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Green Knights Rout Grinnell

From Asst. AD/Athletics Communications, September 23, 2017 | Football
by Dan Lukes, dan.lukes@snc.edu, (920) 403-4077

GRINNELL, Iowa - St. Norbert College earned its first win of the season with a 66-13 win over Grinnell College in a non-conference game at Rosenbloom Field.

The Green Knights (1-2) scored on all eight of their first-half possessions to build a 52-6 lead at halftime and defeat the Pioneers (1-2) for the 16th consecutive time. The game is the first of two crossover games against Midwest Conference South Division opponents this season that do not count in the league standings.

St. Norbert stopped Grinnell at its own 36-yard line on the opening possession, and the ensuing punt was returned 60 yards for a touchdown by Drew Rhodes. The Green Knights then held the Pioneers to a three-and-out, and three plays later Spenser Thompson-Meyers boomed a 55-yard field goal for a quick 10-0 lead. The 55-yard field goal set a St. Norbert record and tied a Midwest Conference record. Thompson-Meyers also became the first kicker in MWC history to have two field goals of at least 50 yards in his career.

Sam Koss intercepted a Grinnell pass two plays later, which set up a 7-yard touchdown pass from Jack Becker to Samuel Staehling. Grinnell then went for it on fourth-and-1 from its own 34-yard line and was stopped, setting up an 8-yard touchdown from Becker to Sean Ferraro for a 24-0 lead with 44 seconds left in the first quarter.

Hunter Prokash then intercepted a pass on the second play of the second quarter, which led to Nate Nelson's five-yard touchdown run. The Green Knights' defense held Grinnell to three plays and a punt, and on the next play Becker found Staehling on a 96-yard touchdown pass for a 38-0 lead. The aerial is two yards short of a St. Norbert record.

Grinnell would score on a 30-yard touchdown pass from Connor Headrick to David Taylor on a drive extended by a pair of personal foul penalties. St. Norbert would respond with an eight-play drive capped by Elijah Fort's 1-yard touchdown run. St. Norbert got the ball back after yet another three-and-out by Grinnell, and Becker connected with Staehling for a touchdown for the third time, this one on a 3-yard reception for a 52-6 lead with 30 seconds left in the half.

The Pioneers would score first in the second half, with Carson Dunn scoring on a 2-yard touchdown midway through the third quarter. St. Norbert then melted nearly six minutes off the clock with a 12-play, 61-yard drive, with Colin Bursik scrambling for a five-yard touchdown. The Green Knights closed out the scoring with Nelson scoring on a 1-yard touchdown run with 3:31 remaining.

St. Norbert outgained Grinnell 479-165 in total offense, including 333 to minus-8 on the ground. Fort had 19 rushes for 153 yards and one touchdown, while Nelson had 20 carries for 109 yards and two touchdowns. Becker completed 6 of 8 passes for 114 yards and four touchdown passes. Staehling caught three passes for 106 yards.

Tony Bergida led Grinnell, completing 18 of 36 passes for 143 yards with three interceptions. Taylor caught six passes for 120 yards and one touchdown.