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Tom Mix, Published September 08 2012

Concordia cruises to nonconference football win over Buena Vista

MOORHEAD – Concordia’s offense is built to run the football, and that’s exactly what the Cobbers did on Saturday.

Concordia’s triple-option attack was in peak form in a 38-14 win over Buena Vista College (Iowa) in a nonconference collegiate football game at Jake Christiansen Stadium.

The Cobbers (2-0) rushed 68 times for 547 yards, which was second most in a single game in school history. The rushing total was 57 yards shy of the school single-game record set in 1977 in a 97-6 win over Macalester.

One Concordia rushing record did fall on Saturday. Senior fullback Brett Baune totaled 258 yards on 25 carries and one touchdown, breaking Reid Christopherson’s single-game rushing mark of 243 yards set in 1981.

“Our offensive line dominated up front,” said Baune, who is a former Fargo South standout. “They were making holes for everybody. I think anyone could have had the record. It just happened to fall on me.”

Baune averaged 10.3 yards per carry.

But as the Cobbers were gaining yards on the ground in bunches, their sophomore starting quarterback Griffin Neal exited the game with an injury early in the third quarter.

Concordia head coach Terry Horan and team trainer Don Bruenjes did not know the severity of the injury and declined to comment on its nature. Neal was unavailable for comment after the game and finished 7 of 12 passing for 79 yards and a touchdown and also rushed for 93 yards and a touchdown.

Sophomore backup Mitch Tauer stepped in, and the Cobbers opening drive of the second half ended with a 46-yard field goal by junior Benjamin Wagner. It was Wagner’s first collegiate field goal.

Later in the third quarter, Tauer guided Concordia on a six-play, 80-yard scoring drive that ended with him rushing for a 46-yard touchdown.

“I have been saying this all along that the quarterback doesn’t need to carry the football team, because we have good pieces around him,” Horan said. “Mitch Tauer did a great job of coming in cold and directing us to a few scores when it was getting hairy.”

Tauer had no previous varsity snaps prior to Saturday, but said it wasn’t too much of an adjustment.

“It wasn’t too much pressure at all,” Tauer said. “I just had to listen to the linemen and get the ball to Baune and let him go.”

Baune saved his best run of the day for when Concordia needed it most.

Buena Vista (0-2) scored on the first play of the fourth quarter when Bobby Brown tossed a 46-yard strike from Logan Lehrkamp. Brown connected with Gunnar Wyatt for a 2-point pass to cut its deficit to 24-14.

Concordia’s next drive started at its 29 and after picking up a first down on the drive, the Cobbers found themselves facing a fourth-and-1 at the 50-yard line.

After a timeout, Baune busted through the line of scrimmage and rumbled his way to a touchdown.

“The football purists would probably be shooting me there, because they would be thinking that should be a punt,” Horan said. “But with the type of kids we have and the way the running game had been established for us, I just thought they had just scored and we needed to squelch it. We rolled the dice.”

Baune said it all started on the line.

“We got a stubborn group of five guys up front,” Baune said. “They wanted to go for it. Before the snap, big Tom Knowlton came up to me and said, ‘Just get behind me and we’ll get these couple inches.’ Fifty some yards and boom, there it was.”

Buena Vista 0 0 6 8–14

Concordia 7 7 10 14–38

CON–Neal 6 run (Wagner kick)

CON–Whiting 23 pass from Neal (Wagner kick)

BV–Berrett 71 run (kick failed)

CON–Wagner 42 FG

CON–Tauer 46 run (Wagner kick)

BV–Lehrkamp 46 pass from Brown (Wyatt pass from Brown)

CON–Baune 50 run (Wagner kick)

CON–Gotta 2 run (Wagner kick)

TEAM STATISTICS

BV CON

First downs 14 31

Rushes-yards 23-93 68-547

Passing 147 87

Comp-Att-Int 10-27-1 8-15-1

Punts-Avg. 7-42.7 2-46.0

Fumbles-Lost 1-0 0-0

Penalties-Yards 1-4 9-91

Time of Possession 19:31 40:29

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING: BV, Barrett 5-78, Hill 12-30, Brown 3-(-11), Team 3-(-4). CON, Baune 25-258, Neal 12-93, Tauer 7-79, Gotta 10-49, Peterson 5-31, Fraboni 3-17, Gilson 2-14, Southwick 2-6, Gross 1-2, Team 1-(-2).

PASSING: BV, Brown 10-27-1–147. CON, Neal 7-12-1-79, Tauer 1-3-0–8.

RECEIVING: BV, Lehrkamp 5-97, Darrow 3-31, Nissen 1-10, Hill 1-9. CON, Whiting 2-37, Starke 4-32, Gilson 2-18.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Tom Mix at (701) 241-5562