Late Stand Thwarts Muskies Comeback
Plymouth, Wisconsin – Quarterback Robby Michael was stopped one yard short on fourth and two, preserving a 31-28 victory for the Concordia-Wisconsin Falcons. Michael had another impressive day, passing for 463 yards and rushing for 83 more, but it was not enough, dropping the Lakeland University Muskies to 1-2 on the season.
Lakeland took the opening kickoff, and turned the ball over on downs at their own 22. Pierre Summers carried the ball on the first play of the drive, gaining 19 yards down to the 3-yard line, and scored on the next play to make it 7-0.
The Muskies responded right away, moving 76 yards in 11 plays. Three times Michael converted third down conversions, including scoring on a third and goal at the two when he kept the ball, rushing up the middle to knot the score at seven.
On the next drive for Lakeland, the team moved 80 yards in nine plays before taking a 14-7 lead. Michael completed a 19-yard pass to Kolby Cohen to get the drive going. On third and seven, the Lakeland quarterback found Caleb Besaw for an 8-yard completion to midfield, giving the team a fresh set of downs. Four plays later, the team was faced with another third down, but Jatron Bevly took the handoff and gained 3 yards. Two plays later, Michael found Xaviar Thomas for a 5-yard touchdown completion.
The Falcons looked like they would knot the score, moving to the Lakeland 15-yard line. However, on third and 11, Matt Glogowski intercepted a Roman Funk pass. The offense could not convert, however, and neither team was able to score on either of their next two possessions.
Concordia would tie the score when their special teams created a big play. A bad snap gave the ball to the Falcons at the Muskies 29. On the next play, Michael Purkey connected with Nick Crowell for a 29-yard touchdown pass.
Just before the end of the half, the Muskies got a huge defensive play that seemed to change the momentum. The offense had driven to the Concordia 20, where they faced a fourth and 16. The team opted to go for a field-goal attempt, but Jesus Garcia’s 37-yard field goal try sailed wide left. Concordia had the ball at their own 20 with 1:25 left, but Karlis Ozols intercepted a Funk pass at the 21, racing the distance for the touchdown to make it 21-14 heading to the half.
The Muskies did have one more opportunity to extend their lead before the end of the first half when Markese Collins intercepted a Purkey pass attempt on the very next play. Lakeland moved to the Concordia six, but time ran out before they could find the end zone.
That big defensive stand proved to be huge for the Falcons, as they tied the score on their first possession following the break. Ashar Thomas led the way, carrying the ball five times for 23 yards. Purkey completed the drive when he scored from 2 yards out on fourth and one.
The score remained tied at 21 through the end of the third quarter, and Concordia retook the lead on their first possession of the fourth when Nick Klein hit a 31-yard field goal to make it 24-21.
The Muskies responded right away, moving 92 yards in just four plays to retake the lead. Michael completed four straight pass attempts on the drive, including a 9-yard pass to Bevly, a 28-yard strike to Cohen, a 34-yard completion to Keon Willis, and an 11-yard touchdown completion to Devon Harris completed the drive.
The Falcons did a little responding of their own, taking the ball from their own 25 and retaking the lead 10 plays later. Purkey found Kekoa Carmichael for a 30-yard touchdown to make it 31-28.
Lakeland was stopped on their next drive, but had one more possession before the end of the contest in which to tie the score or come away with a victory. Starting from their own 29 Michael led the way, carrying the ball three straight times for 16 yards. The Muskies were faced with a fourth and seven at the Concordia 23, but Michael raced to the right, just reaching the marker for a first down. Two plays later, Michael completed an 8-yard pass to Willis, setting up fourth and two. He kept the ball on the next play, but was stopped at the line, gaining just one yard, giving Concordia back the ball for good.
Despite the loss, Michael was impressive, completing 38 of 61 passes for 463 yards and two touchdowns. He also carried the ball 21 times for 83 yards and a score. Cohen had seven catches for 128 yards and four other players had at least 61 yards receiving. The defense recorded three sacks and had three interceptions in the contest. Justin McMahon led the team with 10 tackles and had a sack.
The Lakeland University Muskies (1-2) will travel to Illinois to take on the Rockford University Regents (1-2) on Saturday. The kickoff is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.
by Robert Pannier