Time of Poss.
NEW ULM, Minn. - The Martin Luther College football team was unable to hold a fourth quarter lead in a 28-21 loss to Westminster in Saturday's season finale at the MLC Bowl.
The Knights fell behind 14-0 early in the second quarter, but came back to tie the game 14-14 at the half thanks to a two-yard Eddie Endicotttouchdown run, followed by a 29-yard scoring strike from Matt Olson to Josh Rathje.
MLC continued to roll to start the third quarter, as Joe Rodewald broke free for a 21-yard touchdown run on the Knights' opening drive of the half to give MLC the 21-14 lead.
The defense held strong the rest of the quarter, but the banged-up MLC offense was unable to move the ball and pad the lead after Endicott and Rodewald were forced to leave the game.
The Blue Jays tied the game on a 27-yard touchdown pass from Joe Plassmeyer to Austin Kempker with 8:24 to play in the fourth, and then took the lead on a 24-yard Plassmeyer touchdown with 1:53 to play.
MLC had one final chance with a two-minute offense, but Olson was intercepted with just over one minute to play to finish the Knights' chances.
Endicott finished with a game-high 109 yards on 18 carries, giving him his fourth game with at least 100 yards rushing this season. Rodewald finished with 49 yards on 16 carries, while Dan Rodewald finished with 17 yards rushing and two catches for 28 yards.
Rathje was the leading MLC receiver on the day with two catches for 45 yards and the one score. Olson was unable to carry the load on the ground for MLC due to injury, but came in for passing situations and finished 3-6 passing for 53 yards with the one touchdown and one interception.
The Knights' defense struggled against the run in the first half, allowing 121 yards on 19 carries, but battled back in the second half to hold the Blue Jays to 52 yards on 15 carries in the second half. MLC also forced three turnovers on the day. Ben Hansen forced a fumble (recovered by Ben Ewings) in the first half, while both Hansen and Nick Kressin recorded key fourth quarter interceptions to give the MLC offense the ball in good field position.
Paul Habermann finished as the leading tackler for MLC with nine on the day, while Ewings added eight tackles, including 1.5 tackles for loss. Colin Paustian had four pass breakups to go with his seven tackles.
MLC finished the season 2-8 overall and 1-8 in the UMAC following the loss. Westminster ended its year 6-4 on the season and 6-3 in league play.