ST PAUL, Minn. – Saturday afternoon's non-conference matchup was a grind-it-out battle. Concordia University Wisconsin scored a late touchdown to get within striking distance of Macalester College, but an interception on the Falcons final possession allowed the Scots to escape with a 17-13 win.
The sophomore pass-and-catch combination of Austin Damaschke (Bristol, Wis.) and Garrett Wenzelburger (Hartland, Wis.) was on display again, as the two connected for a pair of scores. The 6-foot-6 receiver led the Falcons with 104 all-purpose yards and TD grabs of 13 and 5 yards.
MC made key adjustments at halftime, which led to a pair of scores in the third quarter, including what proved to be the game-winning 12-yard touchdown toss from Clark Bledsoe to C.J. Smith as time expired in the period.
Bledsoe completed just 9-of-23 passes for 63 yards, but it did not matter because the Scots were able to run for 153 yards on 39 carries.
CUW did finish with a two-minute time of possession advantage, but the Scots ability to constantly run the ball into the heart of the Falcon defense took its toll. The Falcons have now allowed 413 rushing yards on 83 attempts (5.0 average) in two games this season. CUW finished with a 218-216 total yard advantage.
With their backs against the wall trailing 17-7, CUW marched down the field 53 yards late in the fourth quarter before Damaschke found Wenzelburger for the second time with a 5-yard TD strike with 2:12 to play. Damaschke connected with receivers on five of the Falcons 10 plays during the drive, but a failed extra point attempt put the deficit at 17-13.
MC attempted to run out the clock, but CUW's defense forced a three-and-out series. Unfortunately the Falcons took over possession 64 yards away from pay dirt with just 28 seconds to complete a valiant effort. An interception of Damasche's desperation heave ended their chances.
The Scots' Mike Adams led all rushers with 88 yards on 15 carries (5.9 average). Bledsoe also rushed for 31 yards on 11 carries.
Damaschke finished 19-of-30 for 190 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. However, he was sacked five times. The right-hander scrambled for a team-high 46 yards on 14 carries.
The scoreboard remained at 0-0 after 15 minutes of play and it took nearly 11 more minutes before MC (1-1) kicked a 38-yard field goal in the second period. CUW (0-2) answered on the ensuing possession with a six-play, 60-yard drive to take a 7-3 lead. The drive was highlighted by Damaschke's 40-yard pass to Wenzelburger, prior to Wenzelburger's 13-yard TD grab.
MC scored on its opening and closing possessions of the third quarter to own a 17-7 lead with 15 minutes to play. A 12-play, 68-yard drive ended with Bledsoe finding Adams for a 7-yard score to give the lead back to the Scots. Bledsoe found Smith for a 12-yard score to give MC what proved to be the winning points.
CUW returns to Mequon, Wis., on Saturday, Sept. 15 for its home opener at brand new Tomasini Stadium at 1 p.m. against Trine University. It is also Military Day.