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Offense Breaks Out as St. Norbert Clinches MWC North Division

From Asst. AD/Athletics Communications, October 28, 2017 | Football
by Dan Lukes, dan.lukes@snc.edu, (920) 403-4077

ST. PAUL, Minn. - St. Norbert College wrapped up the Midwest Conference North Division title as the Green Knights rolled to a 47-7 win over Macalester College at Macalester Stadium.

The Green Knights (6-2, 4-0 MWC North), who won their sixth consecutive game, will face Monmouth College on Nov. 11 in Monmouth, Ill., in the MWC Championship Game. Macalester (5-3, 3-1) also entered the game unbeaten in the MWC North.

St. Norbert scored its highest point total in MWC North play behind Jack Becker's career-high 328 passing yards. Becker also tied a school record with five touchdown passes, while Samuel Staehling's two touchdown receptions give him 13 on the season - also tying a St. Norbert standard.

St. Norbert held a 3-0 lead after the first quarter after Spenser Thompson-Meyers kicked a 24-yard field goal following a Macalester after a strip-sack by Stuart Kwaterski, but the Green Knights pulled away in the second quarter.

The Green Knights capped a 12-play, 65-yard drive to open the second quarter, with Becker finding Marty Franzkowiak on a 17-yard touchdown at the 10:39 mark. Thompson-Meyers then gave St. Norbert a 13-0 lead on a 33-yard field goal after a Tommy Gonzales interception put the Green Knights deep in Macalester territory. St. Norbert boosted its lead to 20-0 after Matt Gurgone blocked a Macalester punt just before halftime. That set up Becker finding Staehling on a 41-yard touchdown pass just 26 seconds prior to intermission.

Macalester scored on the opening possession of the second half, with Christian Adams finding Jack Streibich for a 53-yaard touchdown pass. The Scots then intercepted Becker deep in their own territory and advanced to the St. Norbert 19-yard line before turning the ball over on downs. St. Norbert wrested momentum for good on the next series when Becker connected with Franzkowiak on a 32-yard touchdown pass with 44 seconds left in the third quarter for a 27-7 lead.

St. Norbert then scored early in the fourth quarter on a 42-yard pass from Becker to Staehling. Ben Kornowski's strip sack recovered by Kwaterski put St. Norbert in business again, with Becker finding Matt Galanopoulos on a 31-yard touchdown on the next play from scrimmage for a 40-7 lead with 11:13 left. The Green Knights closed out the scoring with a blocked punt recovered in the end zone by Mike Olijnyk with 1:11 left to play.

The Green Knights held a 469-264 advantage in total offense. Becker completed 21 of 33 passes for 326 yards with five touchdowns and one interception. His five touchdown passes marked the fifth time in school history a St. Norbert passer has thrown five touchdown passes in a game, joining Remy Stephenson (1975 vs. Monmouth), Ryan Hartman (2003 vs. Carroll), Cody Craig (2007 vs. Lawrence) and Rob Berger (2010 vs. Lawrence).

Staehling caught six passes for 142 yards and two touchdowns. His 13 touchdown receptions tied a St. Norbert single-season record, joining Greg Benesh (1975) and Judd O'Connell (2007) for the most in school history. Staehling now has 22 touchdown receptions in 18 career games, and is just one shy of tying O'Connell for third-most in St. Norbert annals.

The St. Norbert defense held Macalester to minus-34 yards rushing, the fourth-lowest total ever posted by a Green Knights' defense. Six different players posted quarterback sacks as St. Norbert improved its season rushing defense total to just 43.6 yards per game.

Adams led Macalester with 244 yards passing, completing 18 of 36 passes with one touchdown and one interception. Jonathan Knee caught seven passes for 100 yards.