2008 Cobber Football - Game Recaps
Cobber defensive end Clinton Strother pressures the Hamline quarterback in Concordia's 18-17 come-from-behind victory over Hamline on Saturday. CC is now 4-1 in the MIAC and on top of the league standings. (Photo courtesy of Tom Bye)

Gameday Scoreboard


Game Stats: Concordia vs. Hamline Box Score - to follow!

Opponent's Website: Hamline College Football

Gameday Rewind:

Game Stats: Concordia vs. Hamline Box Score - to follow!

Gameday Game Recap:

ST. PAUL, Minn. (10/25/08)-- It was as unconventional as it comes for Concordia against Hamline on Saturday in St. Paul. The Cobbers threw the ball 40 times, had twice as many passing yards as rushing yards and needed a last-minute drive to come away with an 18-17 victory over the Pipers. Carl Hauser connected on a 27-yard field goal with :12 to play to give CC a one-point victory and push the Cobbers into first place in the MIAC standings. Concordia is now 4-1 in league play and moved out of a tie with Carleton who lost on Saturday. CC is now 5-2 overall and has won two straight.

Hamline loses for the sixth straight time, four of which have been decided by three or fewer points. The Pipers are now 0-6 in the MIAC and 1-6 overall.

Concordia quarterback Jesse Nelson went 27-for-40 for 281 passing yards on the day. His 27 completions is the second most in school history in a single game. His 40 attempts also ranks in a tie for fifth place on the program's all-time list. The completions, attempts and passing yards are all career highs for Nelson.

The day started about as bad as it could for Concordia. After winning the coin toss and deferring to the second half, the Cobbers watched as Hamline marched the ball 49 yards in 12 plays and posted game's first touchdown on a 1-yard run from Larry Deeton.

Things went from bad to worse on the Cobbers' first possession when CC had a punt blocked after going three-and-out and losing eight yards on the three plays. The Pipers recovered the ball in the end zone and Concordia found themselves down 14-0 after 7:33 in the opening period.

On the very next possession, Concordia drove all the way down to the Hamline 1-yard line but was then stopped on fourth and goal. The trend of not being able to punch the ball over for points inside the red zone would continue until the last minute of the third quarter.

Fortunately for CC the defense was able to contain Hamline's offense and only allowed three points for the final 52 minutes of play. The Cobber defense allowed only 48 total offensive yards in the second half, including only 22 passing yards. Concordia also limited HU to only six first downs in the final two quarters and allowed the Pipers only 2-of-6 on third down conversions.

After trailing 14-0 at the break, CC finally got on the scoreboard with :29 play in the third quarter when Cory Johnson capped a 69-yard drive by sprinting over from five yards out.

The Cobbers received a safety early in the fourth quarter when the Pipers dropped the snap on a punt attempt and had to knock the ball out of their own end zone to force the critical two-point play.

Concordia finally grabbed the lead in the game after taking the ensuing free kick and driving 54 yards in nine plays. Nick Birchem capped the drive on a two-yard run to move the score to 15-14. CC then went for two points to try and get the lead to three points but Jesse Nelson's pass attempt fell incomplete.

The Pipers then took control of the ball with 6:44 to play in the fourth quarter and methodically marched the ball down the field. The drive eventually stalled on Concordia's 30-yard line. HU kicker Derek Johnson then stepped up and calmly knocked home a 47-yard field goal to give the Pipers a 17-15 lead with 1:33 to play.

Perhaps the biggest play of the game came on the kickoff when Andrew Larson returned the kick 37 yards to his own 47-yard line.

Nelson then used his experience and determination to guide the Cobbers down the field. He was able to economically rattle off nine plays to put the ball on the Pipers' 10-yard line. The swing play of the drive came on fourth-and-five at the 36-yard-line. Nelson threw the ball to running back Aron Goraczkowski but the ball fell incomplete. However, the HU defense was flagged for pass interference after one of the defensive backs grabbed Goraczkowski on the play.

Hamline used a timeout to try and "ice" Hauser on the game-winning field goal but Hauser was able to drill home the attempt to give CC the win.

Cobber wide receivers Nick Alton and Jake Krause were the benefactors of Nelson's career day. Alton finished the game with a career-high 10 catches for a career-high 125 yards. Krause had a career-high eight catches for a career-high 84 yards.

CC running back Cory Johnson gained only 40 yards on the day, his lowest total since last year when he was held to 40 yards against Bethel.

Defensively, Concordia was led by linebacker Isaac Berling. Berling had a season-high 10 tackles. The Cobbers had five tackles for a loss and one sack. The defensive line also contributed to the lone turnover of the day for Hamline. After taking over after a fumble recovery on Concordia's 31-yard line, quarterback James Leary had his pass deflected at the line and defensive back Levi Pole was able to come up with his first interception of the year.

The Cobber offense outgained Hamline 372-137 in the game. The Pipers had 60 offensive yards in the first quarter and then only 77 for the final 45 minutes. Concordia was 8-for-17 on third down plays while the Pipers were held to 4-for-13.

Concordia will continue their trek towards the MIAC title when they host St. Olaf on Saturday, Nov.1 at 1 p.m.