Story and photo courtesy of Concordia-St. Paul Athletics
ST. PAUL, Minn. - Concordia University (2-4 NSIC, 1-1 South) picked up their first division win of the season in a 35-6 victory over Upper Iowa (2-4 NSIC, 0-2 South) on Saturday at Sea Foam Stadium. The Golden Bears picked up their first-ever homecoming win at Sea Foam Stadium in the fourth year of the on-campus facility, in front of 1,743 fans.
The Golden Bears rushed for 301 yards as a team while defensively Mike Willett (Woodbury, Minn.) set a school record with 20 tackles in the contest. He helped lead the defense to force six turnovers by forcing two fumbles, and the Peacocks went 4-of-16 on third downs and 2-of-6 on fourth downs.
Willett broke the record previously held by Scott Brommerich set in 1994 against Northwestern.
Concordia opened up the game with touchdowns on their first two possessions, a 34-yard rush by Ronald Zollicoffer (Chicago, Ill.) before a 64-yarder by Jason White (Davenport, Iowa). White's run was impressive as he ran his way out of numerous tackles to go the distance.
After that, neither team would score until late in the second quarter when Upper Iowa scored with 38 seconds to play in the half on a 21-yard pass. But their extra point was blocked and after a turnover the Peacocks had a late Hail Mary attempt to tighten the game further before the break as Keaton Hosch hauled in a 27-yard catch to the 3-yard line but was thwarted by the Concordia defense inside the 5-yard line.
Concordia opened the second half strong, extending the lead to 21-6 on a 10-yard pass from James Peterson (Blaine, Minn.) to Zollicoffer, while Peterson would connect with Tre Mason (League City, Texas) just a few minutes later for a 28-6 lead.
From there, the defense continued to force turnovers and hold Upper Iowa from scoring as White rushed in for his second touchdown of the game late in the third quarter from 13-yards out.
White led the Golden Bears with 115 yards on the ground on just eight attempts and added two catches for 15 yards. Zollicoffer had two carries for 33 yards and two receptions for 13 yards with his two touchdowns. Concordia's feature back, Tre Spears (Chicago, Ill.), carried the load with 21 carries for 97 yards while Peterson added 62 yards on seven rushing attempts from under center.
Peterson also passed for 114 yards and two scores, completing 13-of-22. He was not sacked or intercepted in the game.
Concordia punter Tom Obarski (Burnsville, Minn.)was busy with eight punts for a 40.8 average including burying three inside the 20 with a long of 56.
The Concordia defense contributed with 12 pass breakups spread around to nine different players, they had eight quarterback hurries between seven different players as well. Interceptions went to Jeremy Randle (Minneapolis, Minn.) and Zach Moore (Chicago, Ill.), while the defense also recovered four Peacock fumbles.
Upper Iowa was paced by Chris Smith on the ground with 20 carries for 69 yards. Cole Jaeschke completed 15-of-40 for 191 yards and a touchdown but was intercepted twice.
The Golden Bears return to the road next Saturday at 23rd-ranked University of Sioux Falls for a 6:30 p.m. game. The game will be televised locally in the Sioux Falls community on their NBC-affiliate.