Coming off an enormous upset last week of No. 2 Minnesota Duluth, St. Cloud State defeated Minnesota, Crookston 36-24 Saturday at Ed Widseth Field on a cold, muddy field. The Huskies led 36-3 going into the fourth quarter before the Golden Eagles scored three times on the St. Cloud State reserves.
The reigning Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Offensive Player of the Week, St. Cloud State quarterback Phillip Klaphake, made a bid to win the honor for the second consecutive week, going 10 for 18 with 229 yards, four touchdowns and one interception. He also rushed seven times for 71 yards.
Minnesota, Crookston recorded 363 yards of total offense (173 rushing yards, 190 passing yards). St. Cloud State recorded 439 total offensive yards (144 rushing, 295 passing).
Klaphake set the tone for the day with St. Cloud State's first possession, going deep to Eli Shoemaker for a 74-yard touchdown pass play with 12:06 left in the first quarter.
On the Huskies' second possession, Klaphake went deep on the first play to Chad Peterson for a 63-yard gain down to the 32. Klaphake would cap the 95-yard drive with a three-yard touchdown pass to Chad Peterson with 3:10 left in the first quarter.
Minnesota, Crookston got on the board with its next possession on a 35-yard field goal by Stephen Henderson with 11:32 left in the second quarter.
St. Cloud State took a 20-3 lead with 5:43 left in the first half on a 14-yard touchdown run from Michael Walker. Then, following a Golden Eagle three and out, Klaphake connected with Shoemaker for a 36-yard touchdown pass with 3:49 left to take a 27-3 lead.
The Huskies built their 36-3 lead in the third quarter on a 19-yard touchdown pass from Klaphake to Grant Thayer with 4:13 left, finishing off another 95-yard drive, and recording a safety with 1:37 left.
In the fourth quarter, the St. Cloud State backup offense went three and out and the Golden Eagles answered with a two-yard touchdown run by quarterback A.J. Barge that capped an eight-play, 74-yard drive. A 31-yard pass from Barge to Adam Eyton set up the touchdown to make it 36-10.
Following another Husky three and out, the Golden Eagles cut it to 36-17 on a nine-yard touchdown pass from Barge to Marcus Cheatham with 3:51 remaining.
After yet another St. Cloud State three and out, the Golden Eagles scored again with an 11-yard touchdown pass from Barge to Josh Ross as time expired.
Barge finished the game 23 of 35 passing with 190 yards and two touchdowns. He rushed 14 times for 45 yards with one touchdown.
Senior running back Richard Haley had 91 yards on 21 carries. Ross caught eight passes for 67 yards, while Cheatham had five receptions for 39 yards.
Paul Webster led the Golden Eagle defense with seven total tackles. Cecil Brown, who came into Saturday's game second in Division II in total tackles, recorded five tackles.
Minnesota, Crookston falls to 1-5 on the season and 1-5 in the NSIC. It will travel to Moorhead Saturday, Oct. 13 to face the MSU Moorhead Dragons. St. Cloud State improves to 4-2.