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Eric Peterson, Published November 14 2010

Diaz's field goal lifts Concordia to Troll Trophy football win against St. Olaf

Concordia kept the “Troll” on Saturday at Jake Christiansen Stadium.

Porfirio Diaz hit a 28-yard field goal in overtime to lift the Cobbers to a 24-21 victory against St. Olaf in Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference football.

“It was a huge win for us,” said Cobbers head coach Terry Horan. “It sends our seniors out the right way and it propels us into the offseason the way we wanted to. We saved our best game for last.”

The Cobbers (5-5, 4-4 MIAC) got to keep the Troll Trophy with the victory, beating the Oles for a second consecutive season. A number of Cobbers posed for pictures with the Troll Trophy after the game. Concordia won four of its last five games to rally and finish this season with a .500 record overall and in the MIAC.

“We came a long way this season,” Cobber quarterback Mike Dunham said. “This came together. We’re a good football team now.”

Dunham completed 29 of 43 passes for 253 yards and a touchdown. Those numbers helped Dunham set school single-season records for completions (193), attempts (304) and yards (2,027). Doug Toivonen had the previous record for passing yards in a season with 2,010 in 1988.

“He’s had a fantastic year,” Horan said. “He is as good as we’ve had. I’m proud of him and I’m proud of the people around him.”

For a moment, it looked like St. Olaf – which got the ball second in overtime – earned the victory. Oles senior running back Mac Webb scored a 9-yard touchdown run on a third down-and-5 play in overtime. The Oles started to celebrate after what looked to be the game-winning points.

However, St. Olaf was called for holding.

“I couldn’t believe there was such a wide hole and you look at Guy Rudolph’s shoulder pad, his jersey was pulled off his shoulder pad,” Horan said of his senior linebacker. “We got to live for another play.”

After an incomplete pass, the Oles set up for a 36-yard field goal. St. Olaf sophomore kicker Jason Obarski pulled the potential game-tying kick wide left, setting off a Concordia celebration this time.

“I knew it was wide left right away and I just went nuts,” said Concordia senior safety Zach Debeltz, who had an interception. “It was very emotional. In every way, I couldn’t ask for anything else.”

Dunham connected with senior receiver Zach Weller for an 8-yard completion on a third-and-15 to move the ball to the 11. That play set up Diaz’s 28-yard field goal that proved to be the difference with the Oles not able to score on their ensuing overtime possession.

“That’s a great feeling when you win a game like this in overtime,” Dunham said. “It’s a lot of fun.”

The Cobbers clawed back from a 14-0 halftime deficit. Concordia never led until Diaz drilled the field goal in overtime.

“It was a great effort,” said Horan. “We showed a lot of character in the way we came back. We made plays when we needed to make plays today and we never gave up. … I’m proud of our kids and it was a great win.”

St. Olaf 7 7 0 7 0–21

Concordia 0 6 8 7 3–24

STO–Leslie 9 pass from Dobson (Obarski kick)

STO–Asp 15 pass from Dobson (Obarski kick)

CC–Shepherd 9 pass from Dunham (run failed)

CC–Baune 60 run (Shepherd pass from Dunham)

STO–Jennings 37 pass from Dobson (Obarski kick)

CC–T. Johnson 9 run (Diaz kick)

CC–Diaz 28 FG

TEAM STATISTICS

STO CC

First downs 23 22

Rushes-yards 28-149 32-167

Passing 27-48-1 29-44-0

Punts-Avg. 5-40.6 6-36.7

Fumbles-Lost 1-0 0-0

Penalties-Yards 13-124 7-71

Time of Possession 30:15 29:45

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING: STO, Clark 18-107, Webb 2-30, Jennings 1-7, Dobson 7-5. CC, Baune 10-108, T. Johnson 8-51, SaariBovre 2-7, Dunham 11-3, Jedinak 1-(minus-2).

PASSING: STO, Dobson 27-47-0 336 yards, Leslie 0-1-1 0. CC, Dunham 29-43-0 253, K. Johnson 0-1-0.

RECEIVING: STO, Jennings 8-146, Leslie 8-87, Mueller 6-45, Schmeising 2-9, Nederhoed 1-22, Asp 1-15, Clark 1-12. CC, Shepherd 9-104, Weller 6-52, SaariBovre 6-33, Baune 3-31, Starke 3-16, Whiting 1-10, K. Johnson 1-7.


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

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