A big third quarter lifted the Concordia University football team to a 21-7 GPAC win over Dordt College on Saturday afternoon in Sioux Center, Iowa. The Bulldogs trailed 7-0 at halftime but scored 21 unanswered points in the third quarter to pick up the win. Concordia moved to 2-2 overall and 2-1 in conference play with the victory. Dordt College dropped to 1-3 overall and 0-3 in conference play.
Following a scoreless first quarter, Dordt College took advantage of a Concordia turnover to take a lead just before halftime. The Defenders picked off a Cohl Tufford pass and marched 61 yards in nine plays to grab a 7-0 lead. Sam Du Mez hauled in a 12-yard touchdown catch from quarterback Justin Knot with just 25 seconds left in the half, and the Defenders took the slim 7-0 lead into halftime.
Concordia finally got on the board on their second drive in the third quarter. The Bulldogs moved 51 yards in nine plays, and a 5-yard touchdown run by Tufford (Richardson, Texas) tied the game at 7-7. Dordt College quickly went three-and-out, and the Bulldog offense was right back on the field. On a third down play, Tufford hit Kyle Hoffman (Phoenix, Ariz.) with a 52-yard reception that took the ball all the way to the Dordt College 15-yard line. On the next play from scrimmage, Jamarcus Walker (Houston, Texas) found the end zone to give Concordia its first lead at 14-7.
Dordt College threatened to tie the game on their next drive. Knot completed a pass to Du Mez for 57 yards, and the Defenders moved the ball all the way to the Concordia 18-yard line. On the next play, however, Knot’s pass was intercepted by Concordia’s Martin Rodriguez (Tucson, Ariz.) at the 1-yard line, and the Bulldogs took possession. On Concordia’s second play from scrimmage, Derrick Blessing (Ogallala, Neb.) took an outside handoff and rushed for a 97-yard touchdown. Blessing’s score gave Concordia the 21-7 advantage heading into the fourth quarter.
The Bulldog defense came up with another turnover on Dordt’s next possession. Jerrod Fleming (Houston, Texas) picked off a Knot pass to give the ball back to the Concordia offense. Down the stretch, Dordt College moved the ball deep into Concordia territory two different times. However, the Defenders were unable to convert on a pair of fourth downs, and Concordia secured the 21-7 win.
Dordt College finished with 16 first downs in the game. The Defenders totaled 247 yards through the air and just 63 yards on the ground. Knot was 19-of-40 through the air with a touchdown and two interceptions. Knot was also the top rusher for Dordt with 38 yards on the day. Du Mez had a big day for the Defenders with nine catches for 164 yards and a touchdown.
Concordia totaled 15 first downs in the contest. The Bulldogs finished with 209 rushing yards and 148 passing yards. Tufford was 13-of-19 on the day for 148 yards with two interceptions. Blessing totaled 111 rushing yards with the 97-yard touchdown run, while Walker had the rushing touchdown to go along with three catches for 24 yards. Drew Baxter (Rockwall, Texas) totaled a team-high 6.5 tackles on the day. Heath Broekemeier (Prairie Grove, Ark.) added five tackles and two tackles-for-loss, while both Fleming and Rodriguez had interceptions in the Bulldog win.
Concordia returns home to host Dakota State University next weekend at Bulldog Stadium.