Penz throws for four TDs as Oles defeat Northwestern 37-18
September 7, 2013
NORTHFIELD, Minn. - Nate Penz threw for 256 yards and four touchdowns as St. Olaf defeated the University of Northwestern 37-18 in a non-conference football game on Saturday at Manitou Field.
Penz connected with Jake Schmiesing for three of the scoring connections. Schmiesing had seven catches for 141 yards and three touchdowns. His final touchdown all but sealed the win for the Oles, extending the St. Olaf lead to 28-18 midway through the fourth quarter.
The game was a winning debut for first year head coach Craig Stern, who spent the previous nine seasons as an assistant in the program. Stern is the 13th head coach in St. Olaf history. Coaches making their debut on the Ole sidelines are now 9-4.
Northwestern (0-1) trailed 21-6 at the break, but rallied back with a pair of second half passing touchdowns by Jacob Fletcher to get within 21-18 with 10:18 to play. Fletcher passed for 205 yards and two touchdowns.
St. Olaf raced to 14-0 lead on a pair of Schmiesing touchdown catches, one from 28 yards and the second a 66-yard bomb from Penz.
Northwestern then scored on a 9-yard strike from Fletcher to Daniel Schultz with 10:18 left in the second quarter, after blocking a punt inside the St. Olaf 15-yard line.
Kelvey Coney's 47-yard touchdown run with 7:11 left in the half gave the Oles a 21-6 lead at the break.
The St. Olaf offense stalled in the third quarter, allowing Northwestern to get within three. The Oles had no first downs and -15 yards of offense in the quarter. Meanwhile, Northwestern ran off a pair of scores and 120 yards to get back in the game.
With a three-point lead, Penz marched the offense 65 yards in five plays, capped by Schmiesing's third touchdown to make it 28-18. He then added a scoring throw to Stephen Asp on the team's next drive.
The Eagles' kicking game struggled all day, missing all three extra point attempts before snapping a ball through the end zone for a safety in the final minutes.
St. Olaf extended its streak of non-conference wins to 20 with the victory. The Oles will travel to Decorah, Iowa for a game with Luther College on Saturday at 1 p.m.