DE PERE, Wis. - St. Norbert College needed a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns to lock down its first win of the season, gaining a 31-20 win over Knox College in the Green Knights' 2012 home opener at Schneider Stadium.
The Green Knights (1-1, 1-0 MWC) won their 14th consecutive game in the series with Knox, while the Prairie Fire (0-2, 0-1) dropped their 16th consecutive game overall.
St. Norbert held a 17-14 lead going into the fourth quarter before pulling away. Knox had the ball at its own 46-yard line before a Justin Johnson return on an interception of a Drew Diaz pass gave the Green Knights the ball at the Prairie Fire 42. James Tringali hooked up with Austin Williams on a 37-yard pass for a first-and-goal situation at the Knox 5. Two rushing plays netted a loss of one yard before Tringali hit Joe Green along the back of the end zone for a 6-yard touchdown pass with 8:57 remaining.
Knox had a 14-play drive advance as far as the St. Norbert 15 but lost the ball on downs with 3:51 to go. The Green Knights needed just five plays to go 72 yards and take a 31-14 lead on a 17-yard run by Brad Boockmeier with 1:46 left.
Knox took the opening kickoff and marched 73 yards in nine plays, taking an early 7-0 lead on a 10-yard touchdown from Diaz to Neal Moon.
St. Norbert scored on the first play from scrimmage in the second quarter on a 10-yard strike from Tringali to Michael Heim. The Green Knights forced a three-and-out from Knox and scored again, this time on a 7-yard touchdown from Tringali to Green. An interception by Knox late in the first half set up a 34-yard field goal by Randy Hill to give the Green Knights a 17-7 lead at halftime.
Knox's Mike Hendrick intercepted a Tringali pass and returned it to the St. Norbert 20, setting up a 17-yard touchdown pass from Diaz to Dustin Armstrong with 4:31 left in the third quarter to cut the deficit to 17-14. But the Prairie Fire wouldn't score again until 28 seconds remained on a 13-yard touchdown run by Cort Scheel.
St. Norbert outgained Knox in total offense 397-314. Tringali compled 20 of 33 passes for 258 yards with three touchdowns and four interceptions. Austin Williams rushed 24 times for 101 yards, while Green caught six passes for 65 yards and two touchdowns.
Derek Mortensen led Knox on the ground with 69 yards on 20 carries. Diaz completed 11 of 22 passes for 119 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions. Luke Oosterbaan came off the bench to completed 8 of 14 passes for 92 yards. Armstrong caught seven passes for 77 yards and one touchdown. Hendrick led all defensive plays with 15 tackles.