Listen to the game here.
JAMESTOWN, N.D. – The Concordia University football team somehow defied the statistics on Saturday afternoon (Sept. 15) in Jamestown, N.D. Despite being outgained 347-144 in total yardage, the Bulldogs gutted out a 16-13 victory over host Jamestown. For the second game in a row, a fourth quarter touchdown rush by Ryan Durdon made the difference on the scoreboard.
Second-year head coach Patrick Daberkow’s squad is now 2-0 (1-0 GPAC) with both victories coming down to the wire.
“I think it was a testament to our team approach,” said Daberkow afterwards. “They made mistakes, but we capitalized on them when they made them. That’s important not to lose sight of that amidst all the other problems that we had today. We capitalized on the opportunities when they arose. We still have a lot of young personnel that we’re breaking in. We don’t have a set depth chart. That inexperience can show itself in different ways. We’re taking things week by week.”
Concordia overcame the substantial yardage differential and a more than 2-to-1 disadvantage in time of possession by leaning upon a gritty defense led by sophomore linebacker Lane Napier. A pair of bad snaps on Jamestown punts also played a critical role in the outcome. The first one resulted in a safety late in the first quarter. The second mishap proved devastating to the home team. It gave the Bulldogs the ball at the Jimmie 14-yard line. On the very next play, Durdon raced to the end zone for the game’s deciding points with 14:12 left in the fourth quarter.
Concordia put together its best offensive possession of the day following the safety. A 33-yard pass play from Jake Kemp to Vincent Beasley was the highlight of the seven-play, 52-yard drive that staked the Bulldogs to a 9-7 lead early in the second quarter. Durdon finished it off with a two-yard plunge for a score.
It was clear that the Jimmies (1-3, 0-2 GPAC) were focused on limiting Durdon, who went off for 250 yards rushing last week versus Buena Vista University. Durdon carried the ball 15 times for 53 yards in his latest performance as part of a day in which the Concordia offense had to scratch and claw for everything it got. Daberkow isn’t apologizing for the win though.
“I had to tell the guys in the locker room, ‘You’ve got to start smiling,’” Daberkow said. “You have to enjoy the wins when they come. We know how much work we have to do in order to compete with the top tier of this conference. We’re all trying to get ahead of ourselves. When you do that, you’re setting yourself up for failure. We want to win now and continue to develop those young guys.”
The defense could use the rest on the eight-plus hour bus ride back to Seward. The defense was on the field for 81 plays and 40:53 of game time. That meant extra duty for guys like Napier, who piled up 18 tackles, including 2.5 for loss. Zac Walter and Kordell Glause also pitched in with timely sacks. The defense bent, but it rarely broke. On five trips to the red zone, Jamestown managed to reach the end zone just once – on an eight-yard connection from quarterback Jordan Mann to tight end James Hagen in the first quarter.
Offensively, Concordia ran just 41 plays. A senior from Manvel, Texas, Beasley (three catches for 46 yards) was having a nice day until being sidelined for the second half due to injury. The quarterback duo of Kemp and Luke Lang combined to complete 10-of-18 passes for 81 yards. Jamestown held the Bulldogs to 63 rushing yards on 23 attempts.
After an early breakdown, the Concordia secondary settled in. Mann finished 21-for-33 for 196 yards and a touchdown. Running back Jimmy Hatch netted 60 yards on 16 carries. Grant Mitchell hauled in four passes for 66 yards. Jamestown has dropped back-to-back decisions to Northwestern and Concordia in its first two conference games as a GPAC member.
The Bulldogs will return home next Saturday (Sept. 22) for their homecoming clash with rival and 24th-ranked Midland (2-1, 0-1 GPAC). Concordia has won each of the last six meetings with the Warriors. Head coach Jeff Jamrog’s squad suffered a 49-20 loss at No. 5 Northwestern on Saturday.