By Ryan Durdon
Photo Courtesy of Sower Staff
Smart offense, a powerful run game and a strong defensive performance has led the CUNE Bulldogs leads to a 3-0 start for only the third time since the GPAC era.
Concordia’s offense struggled to get things going early in the first quarter. The first three series resulted in three-and-outs.
Quarterback Blake Culbert was sacked in his own end zone after a Chargers punt put them deep into their own territory, putting the Chargers up 2-0. The next series out Culbert connected with Korrell Koehlmoos for a 26-yard touchdown strike and the bulldogs held the lead for the remainder of the game.
Culbert went 11 of 22 passes completed for 194 yards and 1 touchdown. Koehlmoos caught three passes for 104 yards with one touchdown. Culbert also connected with Cayden Beran for five passes for 63 yards.
Concordia’s offensive line created running lanes for the backs against a talented defensive line that included Briar Cliffs’ All American defensive end Robert Robinson. The run-heavy offense churned out 179 rushing yards in 49 attempts.
Jonah Weyand, National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics and Great Plains Athletic Conference player of the week, had less flashy numbers of 38 yards on nine carries due to an ankle injury that put him out of the game in the second half. Lyle Whitney had 73 yards on 16 carries and Martin Solano had 40 yards on nine carries to pick up the slack. Both also rushed for their first career touchdowns.
Jordan Spilinek made a 21-yard field goal attempt in the beginning of the second quarter to put the Bulldogs up 10-2. Concordia found the endzone again before halftime when Whitney plunged into the endzone from eight yards out. Concordia went into the half with the lead, 17-2.
Briar Cliff was the first to score in the second half as Devrene Kahananui-Alejado capped off the first drive with a three-yard touchdown run. That was the only score allowed by the Bulldog defense.
Concordia’s defense was without All-American linebacker Lane Napier but didn’t miss a beat. It held a good Briar Cliff offense to one touchdown, 86 passing yards and 85 rushing yards.
The defense put pressure on the quarterback all game, leading to five sacks. Logan Kreizel and Chase Hammons both chased down the quarterback twice and Caydren Cox once. With their aggressive strategy Concordia’s defense allowed only nine first downs and forced the Chargers offense to punt 12 times.
On Oct. 3 Concordia will face off against Jamestown (0-0) for Homecoming at Bulldog Stadium. Last year the Bulldogs lost to Jamestown in four overtimes, 13-10.