The Golden Eagles' offense began to find a rhythm against the Huskies.
ST. CLOUD, Minn. – The University of Minnesota Crookston football team had their highest scoring output of the season Sat., Oct.7, but were unable to slow down St. Cloud State University in a 53-27 loss at Husky Stadium.
Minnesota Crookston drops to 0-6 (0-2 NSIC North) with Saturday’s loss. St. Cloud State moved their mark to 4-2 (1-1 NSIC North) with the victory.
The Golden Eagles looked to back-up quarterback Jeremy Neuman (R-Fr., QB, Andover, Minn.) for the second week in a row due to an injury to Joseph Nava (R-Fr., QB, San Antonio, Texas) against University of Sioux Falls. Neuman had his best game of the season as he was 21-of-33 for 224 yards with a career-high four touchdowns. He had two interceptions on the game. Neuman led the team to 286 yards of offense on the day.
His top target on the day was Adam Connette (Sr., WR, Corona, Calif.) with nine catches for 87 yards and two touchdowns. Connette, the program’s top all-time receivers, inched closer to Carl Aho’s all-time receiving touchdowns mark as he now just needs just three to tie and four to break the mark. Connette has 38 catches for 412 yards and six touchdowns.
UMC also got a strong performance from Rod Stewart (Jr., WR, Fort Worth, Texas), who had six catches for 88 yards and two touchdowns. Matt Haire (So., WR, Detroit Lakes, Minn.) added three catches for 45 yards.
In the run game, the Golden Eagles looked to Shavez Hawkins, Jr. (Fr., RB, Gilbert, Ariz.) with 12 rushes for 54 yards for an average of 4.5 yards per carry.
Defensively, UMC was led by eight tackles from Ali Alkhatib (R-Jr., LB, Rosemount, Minn.), who also recovered fumble. Will Cole (Jr., DB, Compton, Calif.) added seven tackles and Austin Howard (Sr., DL, New Albany, Minn.) notched four tackles and a tackle for loss. Anfernee Cooper (R-Fr., DB, Fort Worth, Texas) tallied an interception on the day.
The Huskies drove 63 yards on six plays on the first drive to quickly go up 7-0 as Gregory Lewis rushed in from 27 yards out.
Minnesota Crookston responded with a drive of their own as they marched 75 yards on seven plays. The Golden Eagles were led by a 22-yard pass from Neuman to Stewart and a 29-yard pass from Neuman to Haire. The Golden Eagles found pay dirt on the play when Neuman connected with Stewart on a 10-yard strike to knot the game up 7-7.
St. Cloud State quickly responded with a big play as Dwayne Lawhorn connected on a 62-yard pass to John Solberg to go up 14-7.
St. Cloud State would be unable to capitalize on the turnover on downs as Adam Stage missed a 40-yard field goal to keep the score at 14-7 in favor of the Huskies.
The Huskies added to their lead early in the second quarter when Carvel Graham ran back an interception to put St. Cloud State ahead 21-7.
UMC came right back led by a special teams turnover as James Smith dropped a punt return, which was recovered by Alkhatib at the St. Cloud State 13.
The Golden Eagles would capitalize on the turnover as Neuman found Connette for a touchdown pass to cut the deficit to 21-14.
St. Cloud State added to their lead later in the second quarter as Lawhorn again connected with Solberg for the big play. This time it was a 78-yard touchdown pass that would put the Huskies up 35-14.
Minnesota Crookston responded as they moved the ball down the field 75 yards in five plays. This time Neuman found Connette for a 20-yard strike to cut the lead to 35-21.
The Huskies ended the first half with one more score as Lawhorn again came up with the big play, finding John Pass for a 50-yard touchdown pass to extend their lead to 42-21.
St. Cloud State came up with an interception from Jake Bruner to open the second half and give the Huskies great field position at the Minnesota Crookston 12. The Golden Eagle defense would hold the Huskies from the end zone as Stage connected on a 22-yard field goal to make it 45-21.
Minnesota Crookston got their first touchdown of the second half when Neuman hooked up with Stewart on a 37-yard connection to cut the lead to 45-27 after a failed two-point conversion.
The Huskies added to their lead in the third quarter when Lawhorn came up with a big fourth down play. He found Anthony Carver on the 30-yard touchdown strike to make it 51-27. A two-point conversion made the game 53-27.
UMC moved the ball to the St. Cloud State 24 early in the fourth quarter led by Numan 18-yard pass from Connette. However, the Golden Eagles would fail to convert a fourth-down to turn the ball over on downs.
Neither team would score the rest of the way as St. Cloud State held on for the 53-27 victory.
UMC returns to action Sat., Oct. 14 at 1 p.m. against University of Mary at 1 p.m. Both teams come into Saturday with 0-6 records.