SEWARD, Neb. – Underneath the lights at Bulldog Stadium, the Concordia University Football team treated its fans to an exhilarating home opener on Saturday (Sept. 19). Jonah Weyand squirted loose for the walk-off winner in overtime to squeak past Hastings, 34-28. Weyand enjoyed another night to remember while rattling off five rushing touchdowns in a back-and-forth barn burner.
Head Coach Patrick Daberkow’s squad churned out 175 rushing yards and made fewer mistakes than did the Broncos. That proved the difference as the Bulldogs now celebrate a 2-0 start to the season.
“I think grit’s a good word for it,” Daberkow said. “It’s a lot of fun to see our guys respond to adversity. We try to keep an even keel and not get too high or get too low. I thought they did a good job with that tonight throughout that whole ebb and flow of the second half.”
Weyand and a much-improved offensive line have sprung to life a running game that was mostly nonexistent in 2019. The Crete High School product found the end zone on carries that covered eight, one, 10, 15 and 10 yards. In the first possession of overtime, the Concordia defense came up with a stop to set the stage for Weyand. The workhorse back reached the end zone on his fifth carry of the drive, setting off a celebration in the north end zone.
After seeing many games like this go the other way over the previous two years, the Bulldogs were psyched to win an emotional nail-biter. It helps when you can lean upon the strong legs of Weyand. Said the star tailback, “Honestly I can’t really remember the (game-winning) play. I just remember the huge dogpile. I just did everything I could to get across the goal line and get us the win. Our defense came up big at the end and when we got an opportunity to win, I wasn’t going to let them down.”
Neither team led by more than seven points at any moment during the seesaw affair. Concordia had a shot to close it out in regulation when Weyand’s fourth touchdown run provided a 28-21 lead with 2:56 remaining. Hastings promptly answered with a five-play, 68-yard drive that forced the extra session. With the game on the line, the Bulldogs did not let anyone other than Weyand touch the ball. Smart move.
Weyand finished with 177 rushing yards on 35 carries and his five rushing touchdowns equaled a GPAC single-game record. There were also some big plays made by junior Korrell Koehlmoos, who hauled in four passes for 104 yards and had a 70-yard kickoff return. Koehlmoos made one of the most significant plays of the game when he hauled in a 24-yard reception on a fourth-down prayer in the fourth quarter. The conversion led to Concordia tying the score, 21-21.
The Bulldogs recovered the ensuing kickoff, initiating a short 23-yard touchdown drive. Suddenly, Concordia had a 28-21 advantage after struggling offensively for most of the second half. Its first four offensive possession of the half ended with punts. The Bulldogs stayed the course.
Said defensive back Jourdhin Smith, “These boys are everything. They’re going to fight from start to finish every drive, every play. We just showed you today that we can always stay in the game and come back and win.”
Smith helped prevent Hastings (1-1) from scoring on its opening possession of the second half. On third-and-goal from the nine, Smith made a sprawling, acrobatic interception near the sideline. The Concordia defense made its share of big plays and limited the Broncos to 371 total yards. Standout Hastings receiver Keiotey Stenhouse hauled in six catches for 125 yards and a touchdown.
Linebacker Lane Napier and defensive end Payton Kidder paced the Bulldog defense with 10 tackles apiece. Napier made two stops behind the line of scrimmage, including a sack. End Karson Dickson also collected a couple of stops in the backfield. The Concordia run defense held Hastings to 3.1 yards per carry.
Bulldog quarterback Blake Culbert completed 18-of-33 passes for 220 yards (no turnovers). Lane Castaneda (seven punts for an average of 42.7 yards) pulled in six receptions for 60 yards and Cayden Beran made four grabs for 45 yards. Koehlmoos recorded 237 all-purpose yards.
“We have Briar Cliff now,” Daberkow said. “I’ll enjoy this until I fall asleep tonight and tomorrow morning we have work to do. We’re excited to do it.”
Next Saturday’s game at Briar Cliff (0-1) will kick off at 1 p.m. CT from Memorial Field in Sioux City, Iowa. The Chargers opened their season on Saturday with a 13-6 loss at Doane. Last season, Concordia defeated Briar Cliff, 16-14, in Seward.
Concordia Football vs Hastings College https://t.co/3oRsc6S2Lu
— 104.9 Max Country (@1049maxcountry) September 20, 2020