Minnesota Crookston gave up two touchdowns in the final 1:31 of the first half, and Northern State’s offense continued to score in the third quarter of a 42-17 win in an NSIC game played at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks, North Dakota.
FIRST QUARTER –
Minnesota Crookston converted on third-and-6 with an 18-yard pass from quarterback Jalin Scott (Sr., Houston, TX) to wide receiver Eli Solberg (R-Fr., Rogers) up to the UMC 45-yard line on the Golden Eagles opening drive. Minnesota Crookston’s drive stalled, but a 50-yard punt by Alex Folz (Fr., Spring Grove) pinned Northern State at their 5-yard line. The Wolves missed a deep pass on first down and were forced to punt after three plays setting up UMC at the NSU 31-yard line after an 18-yard punt return by Nathan Coy (R-Soph., Sun Prarie, WI).
Minnesota Crookston was forced to punt despite the excellent field position after quarterback Jalin Scott was sacked at the Northern State 40-yard line on third-and-8. After the UMC punt bounced into the endzone, Northern State took over at their 20-yard line. On the Wolves first play of the drive, quarterback Hunter Trautman (Jr., St. Francis) tossed a lateral behind wide receiver Dakota Larson (Soph., Spring Creek, NV) on a speed-option play, and the ball bounced off the arm of Larson at the 5-yard line and rolled into the NSU endzone. Golden Eagles defensive end Dylan Wheeler (R-Fr., Arlington, TX) recovered the fumble in the end zone for a touchdown giving Minnesota Crookston a 7-0 lead with 8:38 to play in the first half after the extra-point by Jared McLemore. “I was pleased with the effort from our guys,” said Minnesota Crookston head coach Mark Duffner. “That was a big play at that moment. That was a spark that we needed, and I think that’s why we competed so hard this whole game.”
SECOND QUARTER –
After both teams traded possessions to end the first quarter, Northern State drove the ball down the field 80 yards in 11 plays with quarterback Hunter Trautman running the ball in from the 1-yard line tying the score at 7-7 with 13:54 to play in the first half.
Minnesota Crookston responded on the next drive. The Golden Eagles faced third-and-10 at their 25-yard line before quarterback Tristan Robbins (Soph., Muskegon, MI) connected with Andy Groebner (Soph., Andover) for 10-yards and a first down. After a false start penalty moved UMC back to their 30-yard line, Tristan Robbins delivered a strike to slot receiver Kyler Banks (R-Jr., Cannon Falls), hitting the speedster in stride, as Banks sprinted 70-yard untouched for the touchdown putting Minnesota Crookston in front 14-7 with 12:02 to play in the half.
Minnesota Crookston’s defense kept the Northern State offense in check until late in the half as the Wolves tied the game with a 35-yard pass from Hunter Trautman to Dakota Larson for a touchdown tying the game at 14-14 with 1:31 to play in the second quarter.
Alex Folz fumbled the ensuing kick-off allowing Northern State to take over possession at the UMC 19-yard line with 1:22 to play in the first half. The Wolves took their first lead of the night just before halftime when running back Jack Anderson (R-Fr., Harrisburg, SD) carried the ball 3-yards across the goal line giving the visitors a 21-14 lead at halftime. “That certainly changed the momentum there,” said Duffner. “It still felt like it was anyone’s game, and we just needed to get our composure back.”
THIRD QUARTER –
Northern State scored a touchdown for the third straight drive to start the second half. Running back, Isaiah Cherrier (Soph., Minnetonka) carried the ball of the right side of the offensive line and ran untouched 52-yards for a touchdown giving the Wolves a 28-14 lead just 1:20 into the second half. “We just had a missed tackle or a missed assignment, and they got a big play,” explained Duffner.
Minnesota Crookston quarterback Jalin Scott delivered a strong throw to wide receiver Jonattan Mudd (Sr., Gardena, CA) for a 45-yard reception on UMC’s first drive of the third quarter, moving the ball to the NSU 15-yard line. After gaining just 5 yards in the red zone, UMC settled for a 27-yard field goal kicked by Jared McLemore (Soph., Lucas, TX) trimming Minnesota Crookston’s deficit down to 28-17 with 11:10 to play.
Northern State answered right back on their next drive. Hunter Trautman started NSU’s next drive with an 11-yard pass to receiver Greg Lux (R-Fr., Eden Valley) to the Wolves 36. A 12-yard run by wide receiver Dakota Larson marched the ball near midfield. Later on the drive, Larson hauled in a 14-yard catch down to the UMC 30-yard line. Northern State finished the drive with a 30-yard pass from Trautman to Lux for a touchdown giving the Wolves a 35-17 lead with 8:29 left in the third quarter.
FOURTH QUARTER –
The Wolves added one final touchdown in the fourth quarter after Dakota Larson caught his second touchdown of the night for 24-yards allowing Northern State to secure a 42-17 win. “It was nice to see the guys compete all game long,” summarized Duffner. “They did that in all three phases. We’ve got to clean up some things too.”
Minnesota Crookston falls to 0-10. The Golden Eagles will look to avoid their third winless season in four years next Saturday when UMC travels to Bismarck to play the University of Mary at 2:00 P.M. on KROX. Northern State improves to 6-4.
8:38 – UMC – Dylan Wheeler fumble recovery in end zone (Jared McLemore kick)
13:54 – NSU – Hunter Trautman 1 yard run (Mitch Tschakert kick)
12:02 – UMC – Kyler Banks 70 yard pass from Tristan Robbins (Jared McLemore kick)
1:31 – NSU – Dakota Larson 35 yard pass from Hunter Trautman (Mitch Tschakert kick)
0:38 – NSU – Jack Anderson 3 yard run (Mitch Tschakert kick)
3rd Quarter –
13:40 – NSU – Isaiah Cherrier 52 yard run (Mitch Tschakert kick)
11:10 – UMC – Jared McLemore 27 yard field goal
8:29 – NSU – Greg Lux 30 yard pass from Hunter Trautman (Mitch Tschakert kick)
4th Quarter –
7:23 – NSU – Dakota Larson 24 yard pass from Hunter Trautman (Mitch Tschakert kick)