Courtey of Concordia-St. Paul Athletics
ST. PAUL, Minn. - Concordia University cruised to their first-ever win at Sea Foam Stadium this Saturday afternoon in front of 1,459 fans in a 38-17 victory over Minot State (N.D.) University (0-2). The victory snaps an eight game home losing streak that includes Concordia's final three home games played at Griffin Stadium in 2008. The win also propels head coach Mark Mauer into a tie for the program's all-time winningest head coach with 33 wins as he starts his seventh season with a victory, winning the season opener for the fourth time in his tenure.
The Beavers scored first on a three yard touchdown run by Tyson Schatz in the first quarter, taking advantage of a short field on a seven play, 40 yard drive that lasted 3:31 nearing the midway point in the quarter.
The Beaver touchdown woke the Golden Bears from their offseason hibernation as junior Charles Gilbert (Jacksonville, Fla.) returned the ensuing kickoff 84 yards for a touchdown, sprinting through the seam up the middle going nearly untouched as he broke to the outside and raced down the sideline for Concordia's first score of the season to things up at seven.
It was the first of three consecutive touchdowns for the Golden Bears as junior Spencer Ohm (Blooming Prairie, Minn.) lofted a seven yard touchdown late in the first quarter to senior wideout Calvin Simon (Shakopee, Minn.) to put Concordia on top. Simon raced to the corner of the end zone and out-leapt his coverage, bobbled the ball and came down with it just inside the sidelines in the corner to make the circus catch.
Simon finished the game with five receptions for 88 yards and his 16th career touchdown and has extended his reception streak to 33 games, making a grab in every game he has suited up in.
Ohm would add an 11 yard rushing touchdown in the second quarter to put Concordia up 21-7 before the Beavers rallied for a 10-play, 74 yard drive lasting over four and a half minutes as Johnny Lester scored from five yards out on a Layvester James pass over the middle with under a minute to play in the half.
But Gilbert returned another short Minot kickoff 24 yards into Minot's territory setting up a quick four play, 49 yard drive as Ohm connected with Simon for 18 yards to the sideline before hitting senior tight end Hayden Vavra (Cambridge, Minn.) over the middle for 22 yards allowing CU to call timeout with 34 seconds to play at the nine yard line with a first and goal.
Two plays later, Ohm hit senior Zach Hovey (Champlin, Minn.) over the middle in the back of the end zone, finding the gap in the coverage for the score.
Ohm finished the game 17-25 for 214 yards and a pair of touchdown strikes while adding five rushes for 23 yards and a ground score. More importantly, Ohm and the Golden Bears only committed one turnover while the defense forced three.
In addition to forcing three turnovers (two fumbles and an interception), the defense added four sacks and five tackles for loss and allowed only three second half points. Add in another interception at the goal line that was nullified due to penalty and Concordia appeared to be clicking on all cylinders this afternoon.
The offense tallied up 155 rushing yards on 31 team attempts and had 369 yards of total offense. They out-rushed Minot by 49 yards and out-gained them by 45 yards on six less plays. And although they didn't win the time of possession battle and the total yards were comparable, factor in the starting field position (Minot on their own 33, CU on their own 43) and the numbers look even better for the home team.
Concordia's defense also executed when it counted most, halting all four of Minot's fourth down attempts while the CU offense converted their only attempted fourth down and executed a perfect 5-5 in red zone scoring chances.
CU's 155 rushing yards were spread out nicely with junior Jerry Shaw (Oak Creek, Wis.) churning out 52 on nine attempts including a Barry Sanders-esque 20 yard touchdown late in the third quarter, showing toughness, determination, quickness and breakaway speed. Junior Sam Campbell (Cary, Ill.) rushed 11 times for 48 yards and added four receptions for 44 yards for a 92 yard all-purpose performance.
Defensively, junior Al Quaye (Champlin, Minn.) led the team with 11 total tackles including a half sack and a forced fumble while senior Travis Meyer (Champlin, Minn.) added 10 tackles with a half for loss. Redshirt freshman corner Denzell Blackmon (Chicago, Ill.) showed cover ability and hitting ability with nine tackles (seven solo), a forced fumble and a fumble recovery in his collegiate debut. Junior Johnny Johnson (Eden Prairie, Minn.) was in on two sacks, with a solo and a half sack in the game and junior Micah Koehn (Lino Lakes, Minn.) had CU's first interception of the season.
The Golden Bears return home next week for Military Appreciation Day against St. Cloud State at 6:00 p.m. Arrive early for the festivities and join fellow Golden Bear fans in the C-Club Tailgate Tent which opens two hours before kickoff!