Knights unable to Finish Upset Bid against CSS
NEW ULM, Minn. - The MLC football team took defending UMAC champion St. Scholastica down the wire, but was unable to close the deal on the upset bid in a 21-7 loss Saturday.
The defense was stout all day for MLC, holding the high-scoring Saints to just 21 points and 16 first downs. The Knights bent but didn't break for much of the game, and stopped CSS five times on fourth down in the first three quarters of play.
The game was scoreless until the Saints scored with 36 seconds to play in the second quarter, but the Knights came right back with an 81-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Luke Rothe, tying the score at 7-7 heading into the half.
Neither team was able to score in the third quarter, but the Saints made the big play in the fourth, as Cory Gebhard broke several MLC tackles on a 73-yard touchdown pass from Tyler Harper that gave the Saints a 14-7 lead.
After several stops for both teams, the Saints put the game away with a Gebhard touchdown catch on fourth and goal with 25 seconds remaining to finish the upset bid.
The MLC offense was unable to move the ball throughout the game, mustering only 67 yards of total offense. The run game especially struggled, as the Knights finished with -32 yards on the ground.
They did create several plays through the air, with Dan Rodewald and Rothe combining for 84 yards receiving on five catches, and Josh Rathje finished the game 7-21 passing for 99 yards and an interception.
The MLC defense held strong throughout the game, allowing 371 total yards but coming up big early and often until the final minutes.
Conrad Dewey and Derek Loewen led the team in tackles with ten apiece, and Galen Holzhueter made a number of plays all over the field with nine tackles, 2.0 tackles for loss, one interception and one fumble recovery.
The Knights dropped to 1-3 overall and 0-3 in UMAC play, while St. Scholastica improved to 3-1 on the season and 3-0 in league action.
MLC will return to action on Saturday, September 29, when it to Presentation for a game scheduled to start at 3 p.m.