MEQUON, Wis. – A 37-minute weather delay, downpours and fog all played a factor during the battle for the Luther Cup on Saturday at Tomasini Stadium, but it was Wisconsin Lutheran who walked away with the trophy after defeating Concordia Wisconsin 22-19 in NACC play after a forced fumble with just over a minute to play stopped a Falcon offensive drive.
Final Score: Wisconsin Lutheran 22, Concordia Wisconsin 19
Location: Tomasini Stadium (Mequon, Wis.)
Records: Wisconsin Lutheran 2-4, 1-2 NACC; Concordia Wisconsin 1-5, 0-3 NACC
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Just over five minutes before kickoff lightning stuck in the area, forcing a 37-minute weather delay before the action even began. Once play resumed, downpours and fog surely effected how the teams played on the field. Nevertheless, Wisconsin Lutheran stopped an all-important Concordia Wisconsin drive late in the fourth quarter after a successful onside kick to dampen any chance of a come-from-behind victory.
- From the get-go, the running game was going to matter, but special teams played a huge factor when needed. The Falcons' freshman quarterback Bryan Gudka (Keenesburg, Colo.) connected with junior Ryan Wagner (Mukwonago, Wis.) for a 3-yard touchdown to get the hosts within three points, 22-19, with just under two minutes to play.
- On the ensuing kickoff, junior Jacob Mason (Slinger, Wis.) had a perfectly placed squib kick that went the needed 10 yards before he fell on it for a successful onside kick. Then, Gudka found Wagner for a 17-yard pass-and-catch play to move the ball to the 37-yard line. However, on the next play Eric Griebenow forced a fumble for the Warriors, which was recovered by Brandon Morrissey to end any chance of success for the Falcons.
- The passing game was difficult to come by, as both teams combined for 39 attempts through the air, compared to 93 attempts on the ground. Concordia Wisconsin accounted for 168 rushing yards and Wisconsin Lutheran piled on 241.
- The kicking game was also important, as Mason nailed a 23 and 33-yard field goals. Wisconsin Lutheran's Grant Fleming booted field goals of 20, 25 and 26 yards.
- Gudka led the rushing attack with 91 yards and averaged 5.1 yards per carry for Concordia Wisconsin. Freshman Jordan Edwards (Mount Prospect, Ill.) scored on a 4-yard run 30 seconds into the game for his first career touchdown and finished with 52 yards on the ground.
- Senior DeMarcus Heglar (Chicago, Ill.) had four receptions for 48 yards to lead the Falcons pass catchers.
- Sophomore Tyler Perkins and senior Albert Goerlitz (Withee, Wis.) each had a game-high 10 tackles. Freshman Dwayne Rackard III (Orlando, Fla.) had eight tackles (3.0 for loss), forced and recovered fumble and a sack. Senior Maxwell Fischer (Joliet, Ill.) and freshman Justin Dunlap (Henderson, Nev.) each forced a fumble, while freshman Zack Fountain (West Bend, Wis.) and freshman Denzel Goodwin (Elgin, Ill.) both recovered a fumble.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
- The Falcons struggled on third-down, converting just 2-of-12 attempts, while the Warriors were 8-of-16.
- Wisconsin Lutheran was 5-of-5 in the red zone, with three possessions ending in a field goal. Concordia Wisconsin was 4-of-4 and scored twice on field goals and touchdowns.
- It was the second-straight game the Falcons recovered three fumbles in a game.
- John-Marcus Carruthers ran for 174 yards on 27 carries (6.4 average) and scored a touchdown.
- Pat Mathieson had 167 yards passing and a touchdown, while Tony Ciufo hauled in three passes for 71 yards. J.K. Witkofski had a receiving touchdown and 40 receiving yards.
- Grant Fleming made three field goals – 20, 25, 26 yards.
- Brandon Morrissey had a team-high seven tackles and recovered a fumble, and Cameron Wolf had a sack and recovered a fumble. Eric Griebenow forced a fumble.
NEXT ON THE SCHEDULE
- Concordia Wisconsin will travel to River Forest, Ill., for a NACC game at Concordia Chicago on Saturday, October 21 at 1 pm.