Cobbers hold on, top Oles 33-29
September 21, 2013
MOORHEAD, Minn. - Concordia College-Moorhead withstood a late St. Olaf rally to hold on to a 33-29 MIAC football victory on Saturday afternoon in the league opener for each school.
The Oles' Nate Penz hit Jake Schmiesing for a 70-yard touchdown strike with four minutes left to get St. Olaf within a score. Concordia made a pair of first downs on its ensuing possession to run out the clock and preserve the win.
Trailing 26-21 earlier in the quarter, St. Olaf drove inside the Cobbers' 5-yard line, but fumbled going into the end zone. The Cobbers recovered the miscue, then went 80 yards in eight plays to take a 33-21 advantage.
Concordia raced to a 13-0 lead. After St. Olaf got within a score with the first of two JJ Strnad touchdown runs. Concordia's Bryce Hentges then took the ensuing kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown to make it 20-7 with 14:43 left in the first half.
Penz was 18-of-28 for 261 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. After throwing a pick on the team's second possession, the sophomore was sharp. He hit Stephen Asp for a 48-yard strike in the fourth quarter before connecting with Schmiesing on the long touchdown pass later in the frame.
The Cobbers' (3-0, 1-0 MIAC) Griffin Neal threw for 180 yards on 17-of-27 passing, while rushing for a game-best 83 yards and a touchdown. Brandon Zylstra had the key run for Concordia, as his 28-yard sprint on a reverse gave the Cobbers the 12-point lead with 6:38 left.
Asp led the Oles with five catches while Schmiesing had two receptions, both for scores.
The win enabled Concordia to keep possession of the Troll Trophy, which has gained attention for being the ugliest college football traveling trophy in America.
St. Olaf plays at Gustavus Adolphus College next Saturday while Concordia plays at Saint John's.