Game 6 Preview: #24 Concordia at Hamline

Game 6 Preview: #24 Concordia at Hamline

Last Week:
Concordia turned the ball over seven times, fell behind 28-0 to No.5-ranked Bethel and lost 45-22. The Cobbers were able to cut the lead to 16 points at  38-22 at the start of the fourth quarter but then the final fumble of the game for CC put an end to their comeback hopes.

Despite the seven miscues, Concordia still amassed 366 yards of total offense and came away with 23 first downs. The Cobbers recorded 212 passing yards and 154 rushing yards.  Bethel was able to put up 523 yards of total offense but the biggest advantage in the statistics came from time of possession and third down efficiency. The Royals heled the ball for 33:33 and were 7-of-12 on third down attempts - including a pair of third-and-long conversions in the opening minute of play.

Cobber quarterback Griffin Neal was the biggest dual threat of the day. He ran the ball 23 times for 93 yards and scored one rushing touchdown. He was also 22-for-27 for 212 yards and threw for a pair of TD's. Brandon Zylstra racked up receiving and return yards. He caught nine passes for 82 yards and picked up his sixth touchdown of the season. He has scored at least one TD in all five CC games this season. Zylstra also had 127 return yards. His biggest contribution came on punt returns where he averaged 17.7 yards per return on three returns.  

Concordia vs. Bethel Game Recap

Hamline is coming off a milestone win over St. Olaf last Saturday. The Pipers rallied from a 13-0 first quarter deficit and beat the Oles 31-28 to record their first conference win since 2009. The Pipers trailed 13-0 with only 3:14 gone in the first quarter but then turned the game around with a pair of TD's in the second half of the first quarter. The game was tied 21-21 at the half before Hamline outscored St. Olaf 10-7 in the final two quarters of play.

The Pipers racked up 417 yards of total offense in the game with a balanced rushing and passing attack. Hamline threw for 215 yards and rushed for 202. HU also held almost a 5-minute advantage in time of possession and held the Oles to just 3-of-12 on third down attempts.

Hamline quarterback Tim Bona had 311 yard of total offense. He rushed the ball 11 times for a game-high 96 yards and was 14-for-25 for 215 passing yards and a pair of TD's. He connected on an 83-yard scoring strike with Naji El-Araby that put Hamline up 14-13 at the end of the first quarterback. Piper sophomore running back Austin Duncan scored two rushing touchdowns. He ran the ball 33 times and had 95 total rushing yards.  

Hamline vs. St. Olaf Game Recap

Pick 6 - 6 Items To Help You Take It To The House:

Welcome to Bounce Back Saturday! Concordia is hoping to bounce back after their loss at home against Bethel and get back on the winning track. The Cobbers were in the same position last season when they lost to Bethel. CC was then able to come up with a 63-14 win over the Pipers in the very next week. Concordia did not lost back-to-back games last year and went on to finish in a tie for second place in the conference standings. That record holds true for any year that CC has placed in the top 3 of the conference in the past 20 years - they have not lost back-to-back conference games. 

2. Concordia is 2-0 on the road this season which continues the "success on the road" trend. Last year the Cobbers were 4-1 away from "The Jake". CC is now 10-2 in the past two-plus years on the road.   

3. The Marquee Match-Up - Saturday's game could come down to the Cobber defensive line and front 7 vs. the Hamline running attack. The Pipers are second in the MIAC in rushing yards per game (218.6) and first in total rushing attempts (249). HU has been held under 200 rushing yards twice this season and both games reulted in a Piper loss. The rushing attack has also helped Hamline average 32:57 in time of possession which is second in the conference. In addition, the Pipers have the league's top running back in Austin Duncan. Duncan leads the MIAC in overall rushes, total rushing yards (748) and rushing yards per game (149.6).    

4. The Concordia football program continues to sit on the brink of a very historic milestone. The Cobbers need only two more wins to become only the fourth school in Minnesota college history in either NCAA Division I, II or III to win 500 career games. The only other colleges to have achieved this milestone are the University of Minnesota (656), St. John's (589) and St. Thomas (566). Concordia is in its 96th season of football and the Cobbers have a 498-286-38 all-time record. Some other milestones along the way to 500 – The first-ever win came against Jamestown in 1921. The 100th win came against St. Mary's in 1953 and the halfway point to 500, 250, came in the 1976 season against Gustavus.                  

5. Concordia is not in the top 4 in the MIAC in either rushing or passing yardage but enters Saturday's game leading the MIAC in total offense. The Cobbers have racked up 1,988 yards in the first five games of the season. They have recorded at least 300 yards of total offense in all five games this year and have over 350 yards in four of the five games.        

6. We finish off the "Pick 6" with our weekly homage to kicker Ben Wagner. Wagner continues to be perfect in extra point attempts in his career. Since taking over the kicking duties last season, he has connected on 59 straight PAT's. That is now over one-third of the way to the DIII record of 142.

Last Year:
Last year Concordia scored a pair of touchdowns in the first quarter, put up the first 42 point on the board and cruised to a 63-14 win over the Pipers in Moorhead. The Cobbers scored touchdowns on seven straight possessions starting in the middle of the first quarter as they went on to win by 49 points.

Cobber fullback Brett Baune had 92 rushing yards on 11 carries and scored twice. Quarterback Griffin Neal came away with three passing TD's on the day. All his scoring strikes came in the second quarter. He opened the trio with a 38-yard scoring pass to Mark Whiting on a look-away fade in the second quarter then hit Brett Harmelink on a 43-yard go route up the middle and finally found senior Mike Starke in the back of the end zone on an 8-yard strike.

Neal finished the day 4-for-8 for 110 yards and did not have an interception on the day.

Ben Wolf, Seth Lage, Mitch Tauer and Alex McLean accounted for the other Cobber scores. Wolf, Tauer and McLean had rushing touchdowns and Lage had an 84-yard kickoff return. The kickoff return TD was only the second for a Cobber player since 2007.     

The Cobber defense limited Hamline to only 156 total offensive yards. Concordia also held the Pipers to only 14.3% (2-for-14) on third-down situations, came away with four sacks and forced three fumbles.

Cobbers vs. Pipers Series History:
Cobbers lead 55-13-0

Series Synopsis: Concordia has won the last 21 meetings between the two teams. The last time the Pipers prevailed was in 1991 when they won 30-20 in St. Paul....the Cobbers have only played at Hamline six times since the 2000 season and are 6-0 in those games. The closest game during that streak came in 2008 when CC prevailed 18-17. In that game, Concordia needed a 27-yard field goal with 12-seconds to play to earn the win. The strangest game for CC on the road at Hamline came in 2005 when Concordia turned the ball over eight times but still won 24-7......the most points ever scored by a team in a single game is 64. That occurred in Concordia's 64-14 win in 1955...Cobber head coach Terry Horan is 12-0 vs. Hamline.

Last 10 Meetings
Year Score
2003 Hamline 14 at Concordia 57
2004 Hamline 0 at Concordia 42
2005 Concordia 24 at Hamline 7
2006 Concordia 21 at Hamline 3
2007 Hamline 14 at Concordia 34
2008 Concordia 18 at Hamline 17
2009 Hamline 21 at Concordia 41
2010 Hamline 3 at Concordia 30
2011 Concordia 35 at Hamline 15
2012 Hamline 14 at Concordia 63