MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (10/22/16) --- Concordia used the same formula for the second straight week and they came away with the same result.
Four interceptions = win.
Concordia's aggressive "Black Shirt" defense forced four Augsburg interceptions and the Cobbers rolled to a 43-13 win over the Auggies.
CC has now won two straight and five of the last six and improves to 5-2 overall and 4-1 in conference play. The win keeps pace with St. John's as they both have one loss in MIAC games. Augsburg drops to 2-6 overall and 2-4 in league play.
Concordia's defense was the motor that drove the offense in the first quarter. Auggie quarterback Quentin Lake threw a pair of interceptions in the first quarter that proved costly.
On the opening Auggie drive Lake was drilled by a Cobber defender and threw a ball right into the hands of Landon Moline. The Buffalo, Minn. native returned his second interception of the season 43 yards to the house to make it 6-0 Concordia.
Four plays from scrimmage later another Cobber INT led to points on the board. This time it was senior captain Hank Van Liew who stepped in front of the pass. He returned it 17 yards to the Augsburg 32-yard line and the Cobber offense was back in business.
Chad Johnson took the first handoff of the drive 21 yards down to the 11-yard line. He got the nod again two plays later and powered his way five yards off the left side to give CC the early 12-0 lead halfway through the first quarter.
The Cobber Black Shirts forced a three-and-out on the next Auggie possession and the offense started with good field position thanks to a 17-yard return from Dylan Hoerchler.
The drive started from the Augsburg 28-yard line and Concordia drove their way down to the six-yard line but a 15-yard personal foul penalty moved CC backwards. The drive stalled and Eddie Clifton came on for the 36-yard field goal attempt – which he drilled right down the middle.
The first Cobber field goal of the season made it 15-0 near the end of the opening quarter.
Augsburg continued the theme of scoring with the offense standing on the sidelines.
On the first play of the second quarter Clifton was pinned deep in Cobber territory. Augsburg penetrated off the right side and Deontae Heuer blocked the punt which was picked up by Jake Born for the eight-yard touchdown to make it 15-6.
It seemed the momentum was shifting as Augsburg was driving on the following possession. The Auggies found the end zone on a counter play but a holding penalty negated the touchdown and they would eventually turn the ball over on downs.
Concordia took advantage of the missed opportunity and moved the ball quickly. Johnson rattled off a 30-yard run to move CC inside Augsburg territory and Michael Herzog found a wide-open Hoerchler for his second touchdown in as many weeks to push the Concordia lead to 22-6.
The Cobbers got one more chance to score in the half's waning minutes thanks to the defense's third interception of the half by Dallas Raftevold.
Herzog worked quickly in the two-minute drill. With all three timeouts, he guided Concordia into the Auggie red zone by completing back-to-back passes and using his legs to pick up 14-yards on a slip up the middle.
With 5-seconds left in the half the Detroit Lakes product dove to the left pylon on a keeper to the outside to extend the Cobber lead to 29-6 at the half.
Both teams went three-and-out on their opening possessions of the second half but Concordia continued to take advantage of big defensive plays.
Will Berning came up with Concordia's fourth interception of the afternoon and he returned it 44 yards to the Augsburg 33-yard line.
The Cobbers scored on their next possession as well. A roughing the kicker penalty kept the drive alive and Jason Montonye finished an eight-play, 82-yard drive by going 34 yards untouched to extend the lead to 43-6.
Concordia's defense surrendered Augsburg's only offensive touchdown with just over two minutes remaining as they rolled to the 30-point win.
Andrew Thompson led Concordia with a career-high eight tackles. He had 1.5 sacks and two tackles for loss that totaled 15 negative yards. Noah Taylor, Alex Berg and Van Liew each chipped in with six tackles and all had at least one tackle for loss.
STRANGE STAT STUFF - CC outgained Augsburg 364-207 but only had one more first down (18-17). Concordia racked up 293 yards on the ground and 71 through the air. Though they outscored the Auggies by 30 points, Augsburg dominated the time of possession as they had the ball for 34:22 of the game compared to Concordia's 25:38.
OPPORTUNISTIC FOOTBALL – Once you look at the plus-minus in the turnover column of the box score the time of possession statistic makes sense. CC won the turnover battle 4-1 and the points off of turnovers battle on Saturday in a landslide. CC scored four touchdowns off of turnovers as all four interceptions lead to scores and a turnover on downs also resulted in a scoring drive for Concordia.
UNCHARACTERISTIC MISTAKES – Concordia entered Saturday's game as the lowest penalized team in the MIAC (29 penalties, 4.8 per game). However, they drew eight flags for 79 penalty yards in the first half alone and wound up with 96 penalty yards on 10 penalties
THE WHEELS ON THE BUS… - And you know the rest. The wheels on Chad Johnson's bus keep going round and round. The bruising tailback had 87 yards on nine carries with one touchdown – with 85 yards on eight carries with the touchdown coming in the first half. His lone carry in the second half came early and it was only for two yards.
HAVE A DAY BLACK SHIRTS – The Cobber defense swarmed to the football all afternoon and spent a majority of it in the Augsburg backfield. Through the first six games Concordia had 28 tackles for loss with minus-105 yards. The Cobbs had 11.5 tackles for loss with minus-51 yards on Saturday against the Auggies.
NO FLY ZONE – Concordia has had four interceptions in back-to-back weeks and has won the turnover battle in each of those wins. The eight interceptions over the two-game span are the most since 2010 and the Cobbers have had a "Pick-6" in consecutive games.
WHAT'S NEXT - Carleton will come to The Jake next weekend. The Cobbers have won 22 of the last 23 meetings against the Knights since 1992 with the lone win coming in 2008 when they escaped Moorhead with a 41-28 win. Carleton comes into next week's game on a three-game losing streak with a 1-7 overall record and a 1-6 conference record. They dropped a 32-25 decision at home against St. Olaf on Saturday.
CONCORDIA vs. AUGSBURG HIGHLIGHTS