Minnesota Crookston had their best effort against Concordia-St. Paul since a 54-50 overtime victory over the Golden Bears on Nov. 3, 2001.

ST. PAUL, Minn. – The University of Minnesota Crookston football team put in great effort until the final whistle Sat., Oct. 20 but ultimately fell short 21-13 at Concordia-St. Paul at Sea Foam Stadium in St. Paul, Minn.

    Minnesota Crookston had their best effort against Concordia-St. Paul since a 54-50 overtime victory over the Golden Bears on Nov. 3, 2001. The Golden Eagles made a late effort to overcome Concordia-St. Paul as they came away with a field goal in the last minute of the game, but they ultimately came up eight points shy 21-13.

    Minnesota Crookston’s efforts were thwarted by three second half turnovers that ultimately set the Golden Eagles back against Concordia-St. Paul. The Golden Eagles fall to 1-7 on the season, while Concordia-St. Paul improved to 4-4.

    Each team lost three fumbles on the game with Concordia-St. Paul capitalizing for 14 points on two of the turnovers. The Golden Eagles came away with seven points off turnovers for Saturday’s game.

    The Golden Eagles held their own with 355 yards of offense, outgaining the Concordia-St. Paul offense by two yards. The Minnesota Crookston defense was able to limit the Golden Bears to 353 yards of offense. The Golden Eagles had an outstanding performance from their secondary as they limited Concordia-St. Paul to just two completions and 70 yards.

Key Players

Minnesota Crookston

Jalin Scott, 20-of-34, 270 yards, 1 TD, 31 carries, 54 yards

Rod Stewart, 5 catches, 77 yards, 1 TD

Andy Groebner, 6 catches, 73 yards

Ali Alkhatib, 9 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 FR

    Jalin Scott (Jr., QB, Houston, Texas) had an outstanding effort through the air on Saturday. Scott had his season-high for passing yards as he went 20-of-34 for 270 yards with a touchdown. Scott’s top target was Rod Stewart (Sr., WR, Fort Worth, Texas), who had his best game of the season with five catches for 77 yards and a touchdown. Andy Groebner (Fr., WR, Andover, Minn.) continued his strong debut season with six catches for 73 yards. Jonattan Mudd (Jr., WR, Gardena, Calif.) added five grabs for 68 yards, while Shonte Smith (Jr., WR, Pacoima, Calif.) chipped in four catches for 52 yards.

    Scott added 31 carries for 54 yards on the ground.

    Defensively, Ali Alkhatib (Sr., LB, Rosemount, Minn.) moved to third all-time in career tackles with 286. Alkhatib moved past Mike Nordby, Neil Austin, and Nick Starcevic. He is 39 tackles behind Cecil Brown, Jr. for No. 2 all-time and 64 tackles from surpassing Justin Reed for the all-time record. Alkhatib notched nine tackles with one tackle for loss and a fumble recovery on Saturday.

    Will Cole (Sr., DB,  Compton, Calif.) tallied nine tackles and a forced fumble, while Trevor Long, Jr. (R-Jr., DB, Brooklyn Park, Minn.) had eight tackles and a fumble recovery. Skyler Quinn (R-So., DL, Evansville, Minn.) added a fumble recovery and a forced fumble.

    For Concordia-St. Paul, Dom McKinzy was held 100 yards under his average as he went just 2-of-14 for 70 yards and a touchdown. On the ground, the Golden Bears looked to McKinzy for 131 yards on 15 carries and a touchdown. Lajuan Preston added 13 carries for 106 yards. M.J. Williams notched one catch for 31 yards and a touchdown.

    Defensively, the Golden Bears were led by Dalton Smerchek with 12 tackles. Jackson Dobbs added nine tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss and four sacks.

    Concordia-St. Paul got on the scoreboard first as they took the first drive of the game down the field 75 yards on eight plays culminating in a seven-yard touchdown run by McKinzy to start out with a 7-0 lead.

    UMC responded later in the first quarter as they would move deep into Golden Bear territory guided by a 19-yard pass from Scott to Smith. The Golden Eagles ended the drive with a 19-yard field goal from Jared McLemore (Fr., K, Lucas, Texas) to cut the lead to 7-3.

    The Golden Eagles would get the ball on a Preston fumble as Quinn stripped the ball at the Minnesota Crookston one yard line as the Concordia-St. Paul running back was trying to get into the end zone. Minnesota Crookston would move the ball into Golden Bear territory led by an 18-yard pass from Scott to Stewart. However, Scott would be sacked on fourth down as the Golden Eagles came up empty on the drive.

    Neither team would score the rest of the half as the Golden Bears went into the break with a 7-3 lead, but remained in striking distance of the Golden Eagles.    

    Turnovers plagued Minnesota Crookston early in the third quarter. Scott lost the ball on a second down sack on the first drive of the half with Jake Portz recovering the fumble. Emanuel Jones went in on a five-yard touchdown rush to push the lead to 14-3.

    On the next drive, Kevin Evans (Sr., RB, Groveland, Fla.) fumbled and Dez Bassett came up with the ball for the Golden Bears. Concordia-St. Paul responded with a 31-yard touchdown pass from McKinzy to Williams to push the advantage to 21-3.

    Minnesota Crookston would get the ball off a turnover later in the third quarter as John Damrow fumbled after a 26-yard completion. Cole forced the fumble with Long coming away with the ball. The Golden Eagles drove down the field 79 yards on nine plays culminating with a Scott touchdown pass to Stewart from 17 yards out to open the fourth quarter. The score would cut the deficit to 21-10 for Minnesota Crookston.

    UMC drove down the field later in the fourth stanza as Scott completed an 18-yard pass to Stewart, but Desmond Hudnall recovered the fumble at the Concordia-St. Paul 27, halting the drive. However, the Golden Eagles got the ball back on the next play as Alkhatib recovered a fumble.

    Minnesota Crookston would move the ball to the Concordia-St. Paul 33 led by a 17-yard rush by Scott. However, the Golden Eagles failed to convert a fourth down as they gave the ball back to the Golden Bears.

    Minnesota Crookston came up big defensively on a fourth down later in the quarter as they forced a McKinzy incompletion. The Golden Eagles were able to move the ball deep into Concordia-St. Paul territory propelled by a 30-yard pass from Scott to Mudd. However, with time dwindling Coach Mark Dufner chose to take the three points on first down as McLemore booted a 31-yard field goal to cut the lead to 21-13 with 28 seconds remaining.

    Concordia-St. Paul got the ball back and ran the time out as they held on to the narrow 21-13 win. 

   Minnesota Crookston returns to Ed Widseth Field to take on University of Minnesota Duluth Oct. 27 at 1 p.m.