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St. Norbert Roars Past Illinois College With Big Fourth Quarter

From Sports Information Director, September 27, 2014 | Football
by Dan Lukes, dan.lukes@snc.edu, (920) 403-4077

DE PERE - St. Norbert College scored 26 unanswered points in the fourth quarter as the Green Knights charged back to stun Illinois College 32-27 in a non-conference game at Schneider Stadium.

The Green Knights (2-1) entered the final 15 minutes trailing 27-6, but scored on their first four possessions of the fourth quarter to take the lead and hold on for the stirring comeback win. It was St. Norbert's third comeback from at least 20 points down since 1999. The Green Knights trailed 31-9 in the third quarter in a 43-40 overtime win at Grinnell College on Oct. 23, 1999 and trailed Carroll University 20-0 at halftime on Oct. 17, 2009 before winning 27-20.

St. Norbert was in dire straits entering the fourth quarter, facing a fourth-and-1 situation on the Illinois College 38 on the first play of the period. James Tringali found Zach Reeves for a 36-yard completion to the Blueboys' 2. J.T. Crosby then scored from 2 yards out to get to within 27-13.

Illinois College (1-2), the Division III leader in total offense entering play at 682.5 yards per game, then went three-and-out on its next series. Two plays later, Zach Broberg bowled over an Illinois College defender near the sideline and continued onward for a 54-yard touchdown to trail 27-20 with 12 minutes 56 seconds remaining.

The Blueboys then went three-and-out again, and a short punt and 18-yard punt return by Marty Franzkowiak to the Illinois College 20 set up St. Norbert on another short field. Tringali found Brett Olson for a 19-yard touchdown pass two players later, but the extra point was blocked for a 27-26 Illinois College lead with 10:07 to go.

The St. Norbert defense again forced a Blueboys punt after three plays, with the Green Knights taking over at their own 34-yard line. The Green Knights faced a third-and-15 from the Illinois College 26 with 3:29 left when a scrambling Tringali reversed field and hit Broberg at the 2. Broberg then scored on a rushing touchdown on the next play. St. Norbert led 32-27 with 2:56 to go after the two-point conversion failed.

The Blueboys took over at their own 25 following the kickoff and got to a third-and-4 at the St. Norbert 41, but two Michael Bates incompletions gave the ball back to the Green Knights. Broberg's 19-yard run for a first down on the game's final play sealed the victory.

St. Norbert outgained Illinois College 202-27 in the fourth quarter, and had eight first downs to the Blueboys' two. Tringali, who completed 6 of 8 passes for 111 yards in the final period, finished 15-for-26 for 205 yards and one touchdown. Broberg led the Green Knights on the ground with 96 yards on nine carries and two touchdowns.

The Green Knights led 6-0 after the first quarter on a 1-yard touchdown run by Elijah Fort with 3:15 left in the period. Illinois College answered on its next series when Bates hit Josh Gentile on a 26-yard touchdown pass on fourth-and-11 with 13:41 left in the second quarter.

Illinois College took the lead on a 17-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown by Zack Hanlon with 6:42 left before halftime. The Blueboys extended their lead to 20-6 with 4:55 left in the period on a Dakota Lammy 4-yard run, just two plays after a St. Norbert punt was blocked.

The Green Knights lost a fumble on the first play from scrimmage in the second half, and Illinois College cashed in again with a 1-yard touchdown run by Bates for a 27-6 edge with 10:50 left in the third quarter.

St. Norbert ended up outgaining Illinois College 337-314, holding the Blueboys 369 yards under their season average. Bates, the active Division III leader in career passing yardage, completed 22 of 40 passes for 218 yards and one touchdown. Lammy led the Blueboys in rushing with 83 carries on 25 attempts.

Zach Klarkowski led St. Norbert defensively with 16 tackles. Ryan Grandlick had nine stops and Joe Lorenz made eight tackles, and each had two passes defensed. Dylan Ringhausen led Illinois College with 15 tackles.