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First Quarter Dooms St. Norbert at Monmouth

From Sports Information Director, November 5, 2016 | Football
by Dan Lukes, dan.lukes@snc.edu, (920) 403-4077

MONMOUTH, Ill. - St. Norbert College allowed touchdowns on Monmouth College's first three possessions and couldn't recover in a 38-14 loss in a Midwest Conference game at April Zorn Memorial Stadium.

The Green Knights (6-3, 6-1 MWC) went three-and-out on their first three possessions while Monmouth (9-0, 7-0 MWC), ranked No. 20 in the AFCA Division III Poll, scored immediately following to clinch a share of the MWC title and the conference's automatic berth into the NCAA Division III Playoffs.

Monmouth took a 21-0 lead in the first quarter on a 5-yard run by DeAndre Wright and touchdown runs of nine and three yards by Tanner Matlick. The Green Knights countered midway through the second quarter with a six-play, 77-yard touchdown drive capped by a J.T. Crosby 2-yard touchdown run to cut the deficit to 21-7 with 8:04 left. Monmouth grabbed a 28-7 halftime lead on a 2-yard touchdown run by Wright with 41 seconds left before intermission.

The Fighting Scots' Joey Biel added a 33-yard field goal in the third quarter for a 31-7 advantage. Crosby hit Samuel Staehling with a 21-yard touchdown pass with 12:32 to go for St. Norbert's last touchdown, while Trent Rains broke a 35-yard touchdown run with 11 seconds to go for the game's final points.

Monmouth outgained St. Norbert 469-142 in total offense, ran 89 plays to the Green Knights' 44 and had 27 first downs to the Green Knights' seven. Crosby completed 10 of 22 passes for 135 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Staehling caught four passes for 101 yards and one touchdown.

Matlick completed 20 of 28 passes for 203 yards for Monmouth. Wright had 155 yards rushing on 33 carries and two touchdowns, while Rains added 85 yards on 17 carries and one touchdown.

Ryan Grandlic made 26 tackles to lead the St. Norbert defense, two short of the school record of 28 held by Ben Merigold vs. Lawrence University in 1997 and Ray Dignan against UW-Platteville in 1976.