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ISSUE 119 VOL 8 PUBLISHED 11/11/2005

Cobbers down Oles

By Joel Stjernholm
Staff Writer

Friday, November 11, 2005

Despite a strong second-half rally, the St. Olaf football team lost to Concordia College 49-35 in Moorhead, Minn. Saturday. With the loss, the Oles fell to 7-2 overall and 5-2 in the conference.

The Cobbers accumulated 613 total yards against the Ole defense, including 496 on the ground. Quarterback Brian Schumacher ran for 134 yards on 24 carries and scored two touchdowns.

Despite defensive shortcomings, the St. Olaf offense played well. The team’s 35 points were the most the Cobbers allowed all season. Quarterback Jason Wilsey ’06 led the offensive attack, completing 19 passes on 34 attempts for 334 yards and two touchdowns. Jay Higgins ’08 led the Oles in rushing yards, earning 65 yards on 11 carries and scoring two touchdowns. All told, the Oles earned 144 yards on 35 carries for nearly five yards per carry.

Wide receiver Andrew Schmiesing ‘08 also turned in a noteworthy perfornace, catching a team-best seven balls for 147 yards and a touchdown. He also completed a 55-yard reverse option pass to Horace Gant ‘08 with 5:33 to play in the third quarter.

Through nine games this season, Wilsey remains the top-rated offensive player in the MIAC, averaging 271 yards per game with a pass efficiency of 158.4. Despite his own praiseworthy play, Wilsey attributed his success to the offensive line.

“The O-line has been underappreciated all year and deserves all of the credit for the offensive success,” Wilsey said.

The Oles received strong special teams play from Paul Fortman ’08., whowas perfect on his five PAT attempts. Fortman leads all MIAC kickers in scoring and accuracy, converting 41 PATs on 42 attempts and 10 field goals on 13 attempts for 71 total points, 29 more than the next best kicker.

Though the loss to Concordia removes St. Olaf from playoff contention, Wilsey still feels the team has put together a successful season.

“It was an incredible opportunity for our program to experience a big game environment with a great amount riding on the outcome, especially to have it played in the final [part] of the season,” Wilsey said after the game. “To be at that point says a lot about where the program has come from and even more about where it is going.”

The team will play its final game against Augsburg College at Manitou Field this Saturday. A win against the Auggies would elevate the team’s record to 8-2 overall, the best mark for a St. Olaf team since 1979.

“It's about finishing strong and going out the right way against a tough Augsburg team,” Wilsey said.

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