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Green Knights Suffer Heartbreak In Double-Overtime Loss

From Asst. AD/Athletics Communications, September 2, 2017 | Football
by Dan Lukes, dan.lukes@snc.edu, (920) 403-4077

STEVENS POINT - St. Norbert College nearly registered a big win to open the 2017 season but fell just shy, succumbing to UW-Stevens Point 34-33 in double overtime in a non-conference game at Community Stadium at Goerke Park.

The Green Knights held a 17-7 halftime lead and a 20-13 lead after three quarters, and also led in the second overtime, but couldn't hold off a potent Stevens Point passing attack down the stretch.

With the game tied 20-20 after 60 minutes, Stevens Point scored on its first play to open the first overtime on a 25-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Swigart to Nick Schroeder for a 27-20 lead. The Green Knights then needed four plays to tie the score on their series, with Elijah Fort scoring from two yards out. St. Norbert then opened the second overtime and converted a third-and-goal from the 11 on a touchdown pass from Jack Becker to Samuel Staehling, but the point-after try was blocked for a 33-27 edge. Swigart then found Jonte Webb on the first play of the Pointers' possession, and Hayden Neidert's extra point was true to end a hard-fought contest.

St. Norbert and Stevens Point couldn't find the scoreboard through most of the first quarter until the Green Knights scored on a 9-yard touchdown from Becker to Staehling with 2:29 left in the period.

Stevens Point then marched the the St. Norbert 1-yard line, and was stopped twice by a stout defensive front for a turnover on downs. The Green Knights then marched all 99 yards in 14 plays to take a 14-0 lead. St. Norbert converted three third downs on the series, climaxed by an 8-yard touchdown run by Fort with 4:534 left.

The Pointers responded with a touchdown drive of their own on a 15-yard touchdown from Swigart to Steve Herra on a third-and-12 with 1:42 left before halftime. St. Norbert got to the Stevens Point 2 at the end of the half before settling on a 19-yard field goal by Spenser Thompson-Meyers for a 17-7 halftime edge.

The Green Knights were poised to break the game open at the start of the second half, reaching the Stevens Point 12, but a pair of passes were incomplete to give the ball back to the Pointers. Stevens Point then went 88 yards in eight plays to cut the deficit to 17-13 on a 6-yard completion from Swigart to Jerry Williams.

St. Norbert got a field goal on the next possession when a drive stalled at the Stevens Point 19-yard line, with Thompson-Meyers connecting from 36 yards out for a 20-13 advantage.

Stevens Point tied the game with 7:43 left in the fourth quarter on a 5-yard pass from Swigart to Webb. The Pointers converted a third-and-24 and fourth-and-5 near midfield to keep the series alive.

The Green Knights had a chance to win the game in regulation after forcing a Stevens Point fumble at the St. Norbert 32 with 2:49 to go. St. Norbert reached the Stevens Point 31-yard line but had a play called back on an illegal formation penalty, and time expired after reaching the Pointers' 37.

Stevens Point outgained St. Norbert 459-390, but the Green Knights had 28 first downs to the Pointers' 22. St. Norbert converted 10 of 19 third-down opportunities while Stevens Point was 7-for-15. The Green Knights outgained the Pointers 172-85 on the ground.

Becker completed 17 of 33 passes for 218 yards and two touchdowns and also scrambled 13 times for 60 yards. Staehling caught seven passes for 87 yards. Fort rushed 34 times for 107 yards and two touchdowns.

Swigart led the Pointers, completing 23 of 32 passes for 374 yards with five touchdowns and two interceptions. Williams caught nine passes for 201 yards and one touchdown, while Herra caught five passes for 80 yards and one touchdown.