Cobbers Roll in Second Half to Down Pipers
Moorhead, MN – The Concordia College Cobbers took a nine-point lead just before the end of the half and rolled from there, downing the Hamline University Pipers, 58-14. Nicholas Vasko rushed for 78 yards for the Pipers and Alejandro Villanueva threw for 153 yards and two touchdowns. The loss was the fourth in a row for the Pipers.
The Cobbers took the opening kickoff and marched 51 yards in 14 plays to take a 7-0 lead. Cooper Mattern led the way, completing five passes, including a two-yard strike to Dawson Schaffer for the touchdown.
The Pipers responded right away, moving 80 yards in eight plays to knot the game at seven. Villanueva had the big play of the drive, finding Charlie Wilson for 35 yards on third and eight at the Hamline 22 that gave his team a fresh set of downs. Five plays later, Villanueva connected with Eric Pfenning-Wendt for a 25-yard touchdown.
Concordia was able to retake the lead on their next possession, as Damien Silus added a 31-yard field goal to make it 10-7. That would be the score at the end of the first quarter.
It remained a three-point game until a little over seven minutes left in the first half. After a 39-yard punt put Concordia at their own 4-yard line, the Cobbers mounted an impressive drive, moving 96 yards in just three plays. Jordan Summers started off the drive with back-to-back carries to gain 11 yards total. On the third play of the drive, Mattern found Schaffer down the left side for an 85-yard touchdown to make it 16-7.
Hamline was unfazed, going the other direction to pull within two. The 75-yard drive was led by Vasko, who had a 47-yard carry on fourth and six that moved the ball to the Concordia 24-yard line. On third and five, Villanueva found Wilson for a first down reception. A facemasking call moved the ball to the 7-yard line, and the Hamline quarterback found Wilson for 7 yards and a touchdown on the next play to make it 16-14.
The Cobbers responded. A 32-yard kick return by Summers put the ball at the Hamline 39. Four plays later, Mattern found Owen Miller for 26 yards and the score, making it 23-14 heading to end the half.
The Pipers were in the contest, but things turned quickly after the break as Concordia opened the second half with touchdowns on each of their first four possessions. On the first drive, Mattern completed a nine play, 60-yard drive with a 3 yard touchdown completion to Schaffer. On the next drive, the Cobbers quarterback found Joey Headrick deep down the middle for a 65-yard touchdown to make it 37-14.
The next possession for the Pipers ended tragically when the punt attempt was blocked by Chase Dockter, giving Concordia the ball at the Hamline 34. Four plays later, Mattern kept the ball, racing into the end zone for a 4-yard touchdown.
The Cobbers added one more touchdown early in the fourth quarter when Colin Conteh broke through the line and raced 57 yards for the score. Concordia added one more touchdown with a little under three minutes left in the game. This time it was Summer scoring from 2 yards out to finish off a 10 play, 37-yard drive.
Concordia has 602 yards of total offense, including 435 through the air. Mattern completed 23 of 29 passes for 401 yards and five scores. Conteh rushed for 101 yards on 12 carries.
The Hamline defense recorded three sacks, led by Dain Larsen, who had 1.5. Noah Hickman led the team with eight tackles, had a forced fumble, and an interception.
The Hamline Pipers (2-4, 0-4) travel to Arden Hills to take on Bethel University (4-2, 3-1) next Saturday. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.
by Robert Pannier