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Madalyn Laske, Published November 16 2013

Cobbers defeat Gustavus in season finale

MOORHEAD – Concordia added to its record books on Saturday when the Cobbers defeated Gustavus 38-31 in Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference football.

The victory marked the third time in its 96-year history that the Cobbers clinched back-to-back eight-win seasons.

It was the second time Concordia (8-2, 6-2 MIAC) accomplished the feat with head coach Terry Horan.

“You know, it’s pretty amazing that only three times in program history there has been eight-plus win back-to-back seasons,” said Horan, who is in his 13th year as head coach.

The last time was 2004 and 2005 when the Cobbers tallied 11 and 10 wins, respectively.

“For two of them to be in my 13 years, that says a lot about the kids that we have and the coaches that we have,” Horan said.

The game was a back-and-forth battle between two evenly matched teams coming down to the fourth quarter.

“That fourth was dominant. It won the game for us,” Horan said. “The fourth quarter is a pride quarter, and pride was our theme today.”

Leading 38-31 in the final seconds, the Cobbers gave the Gusties one last chance. Cobbers quarterback Griffin Neal, with his team lined up in victory formation on fourth-and-10, tripped and fell early before going down on one knee while trying to run out the clock.

That gave the Gusties (6-4, 4-4) the ball back with 1 second left at the Cobbers’ 14-yard line.

“It came down to who was going to have the ball last, and we gave them a shot at it,” Horan said.

As the clock hit zero, Cobbers defensive lineman Nate Adams sealed the win with a sack and a victory dance as fans at Jake Christiansen Stadium could finally celebrate.

Adams, a junior, finished the game with a career-high 15 tackles.

In the final minute of the third quarter, the Cobbers tied the game 31-31. Concordia senior running back Matt Peterson caught a 64-yard pass from Neal. That set up a Neal 1-yard touchdown run.

“Brandon (Zylstra) and I were out on the left, and we didn’t even know what route combination we were going to run,” Peterson said. “I looked at him and I said a number for route combo, and I got past the linebacker and Griff threw it.”

Peterson finished his final home game with 107 yards receiving.

Concordia took the lead for good in the fourth quarter when Neal zipped a 36-yard pass in the middle of the Gustavus defensive backfield, finding wide-receiver Jon Baune between three Gusties players.

“The great catch on the third-and-long play from Griffin to Baune was amazing,” Horan said. “I don’t know how it got through there.”

Neal, a Fargo native went 13-for-19 with 305 yards passing.

“A game like this against a really good Gustavus team is a perfect way to end it. It’s fun to win,” Peterson said. “It’s going to be tough (to end the season) either way. But at least I can have tears and I can smile, and I can say we went out on top.”

GA 7 17 7 0–31

C 14 10 7 7–38

C–Peterson 2 run (Wagner kick)

G–Dubose 2 run (Schleusener kick)

C–Neal 15 run (Wagner kick)

G–Schleusener 36 field goal

G–Buchner 25 pass from Hendricks (Schleusener kick)

C–Gauldin 2 run (Wagner)

G–Dubose 2 run (Schleusener kick)

C–Wagner 27 field goal

G–Dubose 2 run (Schleusener kick)

C–Neal 1 run (Wagner kick)

C–Baune 36 pass from Neal (Wagner kick)

TEAM STATISTICS G C 27 13

First downs 27 13

Rushes-yards 15-217 4-60

Passing 11-258 9-305

Comp-Att-Int 19-30-1 13-19-1

Punts-Avg. 3-33 4-38

Fumbles-Lost 1-0 1-0

Penalties-Yards 9-95 6-49

Time of possession 39:08 20:52

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING: G, Dubose 35-198, Hendricks 12-19. C, Neal 11-22, Zylstra 1-21, Fraboni 4-18, Southwick 1-10, Peterson 2-3, Gotta 2-1, Gauldin 2-0, McLean 4- (-7), Tobkin 1-8.

PASSING: G, Hendricks 19-30-1 258. C, Neal 13-19-1 305.

RECEIVING: G, Boyce 7-113, Butler 6-54, Buchner 2-47, Dubose 3-31, Douglas 1-13. C, Zylstra 4-134, Peterson 5-107, Baune 1-36, Whiting 2-17, Shields Jr. 1-11.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Madalyn Laske at (701) 241-5549