Knights Come from Behind to Top Cougars
NEW ULM, Minn. - The Martin Luther College football team scored with 4:35 to play in the fourth quarter to defeat Minnesota Morris 35-32 Saturday in the Homecoming game.
The MLC defense stood tall for much of the day, holding the Cougars to five scoring drives despite UMM starting seven different drives in MLC territory thanks to six MLC turnovers, two turnovers on downs, and several special teams miscues.
Offensively, MLC used the ground game to do the work for much of the afternoon. The Knights ran for 307 yards on 62 carries, with Matt Olson leading the way with 25 carries for 149 yards and two scores. Luke Rothe added 134 yards and one score on 26 carries.
When the Knights did pass the ball, they had success. With MLC trailing 12-7 early in the second quarter, Rothe found Josh Rathje and Matt Olson for touchdown passes of 32 and 39 yards, respectively, on consecutive possessions to give MLC a 21-12 lead heading into the half.
The Cougars scored twice in the third quarter to take a 25-21 lead into the fourth, and then answered a one-yard Olson scoring run with a six-play, 65-yard scoring drive to take a 32-28 lead with 9:03 to play in the game.
With the game on the line, the Knights embarked on a ten-play, 82-yard scoring drive that Olson capped with a second short touchdown run to take the lead. The Knights ran the ball nine out of the ten plays on the drive, with the big play coming on a 28-yard Olson run to set MLC up with a first down at the UMM 15-yard line. Ma-lik Rollins also had a big run on the drive, scampering around the end for 13 yards to set up first and goal for MLC at the UMM two-yard line.
The MLC defense made the key stop with 1:25 to play, as Rothe broke up a fourth down pass in the end zone to turn the ball back to the Knights.
Nick Kressin had a strong day from his linebacker spot with 4.0 tackles for loss, 2.0 sacks, one forced fumble and a pass break-up. Ben Ewings led the team with nine tackles, including 2.0 tackles for loss, 1.0 sack and a fumble recovery.
MLC improved to 3-5 on the season and 3-4 in the UMAC with the win, while UMM dropped to 2-6 overall and 2-5 in league play with the loss.
The Knights will return to action on Saturday, November 2, when they travel to Crown for a game scheduled to start at 3 p.m.