Concordia University exploded for 35 points in the third quarter and went on to defeat Dakota State University by the score of 49-21 on Saturday afternoon in Seward. The Bulldogs won their third straight game to move to 3-2 on the year, while Dakota State remained winless at 0-6. It’s the first three-game winning streak for Concordia since the 2005 season.
Dakota State got off to a quick start and took the lead on their first possession. The Trojans marched 66 yards in just six plays. Quarterback Brandon Large found Carl Curtis with a 29-yard touchdown pass to give DSU the 6-0 lead. The extra point was blocked by Concordia.
The Bulldogs quickly responded and answered with a 65-yard scoring drive. Concordia needed just six plays to score, and Ryan Adams’ (El Dorado Hills, Calif.) 1-yard touchdown run put Concordia on top by the score of 7-6.
Midway through the second quarter, Concordia added to its lead with a big play from quarterback Cohl Tufford (Richardson, Texas). Tufford ran the ball around the left side of the Bulldog offensive line and went 65 yards untouched on his way to the end zone. Kenny Zoeller’s (Spring, Texas) extra point gave the Bulldogs a 14-6 lead.
Dakota State had an answer just before half. The Trojans moved 75 yards in nine plays, and a 10-yard touchdown reception by Zach Ely knotted the score at 14-14 heading into halftime.
Concordia reclaimed the lead on the opening drive of the second half. The Bulldogs needed just four plays to move 60 yards in less than two minutes. Tufford carried the ball on the first three plays from scrimmage and totaled 34 yards in the three runs. Following a Concordia 5-yard penalty, Adams scored from 31 yards out to give the Bulldogs a 21-14 advantage.
DSU was unable to move the ball, and Concordia got the ball back in great field position. Tufford had a 15-yard run, and Adams added a 29-yard run on the drive to move Concordia inside the Morningside 10-yard line. From there, Jamarcus Walker (Houston, Texas) took a pitch play around the right side for a touchdown.
The Bulldog defense then came up big once again, as Martin Rodriguez (Tucson, Ariz.) picked off a pass from Large to again set the Bulldogs up with tremendous field position. Concordia converted the turnover into a touchdown, as the Bulldogs moved 44 yards in just five plays. Derrick Blessing (Ogallala, Neb.) capped the drive with a 6-yard touchdown run to give the Bulldogs a 35-14 lead.
On Dakota State’s next possession, Concordia’s Tom Malander (Fullerton, Neb.) forced a fumble on the first play from scrimmage. Concordia again turned the turnover into quick points. Tufford completed a 28-yard touchdown pass to Zack Warner (Palmyra, Neb.) for a 42-14 Concordia advantage.
Dakota State answered with a nine-play, 68-yard touchdown drive to pull back within 21. A pair of Concordia personal foul penalties proved costly for the Bulldog defense, and an 8-yard touchdown pass from Large to Wes Dauz made the score 42-21.
Concordia added another score late in the third quarter. A 31-yard rush by Nate Sindt (Scottsbluff, Neb.) set Concordia up with first and goal from the 1-yard line. Adams then found the end zone for the third time to increase the Concordia lead to 49-21. The fourth quarter was scoreless, and the Bulldogs settled for the 49-21 victory.
The Bulldogs totaled 511 offensive yards with 456 rushing yards in the win. Concordia averaged 8.8 yards per carry. Tufford led the way with 208 rushing yards and a score. Adams added 68 rushing yards to go along with the three rushing touchdowns. Tufford completed just 3-of-8 passes for 47 yards and a score. Penalties and turnovers were a problem for the Concordia offense. The Bulldogs lost two fumbles and committed 15 penalties for 142 yards.
The Concordia defense played well, forcing four turnovers and limiting Dakota State to just 66 rushing yards on the day. Derek Rodine (Polk, Neb.) totaled nine tackles with two tackles for loss and a sack. Rodriguez added eight tackles with an interception, while Michael Voelker (Linn, Kan.) and Dylan Heithoff (Elgin, Neb.) also collected sacks on the day.
DSU finished with 345 yards of total offense on the day. The Trojans had 279 yards through the air and just 66 yards on the ground. Large was 31-of-46 for 279 yards with three touchdowns and an interception. Dauz finished with 10 catches for 133 yards and a score. Jeb Olson led the DSU rushing attack with 18 carries and 63 yards. Eric Liles had a game-high 11 tackles for DSU defensively.
Concordia hosts Briar Cliff University next Saturday on Homecoming Weekend. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. at Bulldog Stadium.