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Big First Half Buoys St. Norbert Past Prairie Fire

From Asst. AD/Athletics Communications, September 30, 2017 | Football
by Dan Lukes, dan.lukes@snc.edu, (920) 403-4077

DE PERE - St. Norbert College held a large halftime lead for the second consecutive week on its way to a 61-17 win over Knox College in a non-conference game at Schneider Stadium.

The Green Knights (2-2), who led Grinnell College 52-6 at halftime en route to a 66-14 win last Saturday, held a 42-7 edge on Knox (3-1) at intermission. The game also marked the third time in school history St. Norbert has scored at least 60 points in consecutive games. The Prairie Fire was bidding for its first 4-0 start to a season since 1939.

St. Norbert scored on its second possession, when Jack Becker found Samuel Staehling on a 37-yard touchdown pass. The Green Knights held Knox to a three-and-out, and converted three plays later on a 42-yard touchdown run by Elijah Fort. Knox halved its deficit on a 15-yard touchdown scramble by Matt McCaffrey with 1 seconds remaining in the first quarter to trail 14-7.

A four-touchdown second quarter put the game solidly in the hands of St. Norbert, which had 258 yards of offense in the period. Becker hit Staehling on a 69-yard touchdown on the second play of the period. Fort had a 1-yard touchdown run halfway through the quarter. Becker hit Staehling for a third time on a 63-yard touchdown with 5:31 left. Becker then threw another touchdown pass on a 44-yard aerial to Fort with 1:43 left in the period for a 42-7 lead.

St. Norbert scored the first 16 points of the third quarter. Spenser Thompson-Meyers hit a 31-yard field goal, Fort had a 3-yard touchdown run and Becker an 8-yard touchdown run for a 58-7 lead with 7:28 left in the third quarter. Jesus Flores converted a 24-yard field goal for Knox with 1:23 left in the period.

Knox had its final score on a 68-yard touchdown pass from Hector Lopez to Malik Hamilton with 6:53 left, and Thompson-Meyers hit a 31-yard field goal with 1:38 remaining for the final points.

St. Norbert outgained Knox 588-267 in total offense. Becker completed 10 of 15 passes for 269 yards and four touchdowns with one interception. Staehling caught four passes for 177 yards and three touchdowns. Fort rushed 21 times for 176 yards and three touchdowns.

McCaffrey completed 19 of 31 passes for 168 yards. McCaffrey also had a team-high in rushing with 26 yards on 11 carries for the Prairie Fire, which netted 13 yards on the ground.

Mike Olijnyk and Matt Gurgone had a team-high seven tackles for St. Norbert, while Stuart Kwaterski had five stops with three tackles-for-loss and a forced fumble.