Cobbers roll past Gustavus
By Eric Peterson
The Forum

Lance Larson made his first start at defensive end for Concordia Saturday at Jake Christiansen Stadium. He made it a memorable one.

Larson’s 39-yard interception return for a touchdown was part of a Cobbers three-touchdown second quarter. Concordia rolled to a 28-7 triumph in its Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference football opener against Gustavus Adolphus.

"It was one of those plays where I was in the right place at the right time," Larson said. "I just grabbed the ball and started for the end zone."

Larson can give an assist to fellow defensive end and Moorhead High School graduate Jon Jasken on the play. It was Jasken who batted Gustavus’ quarterback Bob Southworth’s pass attempt. Larson then ran under the ball and scooted in for the score.

"Good athletes make big plays," said Concordia coach Jim Christopherson. "(Larson) will have a lot of big games for us defensively. He’s such a good athlete."

Larson’s score gave Concordia (1-0 MIAC, 2-0 overall) a 21-0 advantage with 8 minutes, 43 seconds left in the first quarter.

Chris Ohm started the Cobbers’ second quarter surge. The 5-foot-11, 225-pound fullback bulled into the end zone from 1-yard out with 9:41 left until halftime to extend Concordia’s lead to 14-0.

Ohm’s run capped a 10-play, 87-yard march. Cobbers’ quarterback Ethan Pole’s 49-yard hookup with Chris Howell keyed the drive. Howell finished the day with 118 yards receiving on 4 catches.

"We knew he was a good receiver," Christopherson said. "With Tory getting all the attention (from opposing defenses), I think we’re going to see a lot more of Howell."

Howell capped Concordia’s second-quarter surge with a 28-yard touchdown reception from Pole. On the play, Pole rolled left down the line of scrimmage before spotting a wide-open Howell near the goal line.

Pole, who was hit as he threw, strong-armed the ball downfield. Howell then secured the fluttering pass at the goal line for the score.

"I didn’t even see (Howell) catch the ball," Pole said. "I was on my back. I just tried to get as much on the throw as I could. It probably didn’t look too pretty but it got there I guess."

The Pole-to-Howell connection put Concordia up 28-0 with 2:46 remaining in the first half and gave the Cobbers, who were never challenged in the second half, command of the game.

Concordia’s defense only allowed three first downs in the first two quarters and held the Gusties to only 91 total yards. Gustavus (0-1, 1-1) finished with 202 total yards and didn’t find the end zone until 8:39 left in the game.

Ryan Sannes led the Cobbers with seven tackles.

"Its a great confidence booster for our defense," said Concordia defensive tackle Jeff Gronner. "We’re still kind of young and inexperienced. But putting together two great defensive games against two good offenses makes us feel really good."

Concordia’s defense only allowed seven points against Moorhead State last Saturday.

"I’m think the defense is playing pretty good now, but we’re only going to get better," Larson said. "I’m excited to see how we’ll be playing once we get four or five games under our belt."

The Cobbers’ offense was sharp as well, racking up 353 yards of total offense. But 269 of those came in the first half.

"I’d give us a ‘B,’" Christopherson said. "We were grade ‘A’ in the first half and a ‘C’ in the second half. But I’m not disappointed at all. We’re still learning."

Gustavus 0 0 0 7 –7

Concordia 7 21 0 0 –28

C–Ohm 2 run (Horgen kick)

C–Ohm 1 run (Horgen kick)

C–Larson 39 interception return (Horgen kick)

C–Howell 28 pass from Pole (Horgen kick)

G–Swansson 15 pass from Southworth (Boutwell kick)




First downs 11 16

Rushes-yards 22-75 53-101

Yards passing 202 252

Total yards 277 353

Passing 15-24-0 17-36-1

Punts-average 7-40 7-39.7

Fumbles-lost 1-1 1-0

Penalties-yards 5-62 3-15



RUSHING – Gustavus, Seamans 7-18, Prunty 5-16, Southworth 6-(-9), Thielke 1-27, Wangen 3-23. Concordia, Steinbeisser 20-71, Pole 6-26, Ohm 7-9, Ludtke 8-4, Wanless 4-(-5), Zirbes 1-4, Aslakson 7-4.

PASSING – Gustavus, Southworth 17-34-1 202 yards, Elling 0-2-0 0. Concordia, Pole 14-20-0 241, Wanless 1-4-0 11.

RECEIVING – Gustavus, Johnson 6-65, Seamans 2-9, Swansson 4-53, TeBrake 1-20, Blitz 1-4, Olson 1-3, Schultz 1-6, Prunty 1-32.

1997 Concordia Football