Crown College Defense Dominates, Running Game Relentless in 32-0 Victory
The Crown College Storm headed to New Ulm, MN looking to get their offense on track. That was accomplished as the team grounded out 244-yards rushing and put up 413 total yards of offense. However, it was Storm defense that was the big story, holding Martin Luther to just 233-yards, while recording 4-sacks in the dominating 32-0 victory. That moved Crown College to 1-2 on the season.
The Storm got rolling right away, taking the opening kickoff and moving 65-yards in 15-plays for the touchdown. Josh Edlund and Matt Michaud were the catalysts of the drive. The two seniors rushed a total of 10 times on the drive for 44-yards. Michaud scored from one-yard out to make it 7-0.
It would stay that way into the second when Crown would extend their lead to 13. The Storm would get the ball at their own 44 with 2:45 left in the half. Following a first down carry, QB Taylor Watkins hit Thomas Andrews for a first down and then hit Trey Peace for eight-yards before keeping the ball and going 12-yards for another first down. On third and 7 at the Martin Luther 24, Watkins found Andrews for the touchdown. That was the sophomore’s first touchdown pass of his college career.
The offense had staked the team to a lead, and the way that the defense was playing the 13 points were plenty enough. The Knights had the ball six times in the first half and were able to record 99-yards of total offense; 62 of that came on their first drive of the game. It was an absolutely dominating performance.
The score would remain 13-0 through the third quarter, but in the fourth the Storm offense would put this game away. At 13:36, the Crown offense got the ball when Jalen Phoenix and Elliot Wiens stuffed Nate Stein on fourth and 4. That put the ball at the Martin Luther College 46. On the second play of the drive, Edlund took the handoff and rushed 39-yards for the touchdown. The extra point was no good and it was 19-0.
On their next possession they would score again. Andrews rushed for two-yards on the first play, and Watkins pass was incomplete to set up third and 8 at the MLC 49. That was when offensive coordinator Matt Bremer dialed up the big play as Watkins found a steaking Andrews for 49-yards and the touchdown. The kick was no good again and it was 25-0.
With 2:36 left in the game, Jonah Backus fumbled for the Knights at his own 13. Chris Strange jumped on the ball at the 11 to give his team a first down in the red zone. On the first play of the drive, Edlund burst his way through the line and ran to the end zone. The point after was good and that made it 32-0 which would be the final score.
Watkins had his best day as the Crown College quarterback, passing for 160-yards and 2-TDs. He was 15-27 overall. Edlund rushed for 129-yards and 2-scores on 14-carries, and Michaud had 16-carries for 82-yards and a TD. Andrews had 8-catches for 122-yards and 2-touchdowns.
Elliot Wiens led an impressive defensive performance, leading the Storm with 15-tackles. Strange had 9-tackles and Phoenix had 9-tackles, four for a loss and a sack. Tyler Byrd also had 9-tackles and added 1.5-sacks.
Next weekend the Crown College Storm head to Duluth, MN to take on St. Scholastica. Kickoff will be at 1 PM.
By Robert Pannier