No. 8 University of St. Francis pulled-off the upset against #4 Concordia University on USF’s home turf on Saturday. This was one of the most exciting games I’ve watched in a long time. As has become their habit, CUAA started slowly. The home team scored on its first possession after stopping Concordia in 3 downs and a short, 19-yard punt. After trading punts CUAA found themselves in a hole. A combination of penalties and sacks ed to a 4th and 60 at their own 8-yard line. A 19-yard punt resulted in a return for a TD for USF. The 1st quarter ended with USF in the lead 13-0.
The Cardinals threatened to score as the 2nd quarter began. They drove to the USF 22 where Wyatt Mast attempted a 39-yard field goal. It was wide right. USF took over on the 22-yard line. After passes of 43- and 30-yards USF was held for no gain at the 5-yard line. The USF QB found his WR for the TD. The Cougars led the Cardinals 20-0.
The Cardinals answered on their next possession. RBs Jackson and Sinclair moved their team down the field with the help of one 27-yard pass. Sinclair went the final 3-yards for the TD. The kick failed. This would prove to be crucial later in the game. USF 20 CUAA 6.
The Cougars would come back and score on their next possession. The big play was a 44-yard pass to the CUAA 18. CUAA would then have a pass interference penalty to set up USF at the 3. USF scored with 1:10 remaining in the half. USF 27 CUAA 6.
After beginning at their 29-yard line, CUAA worked its way down to the USF 40-yard line with out patterns stopping the clock. QB Peter Morrison threw to Parker Graham for a 40-yard TD. The half ended with USF in the lead 27-13.
Neither team was able to score in the 3rd period. But Concordia began a drive with 4 minutes remaining in the 3rd quarter and finished the drive wit a TD pass at the 14:48 mark of the 4th period. USF was still in the lead 27-20.
USF worked their way down to the Concordia 34-yard line. USF went for it on 4th down and a sack by Alex Hinojosa gave the ball to CUAA at their 38 with 11:48 remaining. Concordia began the drive with a 37-yard pass to Rod Dailey. Omar Sinclair took over from there and 5 plays later scored on an 11-yard run. The kick was good. With 9 minutes remaining, the score was tied 27-27.
USF took over with 9:01 remaining and began an 11-play drive. A penalty moved the Cougars back 5-yards from the Cardinals 11. On 3rd and 11, Cardinals DB, DaJaun Thomas, intercepted a pass in the end zone. The CUAA offense took over at their 20. With 4:48 remaining, the Cardinal offense began a 19-play drive that would end with a score. Coach Schumacher called a timeout with 51 seconds remaining and 4th and 8 at the USF 43-yard line. The Cardinals lined up on 4th down and Peter Morrison threw 13 yards to Parker Graham for the 1st down. By now, the CUAA fans were sensing another come-from-behind victory. Three passes, two complete, led to 4th down and 2 at the USF 22-yard line. Recalling the earlier failed extra-point attempt, the Cardinals strategy would have been quite different had that attempt been good. With a one-point lead, they would have been playing to run out the clock. Instead, with 17 seconds left in the game, the Cardinals lined up for a 39-yard field goal attempt to win. The ball was snapped, the hold was good, Mast kicked the ball, but the right side of the line was unable to stop the on-rush of defenders. Senior DL Matt Swartz blocked the FG attempt and Senior CB Jack Givens gathered the ball and scampered the 65-yards untouched for the score. Seven seconds showed on the clock but this game was over. The hometown crowd joyously shouted U-S-F while the Concordia faithful sat in stunned silence and then slowly filed out of the stands. USF 34 CUAA 27.