Time of Poss.
MORRIS, Minn. - The Martin Luther College football team opened its season with a thrilling 14-7 win at Minnesota Morris in a non-conference contest Saturday.
The Knights broke a 7-7 tie late in the fourth quarter when Joshua Arndt caught a slant pass from Zachary Bloomquist from 19 yards out with 15 seconds to play in the game. The score capped an eight-play, 71-yard drive that took just 1:22, and also marked the first collegiate touchdown pass for the first-year quarterback.
The defense put the Knights in position to win late, allowing only seven points and 236 total yards in the game. The Cougars had success at times through the air (219 yards), but the MLC defense held them to 17 yards rushing on 25 carries and finished with four quarterback sacks, one interception and one fumble recovery.
The Knights took a 7-0 lead into halftime thanks to a Bloomquist one-yard touchdown run to finish an 18-play, 88-yard drive that chewed 9:33 off the clock. That drive came directly following a fumble recovery by the Knights to thwart a UMM drive that reach the MLC seven-yard line.
The MLC offense struggled to start the third quarter, committing a pair of turnovers and a special teams miscue to give the Cougars good field position, but the defense held the Cougars to just one score as the teams went into the final quarter tied 7-7.
The defense continued to hold the Cougars off the board to start the fourth quarter, making four straight stops in the fourth quarter to give the offense a chance to win it late on Arndt's catch in the final seconds.
Bloomquist led the Knights with 25 carries for 68 yards, and also completed 10 of 21 passes for 104 yards, one touchdown and one interception in his collegiate debut.Elliott Butler added 59 yards on 16 carries, while Joshua Schroeder led the MLC receivers with six catches for 54 yards. Three of Schroeder's six grabs came on the final drive leading up to Arndt's game-winning score.
Kenton Fabian led the defense with seven tackles, including six solo stops, one sack and two tackles for loss. Jacob Schmidt and Daniel Gensmer each recorded six tackles and combined for 2.0 sacks, while Adam Westra finished with four tackles to go with a key interception in the end zone in the third quarter to keep the score tied 7-7.
MLC opened its season 1-0 with the win, while UMM fell to 0-1 on the season.
The Knights will return to action on Saturday, September 9, when they travel to MacMurray for a game scheduled to kick off at 1 p.m.