LISLE, Ill.- Outgained by over 200 yards in the first half but still knotted at 0-0 on the scoreboard, Concordia Wisconsin (2-2 overall) needed to make adjustments on both sides of the ball....and did they ever!
Coach Greg Etter's squad looked like an entirely different contingent over the final 30 minutes and one excellent third quarter scoring drive paved the way to a 6-0 conquest of defending NAC champion Benedictine (2-2) in the conference opener for both teams.
BenU could have taken total control of the game in the first 30 minutes except for four separate turnovers (two in the red zone) and a missed field goal. While BenU was chewing up real estate to the tune of 16 first downs and 270 yards, the apparently overmatched Falcons were limited to a single first down and 20 yards of total offense.
Then came the third quarter and a wonderful new scenario. With signal caller Austin Damaschke at the controls, CUW went to the air seven times on their first possession. Damaschke completed each of those throws and took his offense to the Eagle 10 yard line before a fumbled exchange ended the promising drive.
Not to worry- CUW had found a dent in the Benedictine armor and it was only a matter of time.
Final stats showed Benedictine with a 372 to 259 yard advantage, but the 230 yard second half display by the Falcon offense bodes well for future contests as does the fact that BenU added only 100 yards to their game-long offensive output.
Damaschke was 22 of 36 through the air for 204 yards; almost all of that coming in the second half.
White played sparingly, but his impact was significant. He carried the ball two times for 24 yards in addition to snaring the short Damaschke pass and turning it into a 44 yard gain. Garrett Wenzelburger was his usual dominant self at wide out with eight catches for 96 yards.
Matt Upson led a CUW defense that was terrific after halftime with five solos and eight assists. John Palese was credited with five solos and four assists. Concordia punter Hunter Breunig also came up huge, booming 10 punts for 388 yards with excellent hang time on most of them. He also kept those boots away from Eagle superstar John Borsellino for the most part. Borsellino was able to get his hands on only two of those punts and returned them for a total of 31 yards.
Borsellino, BenU's first team pre-season All American ran 10 times for 39 yards from scrimmage and caught seven passes for 45 more; a good day's work for most backs but far below his career average.
Concordia had not won a non conference game in six seasons before the recent home thriller over Trine. Now the Falcons are suddenly part of the early-season NAC title conversation after arguably the biggest win in Coach Greg Etter's six year career.
CUW will look for a third straight victory when hosting Maranatha Saturday in a Homecoming matchup.