St. Cloud State edges Concordia-St. Paul in OT

ST. CLOUD, Minn. – Concordia-St. Paul (3-2 NSIC) was outlasted 18-15 in overtime on Saturday afternoon at St. Cloud State (3-2 NSIC) on a chilly fall day with a constant drizzle and light rain at Husky Stadium, overlooking the Mississippi River.

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Opi Aghenu and Jake Portz (45) celebrate a defensive stand for Concordia. Photo by Josh Deer

It was Concordia’s first overtime game since 2014, a 37-34 win over Upper Iowa at Sea Foam Stadium while SCSU hadn’t played overtime since 2010. The Huskies hadn’t won an overtime since 2003.

Concordia looks to get back on track next Saturday for homecoming, remaining in NSIC North Division play against MSU Moorhead (3-2 NSIC) for a noon kickoff at Sea Foam Stadium.st-cloud state logo

Senior quarterback Maxon Hutton completed a career-high 21 passes (21-34) for 227 yards, but was bottled up in the ground game for 14 yards on 16 attempts, including 31 lost yards on three SCSU sacks.

Concordia held the Huskies to 149 passing yards on 11-of-26 passing and only three SCSU players had receptions in the pass game. Sophomores Jake Portz and Dez Bassett each had eight tackles and Kelly Pierce added a sack for the defense.

Golden Bear senior specialist Danny Laudet made his school record fifth field goal of the game to start the overtime scoring from 35 yards out. He had topped the record initially with his fourth field goal to give CSP a 12-9 lead with 9:09 to play in the fourth quarter. He connected from 37, 19, 44, 35 and 35 yards.

Prior to Laudet’s 5-for-5 performance, Concordia’s program had produced three field goals in a game 12 times. He also averaged 38.2 on four punts with a long of 53 and a net average of 38.5.

The reigning NSIC Special Teams Player of the Week, Laudet also had a key fourth quarter punt with just over three minutes to play. His 53 yard rocket was a 55 yard net (-2 on the return) and pushed SCSU to its own 20 yard line with 3:07 to go and a tie game. The Huskies were able to drive into CSP territory but missed a 38 yard field goal with 22 seconds to play.

Each team attempted five field goals, with CSP making all five and SCSU making four.

But while the Huskies weren’t able to capitalize on two of their field goals, CSP also left points on the field as the offense wasn’t able to punch it in the end zone with 2nd-and-goal from the SCSU 1 yard line in the second quarter and had a 3rd-and-8 from the SCSU 13 yard line intercepted in the end zone late in the third quarter.

It was the first time in 15 trips to the red zone on the season that Concordia failed to produce points on the year.

CSP struggled to get going on the cold, wet Husky Stadium surface, with just two first downs and -5 yards of total offense in the opening 15 minutes.

But the defense kept the game close early, holding SCSU to a pair of first quarter field goal attempts as teh Huskies gained 64 yards of offense with three first downs. Their opening field goal, a short 30-yarder, was set-up by a punt snap exchange mistake that put the Huskies at the CSP 14 yard line. The Golden Bears held firm with a 3-and-out to limit the damage.

Things evened out in the second quarter with each offense running 15 plays although SCSU edged CSP with 77-68 in yardage. Each team had four first downs, but the Huskies came away with a pair of field goals to one for Laudet to send it into the half 9-3.

For the second straight week, Concordia came out of halftime strong, getting a 10-play, 73-yard drive spanning 4:43 to set up the short 19-yard field goal by Laudet, cutting it to 9-6. On the drive, Hutton found senior Jabril Clewis for a 38-yard connection to move into scoring position. Clewis finished with four catches for 94 yards.

Concordia had another strong third quarter drive, marching 67 yards on 10 plays and taking 4:30 off the clock to get into the SCSU red zone before the Huskies picked off a third down pass in the end zone.

In the third quarter, CSP flipped the game in its favor with 20 plays for 143 yards and seven first downs while holding SCSU to 30 yards on 12 plays. But Concordia only managed three points in the quarter and still trailed 9-6 entering the fourth.

With the ball first in the fourth quarter, Concordia continued marching down the field on St. Cloud State, as Hutton completed three straight passes of 14 yards to Clewis, 19 yards to Kevin Ventura-Cortes and 14 yards to Shaq Johnson. With a 1st and 10 from the SCSU 22 yard line, the drive stalled out with Laudet cashing in from 44 yards to tie the game with 13:03 to go.

After another three-and-out by the defense, Concordia moved right into Laudet range again after starting with the ball at the SCSU 48 yard line following a 21-yard SCSU punt. Four Hutton completions on the drive including a 3rd-and-2 to Jared Olsgaard lined up a Laudet field goal in the red zone, a 35-yarder to give Concordia its first lead, 12-9 with 9:09 to go.

From there, St. Cloud State’s offense got back on a roll and would execute 16 of the game’s next 19 plays, converting a 38-yard field goal to tie the game at 12 before missing a game-winning attempt with 22 seconds left from 38 yards out.

In the overtime, Hutton took a pair of shots to the end zone before looking to Johnson on third down underneath for seven yards, setting up Laudet’s fifth field goal.

St. Cloud State was aided in overtime by a hands to the face penalty on the first play from scrimmage, turning a six yard gain into a first and goal from the nine yard line. On third and goal from the three, SCSU quarterback Dwayne Lawhorn connected for a three yard touchdown over the middle.

Shaq Johnson had 71 total yards, rushing nine times for 20 yards and pulling in five catches for 51 yards. Olsgaard led the team with six catches in the game, picking up 25 yards. Freshman Darios Crawley-Reid added 38 total yards, with 3-17 rushing and 3-21 receiving.

CSP held SCSU rushing leader Joe Blanda to 60 yards on 14 attempts and limited the Huskies to 4.0 per carry although SCSU was able to run the ball 41 times for 163 yards.

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