MEQUON, Wis. – If you ordered a hot chocolate at the concessions stand it was likely going to be cold by the time you returned to your seat on Saturday, but that didn't matter because Concordia Wisconsin's senior class gave those in attendance a memorable victory. The Falcons put together an 11-play, 70-yard drive late in the fourth quarter to knock off Wisconsin Lutheran, 21-14, at Tomasini Stadium.
Final Score: Concordia Wisconsin 21, Wisconsin Lutheran 14
Location: Tomasini Stadium (Mequon, Wis.)
Records: Concordia Wisconsin 7-3, 5-2 NACC; Wisconsin Lutheran 2-8, 2-5 NACC
QUOTING HEAD COACH GREG ETTER
HOW IT HAPPENED
- The kickoff temperature was 25 degrees, with the wind chill in the teens, forcing the style of play on both sides of the battle to become more difficult. The offense was tough to come by, as there were just a combined seven third-down conversions converted.
- Nevertheless, Concordia Wisconsin earned a hard-fought victory after finding itself down 14-0 with one minute and 57 seconds to play before halftime. Things began to change when freshman Josh Turner (Palatine, Ill.) busted through the middle for a 39-yard scoring run. The long run gave him 107 by the intermission.
- When the offense had its difficulties moving the ball, the defensive unit decided they needed to make a statement. On 2-and-15, freshman Cameron Kohler (Westlake Village, Calif.) tracked down the Warriors quarterback and forced a fumble, which was then picked up by sophomore Troy Stewart (Trevor, Wis.) who scampered 11 yards for a touchdown seconds into the second half.
- It wasn't until freshman James Linn (Chino Hills, Calif.) received his chance for one final game-winning drive, filling in for an injured Aaron Nixon (senior, North Prairie, Wis.). The rookie completed both of his pass attempts and rushed for 27 yards, including the game-winner from seven yards out with 3:18 remaining on the clock. It also helped that Turner moved the ball down the field for 45 rushing yards.
- One final highlight reel play was needed for Wisconsin Lutheran to tie the game, but senior Joh Rauh wasn't going to let that happen. The defensive back made a leaping pass breakup to shut down a trick play and end his career on a memorable note.
- Turner had a career game with 166 rushing yards on 23 carries (7.2 average) and a score.
- Senior Jake Buscher (Mundelein, Ill.) hauled in three passes for 49 yards, while junior Isaiah Tenette (Sacramento, Calif.) had four catches for 40 yards.
- Senior Jacob Mason (Slinger, Wis.) punted six times and pinned the Warriors inside the 20-yard line four times. He also had four passes defended as a defensive back.
- Rauh defended three passes, while junior Brogan Howard (Prineville, Ore.) made two important sacks late in the game. Sophomore Lee Andrew Carter (Milwaukee, Wis.) also had a sack.
- Wisconsin Lutheran's Patrick Mathieson finished with 165 passing yards and a touchdown, while Cory Diedrick had three receptions for 43 yards. Mat Guedel led the Warriors defense with 12 tackles and 2.5 tackles for loss. Tony Orlando intercepted a pass and Cameron Wolf recorded 1.5 sacks.
- The Falcons had a small chance to win the NACC title via a tiebreaking scenario, but needed league-leading Eureka to lose and Lakeland to defeat Aurora on the road, which unfortunately didn't happen.
- Concordia Wisconsin's seven victories is the most since the 2013 season.
- Senior quarterback Aaron Nixon (North Prairie, Wis.) ends his career with 10,108 career total offensive yards. Senior wide receiver James Sanders (Phoenix, Ariz.) concludes his four years with 17 receiving touchdowns.
- Mason scored 154 points, including 48 this season on five field goals and 33 extra points made.