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Hayden Goethe, Published September 28 2013

Blocked field goal in final seconds stymies MSUM's comeback attempt

MOORHEAD – Minnesota State Moorhead coach Steve Laqua admitted he needed a moment to catch his breath after the completion of Saturday’s game.

The Dragons nearly rallied from a 15-point deficit with just over five minutes to go.

But they came up a kick short, as MSUM lost 36-34 to Concordia-St. Paul in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference football in front of 1,975 fans at Alex Nemzek Stadium for homecoming.

The final 1 minute, 16 seconds of play saw the Dragons miss a game-tying

2-point conversion only to get the ball back on an onside kick. And after the Dragons drove 46 yards, MSUM kicker Wes Kramer had his potential winning 23-yard field-goal attempt blocked with 12 seconds left, allowing the Golden Bears to escape with the victory.

“I was happy with how our kids battled, to be down 15 in the fourth quarter,” Laqua said. “And to be able to come back and to have a chance to make a field goal to win it.”

MSUM quarterback Jake Hodge’s 1-yard touchdown trimmed what was a 36-21 deficit to just eight points with 5:03 left. The drive ate up just 2:12 on the clock.

The two teams each traded a possession before MSUM (0-4, 0-4 NSIC) got the ball back after stopping the Golden Bears on a fourth-and-inches attempt. And two plays later, Adam Jiskra hauled in a 26-yard touchdown pass from Hodge in the center of the end zone, cutting Concordia’s lead to 36-34 with 1:16 left. But Jiskra couldn’t haul in Hodge’s pass on the 2-point conversion.

The Dragons attempted the onside kick, and Jiskra leaped into the air to grab the football, which bounced high off the field, to give MSUM possession at its own 48-yard line.

Hodge completed a pair of passes and had a 9-yard run on the drive. And a Golden Bears’ defensive holding penalty gave the Dragons six more yards with 12 seconds left, setting the ball at the CSP 6-yard line.

Kramer attempted the

23-yard field goal. But a Concordia defender got a hand on it to deflect it, deflating the crowd as an elated group of Golden Bears players celebrated in the end zone.

“We thought about running another play,” Laqua said. “There were no timeouts. … I felt like if we got sacked or some sort of penalty or some crazy thing where we didn’t get a field goal, I would have kicked myself.”

“(The Golden Bears) are a great team,” said Jiskra, who finished with a game-high 180 yards receiving. “They made plays and stopped us.”

Tre Spears led the Golden Bears (3-1, 3-1) ground game, which finished with 235 yards rushing. Spears had 150 yards and two touchdowns.

“He’s just a workhorse,” said Concordia head coach Ryan Williams, who is a former North Dakota State quarterback. “He’s the identity of our offense right now.”

MSUM sophomore Preston Prince, who was the team’s leading receiver entering the game, had to be helped off the field in the fourth quarter with what Laqua said was a lower leg injury. He was seen after the game on crutches.

“He’s going to get evaluated, have X-rays,” Laqua said. “We’re hoping there’s no breaks.”

CSP 0 15 14 7–36

MSUM 7 0 7 20–34

MSUM–Schell 9 run (Kramer kick)

CSP–Smith 62 punt return (Peterson run)

CSP–Spears 19 run (Obarski kick)

CSP–Spears 3 run (Obarski kick)

MSUM–Grande 20 pass from Hodge (Kramer kick)

CSP–Zollicoffer 2 run (Obarski kick)

MSUM–Hodge 3 run (Kramer kick)

CSP–Buhmann 54 pass from Russo (Obarski kick)

MSUM–Hodge 1 run (Kramer kick)

MSUM–Jiskra 26 pass from Hodge (pass failed)


First downs 15 28

Rushes-yards 54-235 44-164

Passing 134 285

Comp-Att-Int 8-12-1 21-38-0

Punts-Avg. 4-36.5 5-35.4

Fumbles-Lost 2-1 3-3

Penalties-Yards 12-96 3-30

Time of possession 34:34 25:26


RUSHING: CSP, Spears 29-150, Zollicoffer 17-68, Peterson 5-15, Russo 2-3. MSUM, Hodge 19-107, Schell 15-59, Prince 7-19, Stone 2-3, Schwichtenberg 1-(minus-24).

PASSING: CSP, Russo 8-12-1 134 yards. MSUM, Hodge 21-38-0 285.

RECEIVING: CSP, Clemon 5-52, Washington 2-28, Buhmann 1-54. MSUM, Jiskra 9-180, Prince 6-44, Ambrose 2-23, Grande 1-20, Hollenkamp 1-13, Jacobson 1-5, Schell 1-0.

Readers can reach Forum Assistant Sports Editor

Hayden Goethe at (701) 241-5558