Cobbers Reclaim The Troll
MOORHEAD, Minn. (11/13/10)—Concordia finished off the 2010 season in dramatic, record breaking style as they came from behind to beat St. Olaf 24-21 in overtime on Saturday in Moorhead. The Cobbers fell behind 14-0 in the second quarter but then outscored the Oles 21-7 in the final 30:33 and used a Porfirio Diaz field goal in the first overtime to record their fifth win of the year and retain possession of the Troll Trophy.
Concordia quarterback Michael Dunham provided the record-setting aspect of the game as he threw for 253 passing yards and finished the season with a school-record total of 2,027 yards. He broke the 22-year-old record of Doug Toivanen who had 2,010 passing yards in 1988. Dunham also threw for one touchdown pass and was 29-for-43 on the day.
The win gives Concordia a .500 record for the season and helps them finish in a tie for fourth place in the final league standings. The Cobbers end 2010 with a 5-5 overall record and a 4-4 mark in the MIAC. It is the eighth time in the last nine years that Concordia has had a .500 or better record to end the season.
The other two season-high performances were turned in by CC sophomore fullback Brett Baune and junior wide receiver Bronson Shepherd. Baune carried the ball 10 times for a career-high 108 yards and Shepherd caught nine passes for a season-high 104 yards. Baune had a 60-yard touchdown run in the third quarter and Shepherd caught a 9-yard TD strike to get Concordia on the board and cut into the 14-0 lead St. Olaf started the game with.
After conceding the first two scores of the game and falling behind by 14, Shepherd brought CC to within eight at 14-6. Baune then helped tie the game with his long scoring run. The two-point conversion evened the score at 14-14 with 11:54 to play in the third quarter.
The Oles went ahead 21-14 at the start of the fourth quarter and then the Cobbers matched the final-quarter score with a Trent Johnson 9-yard run at 9:24 of the final period. Neither team was able to score in the final five possessions of the game and the contest headed into overtime.
It marked only the second time in program history that the Cobbers had played an overtime contest. Concordia had the ball first in the first extra session and converted on a 4th-and-2 from the 17-yard-line before having to settle for a 28-yard field goal from Diaz.
Concordia caught a break when the Oles took their turn on offense. A pair of plays brought the ball down to the 9-yard line and then St. Olaf running back Mac Webb rambled into the end zone on an apparent game-winning TD. Catching their first break of the season, the Cobbers avoided a season-ending loss when one of the Ole linemen was flagged for a holding call. The penalty pushed the ball back to the 19-yard line and an incomplete pass on the next play brought out the St. Olaf kicking unit for a game-tying field goal.
Concordia head coach Terry Horan called timeout to make the MIAC"s leading kicker Jason Obarski think about the situation and the tactic paid off as Obarski's 38-yard field goal sailed wide left.
The teams were very evenly matched in almost every statistical category. The Oles held a 485-420 advantage in total offensive yards. The two teams were separated by only :30 in time of possession and both squads turned the ball over once during the 60 minutes. The biggest difference of the game was in penalties and penalty yardage. Concordia had seven penalties for 71 yards while St. Olaf brought out 13 flags for 124 penalty yards including the critical holding call at the end of the first overtime.
Olaf running back Leon Clark rushed for 107 yards on 18 carries and quarterback Dan Dobson was 27-for-47 for 336 passing yards and three TD's. Antonio Jennings had eight catches for a game-high 146 yards.
Cobber senior defensive back Zach Debeltz finished off his career with a game-high 12 tackles and finished the season with a team-high 89 tackles. He also had the lone interception of the game to finish with two pick offs for the season and 10 for his career. Luke Hvidston finished with eight tackles and a game-high three pass breakups. Matt Olson and Wes Lynch led the St. Olaf defense with nine tackles each.