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Jon Nowacki / Forum Communications Co., Published October 06 2012

Bulldogs roll to win over MSUM

DULUTH, Minn. – After a heartbreaking 51-49 loss at St. Cloud State, Minnesota-Duluth football fans may have expected the 10th-ranked Bulldogs to stomp on winless Minnesota State Moorhead on Saturday night at Malosky Stadium.

That didn’t exactly happen, but the end result was still the No. 1 thing the Bulldogs wanted: a UMD victory.

Senior quarterback Chase Vogler was 15-for-24 passing for 213 yards and a touchdown, and UMD got a strong performance by its defense in the second half en route to a 45-14 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference victory before 2,519 spectators at Malosky Stadium.

UMD increased its NSIC home winning streak to 37 games. It was the Bulldogs’ 11th straight win over the Dragons in a rivalry that used to be tops in the league.

“I thought we played great second-half defense,” UMD coach Bob Nielson said. “Give Moorhead credit for making a couple big plays to set up touchdowns in the first half, but our defense showed in the second half that they’re a very resilient group. Offensively we didn’t do a very good job in the third quarter. We put ourselves in some third and longs, and that’s not our forte. That push pressure on our defense, so I’m pleased with how they responded.”

UMD (5-1) set the tone early by stopping the Dragons on their opening drive and then stringing a 75-yard drive together, capped by Vogler’s 28-yard touchdown strike down the right seam to Zach Zweifel.

The Bulldogs quickly stopped another Moorhead drive, and less than two minutes later, UMD went up 14-0 after freshman Logan Lauters went untouched off left tackle for a 36-yard touchdown run.

The rout appeared on, but the Dragons (0-6) matched touchdowns with the Bulldogs in the second quarter to make it 28-14 at the break.

“I thought Moorhead played really hard,” Nielson said. “I noticed that last week in their game against Northern. They did some things that were a little different that made it hard on us.”

The second half was all UMD as the Dragons got only 90 of their 295 yards after the break. That was a vast improvement over the 637 the Bulldogs surrendered last week.

Junior linebacker Colby Ring led the Bulldogs with 11 tackles.

“We’re still looking for that complete game, but the second half was certainly stronger for us than the first,” Ring said. “We watched tape of that game last week, and it was more frustrating than painful to watch that game. We’ve got the guys to do the job. We just need to focus on our cues and assignments, and if we do that, we’ll be fine. It’s just a lot of mental things we need to get better at.”

Vogler was pulled midway through the fourth quarter after the Bulldogs had the win secure.

With leading rusher Austin Sikorski out with a minor shoulder injury, Brian Lucas rushed 11 times for 70 yards and a touchdown to lead the Bulldogs.

Quarterback Jake Hodge was 13-for-26 passing for 177 yards and a touchdown to lead Moorhead.

“I think we took a step forward,” Dragons coach Steve Laqua said. “We kept playing hard, and that’s big for our guys. The big thing for us is that we have to execute better. We had some routine plays that got away from us, but give Duluth credit. We were playing a pretty good team out there. They’ve got guys who can make a routine play a big play in a hurry.”

MD 14 14 7 10-45

MSUM 0 14 0 0-14

UMD–Zweifel 28 pass from Vogler (Brees kick)

UMD–Lauters 36 run (Brees dick)

MSUM–Jiskra 59 pass from Hodge (Kramer kick)

UMD–Lucas 4 run (Brees kick)

MSUM–Schell 20 run (Kramer kick)

UMD–Johnson 3 run (Brees kick)

UMD–Thomas 18 run (Brees kick)

UMD–Brees 36 field goal

UMD–Ierulli 4 run (Brees kick)

TEAM STATISTICS

MSUM UMD

First downs 16 26

Rushes-yards 29-104 47-169

Passing 191 252

Comp-Att-Int 14-27-0 17-26-1

Punts-Avg. 7-28.1 3-31.3

Fumbles-Lost 3-1 4-0

Penalties-Yards 9-66 4-30

Time of Possession 25:37 34:23

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING: MD, Lauters 10-46, Ierulli 5-11, Vogler 8-23, Johnson 1-3, Thomas 9-43, Lucas 11-70, Roth 2-1. MSUM, Hodge 9-11, Nelson 1-2, Medhaug 3-3, Schell 12-69, Lange 4-19.

PASSING: MD, Lynch 2-2-0, Vogler 15-24-1. MSUM, Toelle 1-1-0, Hodge 13-26-0.

RECEIVING: MD, Selvick 1-4, Lauters 1-2, Fowlkes 5-81, Olson 3-28, Stinogel 4-58, Roth 1-35, Zweifel 2-44. MSUM, Ogbonnaya 1-14, Jiskra 3-79, Medhaug 1-14, Rivard 7-60, Marlowe 1-5, Youngblom 1-19.

Nowacki writes for the Duluth News Tribune