CUW (3-0 in the NAC) never trailed but had to hang on at the end for a HUGE 24-21 Homecoming win over pre-season favorite Aurora (1-2) Saturday in Mequon.
The Falcons got a pair of early TDs, one on a 10 yard toss from Brandon Corona to Tommy Guest and the other on a Corona scramble from 12 yards out to build a 14-0 lead after one quarter. Corona, getting his first career start after TJ Pacchioli went down with a season-ending ACL injury last week, did his best work in that first period but "was able to step up on a big stage and succeed with the support of his teammates," according to Head Coach Greg Etter.
Aurora's first score came on the last play of the half when quarterback Mike Anderson crawled into the end zone from a yard out. It appeared that Anderson had been stopped short of the goal when the whistle blew, but an outside official overruled the original call and gave the Spartans their first score and a big morale boost heading into the locker room.
The third quarter was back and forth with nobody getting any points or significant yardage, so the victory appeared to be secure when Concordia's Dontrell Hall ran back Aurora's punt for a 54 yard score with 13 minutes left in the contest to make it 21-7. The visitors would have none of that, however, and mounted their best scoring drive of the afternoon to make it 21-14.
Two series later the Falcons were able to move to the Aurora 23 before Dan Winsey booted a 40 yard field goal that provided temporary breathing room. The kick also turned out to be the game-winner after Aurora moved down the field once more and scored with less than a minute to go to make it 24-21. This drive featured a pair of defensive interference penalties- one negating a CUW interception.
Aurora recovered the ensuing onside kick but had no timeouts left so the Falcons were able to celebrate after one final sack of Anderson. Jacob Pfeiffer keyed a Concordia defense that has been stellar for three consecutive weeks and held the visitors to 155 yards of offense. Pfeiffer had a pair of sacks and another tackle for lost yardage.
Concordia travels to WLC for a 7:00pm Thursday evening encounter.