After building a 24-0 lead, Concordia, now 2-0 in the NAC, survived a 4th quarter scare to get past visiting Benedictine 24-20 at Century Stadium Saturday afternoon. The Falcons dominated all aspects of the game through the first thirty minutes and led 21-0 at halftime and 24-0 near the end of the third quarter before the game nearly got away from them.
CUW fumbled the ball away on their first offensive play of the game at their own 25 but the Falcon defense set a trend for the next 40 minutes by stuffing the Eagles (1-1) on three straight plays prior to a missed BU field goal attempt.
Concordia's second possession was much better as the Falcons drove 76 yards in 11 plays, capped by Kasiem Duran's 1 yard TD run. Dan Winsey's point after made it 7-0 but Concordia was not finished gashing the heralded Eagle defense.
With just over 5 minutes left in the first half Duran bolted in one more time, completing a 71 yard march to make it 14-0 after Winsey's kick. Before the half was over CUW had another 7 points courtesy of TJ Pacchioli's quarterback sneak to make it 21-0 at the break.
The third quarter looked to be a carbon copy… to a point. BU went nowhere and a CUW drive stalled at the Benedictine 18 before Winsey's 35 yard field goal made it 24-0 in favor of the Falcons.
On the pass play that took the ball to the 18 (short of a first down) Pacchioli was hit as he threw. A knee injury took the senior signal caller out of the game and also took nearly all of the wind out of the Falcon sails for the rest of the chilly afternoon.
The first sign of real danger occurred when BU's Kevin Jednakowski hauled in a 54 yard TD toss from Matt Brown with a minute left in the third quarter after two Falcon defenders collided on the play to make it 24-7. Then with 3:24 remaining in the game, John Alessi completed a 48 yard drive with a 1 yard run to cut the CUW lead to 24-14.
Hoping to use up clock time Concordia went nowhere in 3 plays after recovering an onside kick attempt and eventually punted to the Benedictine 14. All looked safe with just over two minutes left in the contest but Brown inexplicably was able to connect with Mike Trombetta over the top of CUW's prevent defense for an 86 yard scoring strike and suddenly the lead was just 4 points after the extra point was botched.
Fortunately BU was penalized on their onside kick as the ball did not travel 10 yards and the Falcons were finally able to run out the clock.
Even with all the late Eagle heroics, statistics were still hugely in CUW's favor. Concordia gained 358 yards (237 of those on the ground) and held Benedictine to 206. Almost all of those BU yards came in the second half.
Duran ran for 99 CUW yards and Austin Carlton added 60 behind a much improved offensive line. Pacchioli was 11 of 20 for 118 yards before being injured.
Defensively Paul Metcalf and Justin Rogers each had an interception and Errol Boyd led CUW tacklers with 5 solos and 3 assists as Concordia defenders made rushing for positive yards nearly impossible for BU ball carriers.
Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 F
Benedictine 0 0 7 13 - 20
Concordia Wisconsin 7 14 3 0 - 24