Concordia College exploded for 28 second-half points to post a come-from-behind 42-27 victory over Gustavus Adolphus College in Saint Peter, Minnesota on Saturday afternoon. Cobber quarterback Brian Schumacher sparked the comeback with three second-half touchdown passes. Schumacher finished the day completing 24-of-32 passes for 274 yards and five touchdowns. The game was played before a large Gustavus Homecoming crowd of 4,986. Concordia improves to 4-0 overall and 3-0 in the MIAC, while Gustavus falls to 0-4 overall and 0-3 in the MIAC.
The first quarter ended with the score tied at 7-7. The Cobbers scored first on a 14-yard pass from Schumacher to Adam Dittberner. The touchdown drive was a five-play, 40-yard drive that was the result of Gustavus fumbling the opening kickoff. Gustavus evened the score with a eight-play, 42-yard drive that ended with Jordan Stolp scoring from the one-yard line late in the quarter.
The Gusties took a 14-7 lead when Stolp completed a 28-yard touchdown pass to Clint Riegelman at 11:56 of the second quarter. Concordia knotted the score at 14-14 when Schumacher completed a two-yard pass to Andy Passanante at 6:07 of the second frame. Gustavus took a 21-14 lead into the locker room when Stolp snuck into the end zone from one-yard out with :48 left in the half.
Concordia came out strong in the second half scoring on its first possession to tie the score at 21-21. The touchdown was a one-yard pass from Schumacher to Passanante at 10:48 of the third quarter. After a quick three-and-out for the Gusties, the Cobbers put together another long scoring drive ending with Schumacher completing a 10-yard touchdown pass to Shawn Reile. The TD gave Concordia its second lead of the game at 28-21. The Gustie defense came up with a big play late in the third quarter when linebacker Jared Sieling picked up a Concordia fumble and raced 25 yards into the end zone. Gustavus had its extra point blocked allowing the Cobbers to maintain a slim 28-27 lead.
The fourth quarter turned out to be all Concordia as the Cobbers outscored the Gusties 14-0 to claim the 42-27 victory. Concordia extended its lead to 35-27 when Schumacher fired his fifth touchdown pass of the game, this one to Shawn Reile from the eight-yard line. The Cobbers were attempting to extend their lead to 38-27 with a 25-yard field goal with 3:53 remaining. The snap was bobbled by holder Eric Rodel, who escaped the grasp of a Gustie defender and after a scramble across the field found Jordan Talge in the corner of the end zone for an eight-yard touchdown pass. The unusual play extended Concordia’s lead to 42-27.
Concordia held a substantial advantage in total offense with 511 yards on 90 plays compared to the Gusties total of 306 yards on 59 plays. The Cobbers also held a significant advantage in time of possession controlling the ball for 37:42 compared to 22:18 for Gustavus.
Concordia quarterback Brian Schumacher turned in the finest day of his collegiate career as he completed 24-of-32 passes for 274 yards and five touchdowns. He also rushed 15 times for 34 yards. Two Cobber receivers compiled over 100 yards with Andy Passanante catching 13 balls for 141 yards and two touchdowns and Shawn Reile making nine catches for 105 yards and two touchdowns. Ed Oehlers was Concordia’s leading rusher with 87 yards on 16 carries.
The Gustavus offense turned in a pretty solid performance against a Concordia defense that came into the game ranked fourth in Division III allowing 173.3 yards per game and eighth in rushing defense allowing 41.3 yards per game. The Gusties compiled 306 yards of total offense including 123 rushing and 183 passing. Freshman quarterback Jordan Stolp completed 18-of-32 passes for 183 yards with one touchdown and one interception. He also scored two touchdowns on one-yard quarterback sneaks. Running back Drew Stifter rushed for 60 yards on 10 carries while Jerry Millan totaled 56 yards on 11 carries. Wide receiver Sean Smith led the Gustie receiving corps with seven catches for 54 yards.