/seasons/2018/contrib/20181110lf62su

Knights Secure Unbeaten UMAC Season With 47-18 Win

More news about: Martin Luther

NEW ULM, Minn. - The Martin Luther College football team closed the conference season undefeated and pushed its overall winning streak to nine games following a 47-18 win over Crown College in Saturday's regular season finale. 

The Storm jumped on the board first thanks to an MLC defensive miscue that allowed the Storm to score on a 57-yard pass on the third play of the game, but the Knights dominated from that point, scoring 47 unanswered points until the Storm was able to score twice in the final five minutes of the fourth quarter.

The MLC offense scored on six of its first seven possessions, with the only non-scoring drive ending on downs inside the Storm 10-yard line late in the second quarter.

Austin DeNoyer scored two first-quarter touchdowns, and then added a third early in the third quarter on the way to 125 yards on 18 carries. That total pushed him to 1,021 rushing yards for the season, making him the third MLC player to rush for at least 1,000 yards in a single season.

Joshuah Kren also had a big day in the MLC backfield with 81 yards and one touchdown on 14 carries. In total, MLC ran for 307 yards on 54 attempts in the cold, snowy conditions in the MLC Bowl.

The elements made the passing game difficult, but quarterback Zach Bloomquist completed three of his five passes for 92 yards and two scores. Matthew Stein caught his first career touchdown pass from 27 yards out in the second quarter, while Harrison Hochmuth caught a 55-yard score on the first play in the second half. 

Following the slow start on defense, the Knights forced six turnovers on the Storm's next eight possessions. Tristan Pankow recovered a fumble and intercepted a pass in the first quarter, while CJ Fury and Jared Witkowiak also added interceptions. 

Noah Nordlie forced the sixth and final Storm turnover of the game, and also accounted for the final MLC score, when he intercepted a pass at the MLC goal line and broke several tackles on the qay to a 100-yard interception return for a touchdown in the third quarter to push the MLC lead to 47-6.

Pankow led the defense with nine tackles. Abel Bain recorded one sack, two tackles for loss and forced one fumble.

With the win, MLC improved to 9-1 overall and 8-0 in UMAC play, while also securing the conference championship all to itself. Crown fell to 0-10 overall and 0-8 in league play.

The Knights will find out their opponent in the first round of the NCAA Division III Football Championship tomorrow (Sunday, November 11) at 4:30 p.m. 

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Johns Hopkins 17, at Randolph-Macon 12
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at Muhlenberg 45, TCNJ 26
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at Susquehanna 42, Lycoming 26
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at St. Thomas 69, Trinity International 3
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at UW-Whitewater 42, Dubuque 7
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Washington U. 43, at Chicago 7
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