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ISSUE 118 VOL 8 PUBLISHED 11/12/2004

Cobbers clobber Oles

By Ryan Maus
Sports Editor

Friday, November 12, 2004

Last week, the surging St. Olaf Oles stunned defending national champion St. Johns at a sloppy Manitou Field, forcing eight turnovers in the 21-19 victory. Saturday, the Oles hoped to pull off an even more impressive feat by toppling the nationally-ranked and undefeated Concordia Cobbers. MIAC fans around the state were wondering: Could the Oles shock the football world yet again with another upset win?

The result? Not so much.

The 9-0 Cobbers thoroughly humbled the Oles Saturday at Manitou Field, dominating nearly every aspect of the game en route to a 50-7 victory. After jumping out to a 7-2 lead in the first quarter, St. Olaf surrendered 48 unanswered points, including 28 in the third quarter alone.

Winners of their previous four games, the Oles used a little creativity to take the early lead. After a late first quarter safety put St. Olaf in a 2-0 hole, the Ole defense kept the powerful Cobber offensive unit off the field thanks to an interception by Deonte Hutchins 08. Two possessions later, St. Olaf executed an end-around reverse pass play to perfection. Wide receiver Andrew Schmiesing 08 took a handoff from quarterback Jason Wilsey 06 and rolled towards the left sideline. But instead of running with the ball, Schmiesing lofted a pass downfield to a streaking Jay Higgins 08. Higgins came down with the ball after it was deflected by a Cobber defender and scurried into the end zone to complete the 63-yard scoring play.

Thats a play weve been practicing all year, and we finally got a chance to use it, said Schmiesing, a former quarterback in high school. I just threw it up there and Jay made a nice catch.

Unfortunately for the Oles, that was the lone highlight of what was an otherwise forgettable afternoon of college football. Concordia would regain the lead for good on their next possession, as Concordia quarterback Brian Schumacher connected with Andy Passanante for a 40-yard touchdown pass. Nate Johnson 05 had a punt blocked on the Oles next possession, which allowed Concordia to record another touchdown before the half. Still, things were far from hopeless as St. Olaf retreated into the locker room at halftime, the score remained just 15-7 Concordia.

However, any illusions of a second-half Ole comeback were squashed early in the third quarter. A Wilsey interception paved the way for another Cobber touchdown only two minutes into the quarter, giving Concordia a 22-7 lead. The Oles would surrender three more scores before the quarter ended, as an eight-point deficit grew to a 36 points in the span of just 12:12. Concordia would tack on another score in the fourth quarter, while the Ole offense did not advance inside the Cobber 20-yard line the entire game.

With the win, Concordia clinched the MIAC conference championship outright for the first time since 1986. The Cobbers are now ranked sixth in the nation according to the latest Division III coaches poll. The loss dropped St. Olafs record to 6-3 overall and 4-3 in conference play.

The Ole football team will finish out its season Friday night against Augsburg. The game will be played at the Metrodome and kickoff will be at 7 p.m. A win assures St. Olaf fourth place in the conference, which would be their highest finish since 2000.

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