MOORHEAD, Minn. (11/04/17)---In a game the featured over 500 offensive yards and four touchdowns of over 40 yards for Concordia it was a dominant defensive effort in the first half that sparked a lopsided win in the annual Lefse Bowl game with St. Olaf.
Concordia only allowed the Oles to gain 16 yards in the first two quarters, scored the first 40 points in the game and rolled to a 54-12 win to retain the Troll Trophy for the sixth consecutive season.
The Cobbers received scoring runs of 50 yards from Chad Johnson, a 52-yard TD scamper from Blake Kragnes, a 47-yard dash from Logan Hatfield and an 80-yard kickoff return for a touchdown from Rylie Sheridan as they won for the fourth straight time. CC is now 8-1 overall and 6-1 in the MIAC. Concordia is tied for second place in the league standings heading into the final game of the regular season.
Concordia lost the toss and had to kick off but then the Black Shirt defense took control of the game. CC only allowed two first downs in the opening quarter and one of those came on a pass interference penalty.
The second quarter was even more lopsided with Concordia not allowing a single first down and giving up one yard of total offense to the Ole offense.
The Cobbers didn't allow a first down in the initial part of the third quarter and finally relented when the score was 34-0. Concordia tacked on another touchdown at the 3:02 mark of the third period to make the score before the teams traded touchdowns in the fourth quarter.
Concordia finished the game with 508 yards of total offense. CC had 411 rushing yards and came away with 24 first downs. The Cobbers also had 36:38 in time of possession.
St. Olaf had 259 total offensive yards – 190 of which came in the fourth quarter. The Cobber defense limited the Oles to 26 rushing yards and 11 first downs.
Sophomore quarterback Blake Kragnes had his best game as a Cobber. He ran for three touchdowns and 107 yards on 13 carries. Kragnes was also 9-for-15 and threw for 97 yards and one scoring strike.
Johnson broke free around the right end for his 50-yard scoring run in the first quarter and finished with 83 rushing yards on six carries.
The end of the third quarter and fourth period belonged to a pair of Cobber running back underclassmen. Freshman Rylie Sheridan scored on a 13-yard scoring run at the end of the third quarter and then returned a kickoff 80 yards at the start of the fourth quarter.
Sophomore Logan Hatfield followed Johnson's model for the final score of the game. He broke free around the right edge and went 47 yards for his first collegiate touchdown.
The Cobber Black Shirt defense had five players with at least five tackles in the game. Treyton Austvold had a team-high seven tackles while Andrew Thompson collected six tackles. Willie Julkes, Alex Berg and Simon Kasper all had five tackles. Julkes also had a game-high 2.o tackles for a loss.
HOME SWEET HOME: The win over the Oles capped a perfect season at Jake Christiansen Stadium for the Cobbers. Concordia went 5-0 in their five regular-season games at the Jake and outscored its opponenets by a combined total of 179-73. The last time CC went unbeaten at home in a season was 2014 when they also went 5-0 and finished the year with an 8-2 overall record.
MAGIC EIGHT BALL: The victory gave Concordia eight wins for the year which marks the fourth time in the last six years that CC has won at least eight games in a year. During the past six years CC has a 42-13 record.
LUCKY 13: Concordia had 13 players with at least one rushing attempt in the game. The Cobbers had five players with at least 50 rushing yards and four players scored a rushing TD. The 13 players with a carry is the most by any MIAC team in a conference game this year.
4 FOR 400: Concordia has now gained over 400 total offensive yards in four straight games and is 4-0 during those contests. CC is now 8-0 when they gain at least 300 offensive yards in a game this year.
STALKING SWINGDORF: Chad Johnson has scored at least one TD in eight of the team's nine games this year and has 17 total scores on the season. That mark is two shy of the single-season touchdown record of 19 held by Adam Swingdorf set in 2007.
50-BURGER: The 54 points scored by the Cobbers offense is a season high and the most since the middle of last season when they put up 56 against Augsburg.
WHAT'S NEXT: It will be a playoff game before the playoffs for the Cobbers next week. Concordia will travel to Collegeville to take on No.6-ranked St. John's on Saturday, Nov. 11 at 1 p.m. The Johnnies also have one loss this year which also came to St. Thomas. SJU is coming off a 72-6 win over Hamline on Saturday.
CONCORDIA vs. ST. OLAF HIGHLIGHTS: