Holding On To A Snowy Ground Win

Senior Jesse Bucholz runs the ball after making an interception in the first quarter of the Cobbers' game with Carleton.
Senior Jesse Bucholz runs the ball after making an interception in the first quarter of the Cobbers' game with Carleton.

STORY LINE: Concordia scored on its first five possessions against Carleton and went on to beat the Knights 51-14 in bitterly cold and snowy conditions in Moorhead. The Cobbers picked off a pair of passes in the first quarter which led to a 25-0 lead on their way to their second straight victory.

RECORDS: Concordia finishes the year on a 2-game win streak and improves to 5-5. The Cobbers finish off the MIAC season with a 4-4 record which places them fifth in the final conference standings. Carleton ends its year at 3-7 overall and 2-6 in the MIAC.

QUICK START SUCCESS: Concordia scored on their very first possession on Saturday. The Cobbers forced a 3-and-out and received a break after the Carleton punter, fighting a strong head wind, only punted the ball four yards. Concordia took over at its own 42-yard line and then struck quickly on a 3-play drive which quarterback Blake Kragnes capped off with a 28-yard TD run. The opening score marked the fifth time in 2018 that the Cobbers scored first. CC went 5-0 in those games.

FIELD POSSESSION PROWESS: Concordia received the ball inside the Carleton 45-yard line on their first three possessions and scored all three times. The Cobbers finished the day by starting drives inside the Knight 25-yard line five times and scored on four occasions. The only time they didn't score came at the end of the fourth quarter when CC took a knee. Concordia's average starting field position on the day was the Carleton 45-yard line.

SPREADING THE LOVE: Concordia had seven players score touchdowns in the game. The only player to score multiple TDs in the game was senior Dane Ringquist. He had the only touchdown in the second quarter and then opened the scoring in the third quarter. All eight Cobber touchdowns came via the run.

A TALE OF TWO TEAMS: Concordia and Carleton entered the game with two different offensive philosophies. The Cobbers were second in the league in rushing attempts while Carleton was tops in passing attempts. The weather conditions were in favor of Concordia, with winds gusting to 30 mph, the Cobbers rushed the ball 71 times and gained 401 yards on the ground. The Knights attempted 26 passes, completed 11, and finished with 74 passing yards. CC held a 426-76 edge in total yards in the game.

SPREADING THE LOVE 2: Concordia had 13 players with at least one carry in the game. Dane Ringquist led all players with 20 rushes for 96 yards. Blake Kragnes had 68 yards on seven carries and Logan Hatfield rushed the ball six times and gained 46 yards.

RYLIE ON THE SPOT: Sophomore running back Rylie Sheridan, Concordia's second leading rusher, didn't have a carry in the game but scored his team-leading ninth TD of the year. Sheridan recovered a fumble in the end zone in the first quarter to give the Cobbers a 13-0 lead.  

TICK TIME: Senior nose guard Jesse Bucholz came up with his second career interception and almost went to the house for a Pick 6. Bucholz stepped into a pass at the Carleton 33-yard line and returned the ball all the way to the Knights' 14-yard line. Concordia then scored four plays later to take a 19-0 lead.

SUDDEN SAM: Linebacker Sam Michel had the other Cobber interception on the day. He set up the team's second score when he picked off an errant pass at the Carleton 45-yard line and returned it 31 yards.

THIRD-DOWN DOMINANCE: Concordia's Black Shirt defense didn't allow Carleton to convert on third down in the game. The Knights finished the day 0-for-9 on third down plays. On Offense the Cobbers converted 50.0% (6-for-12) of their third-down situations.

HOLD THAT BALL: Concordia racked up 41:29 in time of possession against Carleton. That total is a season high for the Cobber offense and the most in the 18-year Terry Horan era.