NEW ULM, Minn. - The MLC football team had a big day offensively, but were unable to get enough stops late in the game in a 44-40 loss to UM-Morris in the Knights' conference opener.
Joe Lindloff started for the first time at quarterback, and scored a school record five rushing touchdowns, and also added a passing score in the game. For the game, Lindloff rushed for 155 yards on 29 carries and five touchdowns, and also threw for 95 yards and a score on 5-10 passing.
The Knights jumped out to an early lead on a Micah Plocher touchdown catch from 24 yards out on the team's first possession, and held a 21-13 lead before a late turnover in the second quarter allowed the Cougars to cut the deficit to two points at 21-19 heading into the half.
The second half was an offensive explosion for both teams. After an MLC punt on the first possession of the half, the two teams combined to score on seven consecutive possessions, all of which ended in touchdowns.
With the Knights trailing 38-34, Lindloff capped an eight play, 59-yard drive with a 13-yard run to give MLC a two-point lead at 40-38 with 4:27 to play.
The Cougars answered right back, however, taking only four plays to go 55 yards in just over a minute to take the lead back on a touchdown pass from Daniel Garrigan to Danny Kernan.
MLC had just over three minutes left to mount one last drive, but it ended with an interception (Lindloff's second on the day) in Cougar territory.
Lindloff wasn't the only offensive player to have a big day, as UMM wide receiver Brendan Foss finished with four catches for 157 yards and four touchdowns.
MLC outgained UMM 430-422 for the game, but the two teams went about their business differently. The Cougars accounted for 314 yards through the air, averaging 26.2 yards per completion. The Knights had 355 of its yards on the ground, averaging 4.9 yards per carry on 68 rushing attempts.
Mark Voss had a big day for the Knights out of the backfield, rushing for 62 yards on ten carries and adding 64 yards receiving on two receptions.
Defensively, the Knights were led by 11 tackles for Benjamin Olson. Chuqee Fletcher had eight tackles, including half a sack.
With the loss, MLC dropped to 0-2 on the season and 0-1 in conference play, while UMM improved to 2-0 overall and 2-0 in the UMAC.
MLC will hit the road next week for a match-up against Westminster that is scheduled to start at 1 p.m.