Score: CUW 28, LC 23
MEQUON, Wis. -- Concordia University Wisconsin battled back from a 17-7 halftime deficit to defeat Northern Athletics Conference and arch-rival Lakeland College, 28-23, Saturday afternoon at Century Stadium.
The win gave the Falcons a tie for fourth place in the NAC standings with the Muskies with a 4-3 league record.
and Concordia Chicago (6-1) wound up tied for the league crown
after Wisconsin Lutheran (5-2) defeated Benedictine 23-21 in
another Saturday thriller to give the Eagles their first NAC
The hard-hitting contest did not start out like it was going to be a pleasant day for the Falcons.
Lakeland took the opening kickoff and drove all the way to Concordia's 1-yard line before being stopped on 4th down. CUW (4-6 overall) picked up one first down but then a botched punt snap forced senior Bobby May (Palm Beach, Fla.) to scramble and scuff a kick out to his own 29-yard line.
This time the Muskies would not be denied. Eight plays later Adam Miller dove in to make it 7-0 Muskies with 1:37 left in the first quarter.
Things went from bad to worse when Lakeland recovered a fumbled punt at CUW's 35-yard line early in the second quarter.
This time it took only three plays for the visitors to make it 14-0 after Kendrick Burk's 7-yard touchdown scamper.
CUW came to life on the ensuing drive, going 60 yards in nine plays, capped off by junior Carlton Austin's (Kingsford Heights, Ind.) blast into the end zone. Freshman David Gonzalez' (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) point after made it 14-7 Muskies.
Lakeland got the final score of the half when Broc Lawry booted a 21-yard field goal after a clock-chewing 58 yard drive.
Trailing 17-7, head coach Greg Etter's team found some holes in the Muskie secondary midway thru the third quarter.
On the second CUW possession of the half, freshman Austin Damaschke (Bristol, Wis.) completed a trio of tosses with the final one being a 10-yard touchdown strike to junior Eric West (Plymouth, Wis.).
Suddenly it was 17-14 and the Falcon crowd was on their feet.
Lakeland returned the "fumbled punt favor" two series later, and it only took two plays for CUW to grab their first lead. West grabbed a 15 yard scoring dart this time and the extra point made it 21-17 Falcons.
The coffin nail came when senior Justin Rogers (Milwaukee, Wis.) picked off a tipped pass and sprinted 44 yards to paydirt to make it 28-17 CUW.
Lakeland came back within 28-23 on a long pass but failed on a two-point conversion attempt.
CUW was able to eat up the remaining time via the punishing running of Austin and bring home the Cheese Bowl trophy.
The Muskies outgained the Falcons 299 yards to 243, but most of that advantage came during the first half before the CUW defense stiffened.