kick)

Carleton–Miller 18 FG

Carleton–Lien 2 run (kick failed)

Concordia–T. Johnson 10 run (kick failed)

Carleton–Safety, Dunham runs out of end zone

TEAM STATISTICS

Carl Con

First downs 26 19

Rushes-yards 40-216 44-225

Passing 172 69

Comp-Att-Int 16-34-1 7-14-0

Punts-Avg. 3-39.0 3-32.0

Fumbles-Lost 1-0 1-1

Penalties-Yards 9-71 5-22

Time of Possession 30:49 29:11

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING: Carl, Lien 14-82, Lynch 16-77, Schmid 6-30, Dale 2-23, Fabry 2-4. Con, Baune 11-57, SaariBovre 11-52, Dunham 8-50, T. Johnson 6-43, K. Johnson 2-11, Jedinak 3-10, Brandenburg 1-2, N. Johnson 2-0.

PASSING: Carl, Schmid 8-22-1 91 yards, Lynch 8-12-0 81. Con, Dunham 7-14-0 69.

RECEIVING: Carl, Murphy 8-80, Frett 3-57, Lien 3-18, Gottschalk 1-11, Dale 1-6. Con, Shepherd 3-31, Starke 2-19, SaariBovre 1-11, K. Johnson 1-9.


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Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513.

Peterson’s blogs can be found

at www.areavoices.com