MILWAUKEE (WLCSports.com) – The Wisconsin Lutheran College football team overcame two turnovers inside the three-minute mark of the fourth quarter and took advantage of a Concordia Chicago late turnover and mistimed play in the final seconds before Grant Fleming (Kaukauna, Wis.) drilled a 39-yard game-winning field goal as time expired to send the Warriors to a thrilling 29-27 win over the Cougars Saturday afternoon on Senior Day at Raabe Stadium.
- Final Score: Wisconsin Lutheran 29, Concordia Chicago 27
- Records: Wisconsin Lutheran (3-7, 3-3 NACC), Concordia Chicago (3-6, 1-5 NACC)
- Location: Raabe Stadium, Milwaukee, Wis.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- The Warriors took control of the Cougars early, scoring touchdowns on their first two possessions of the game for a 14-0 lead. Pat Mathieson (New Port Richey, Fla.) connected with Jerrod Klug (Loveland, Colo.) from four yards away and John-Marcus Carruthers (Fayetteville, Ark.) scampered in from five yards out for Wisconsin Lutheran's first quarter scores.
- WLC held the ball for nearly 10:00 minutes in the opening quarter, as its scoring drives consumed 75 and 65 yards, respectively.
- Concordia Chicago reached the scoring column with 6:09 left in the second quarter on a 42-yard touchdown pass from Shane Virnala to Corey Dooley for a 14-7 score.
- The Warriors answered with another long scoring drive on their next possession when Mathieson found Nick Charles-Crowl (Bradenton, Fla.) for a two-yard touchdown with just 0:19 seconds left in the first half.
- The Cougars cut their deficit to just six points early in the third quarter when they blocked a punt near the end zone and returned it two yards for a score, making the tally 20-14.
- Following a muffed punt by Wisconsin Lutheran late in the third quarter, it took CUC just two plays to take its first lead of the game, 21-20, with 3:08 left in the quarter after a Virnala four-yard TD run. The score remained 21-20 after three quarters.
- WLC regained the lead on its first full possession of the fourth quarter when Mathieson rushed for a one-yard score to give the hosts a 26-21 lead after the two-point play was unsuccessful.
- Concordia Chicago had a quick answer, however, driving 88 yards in seven plays after an eight-yard touchdown run by Tylor Martens giving the visitors a narrow 27-26 lead with 8:55 left in the fourth.
- The Warriors possessed the ball deep in the Cougars' territory twice within the final three minutes of the game, but turnovers on both drives thwarted their chances of regaining the lead.
- CUC took over the ball with 0:55 seconds left at its own 37-yard line and could seal the game leaving Wisconsin Lutheran nearly no time to regain possession.
- After a pair of Warriors timeouts with Concordia Chicago in the victory formation, the Cougars faced a fourth-and-long but needed to run around for just a few seconds to run the clock out.
- CUC's quarterback appeared to slip and fall on the final kneel down, stopping the clock and giving the Warriors the ball at the Cougars' 21-yard line with 0:05 seconds still on the clock.
- After consecutive timeouts to try and ice Fleming, the Warriors' kicker, he drilled the game-winning 39-yard field goal as time expired to give Wisconsin Lutheran a dramatic 29-27 win.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Despite running 31 more plays and possessing the ball for almost 20 minutes longer than the Cougars, the Warriors were out-gained 388-346.
- Carruthers rushed for 110 yards, averaging 6.1 yards per carry on 18 rushes, and a score to lead Wisconsin Lutheran's ground attack, while Mathieson followed with 60 yards and a score.
- Mathieson also completed 19 passes for 138 yards and two scores under center.
- J.K. Witkofski (Racine, Wis.) caught seven passes for 49 yards, with Klug and Charles-Crowl both catching short TDs.
- Mat Guedel (Belvidere, Ill.) and JD Leisemann (Fall River, Wis.) each had five tackles for WLC defensively, with Leisemann recording three tackles for a loss.
- Four of Wisconsin Lutheran's five scoring drives came from at least 65 yards away.
- The Warriors, who honored their 12 seniors prior to kickoff, won their fifth straight game over Concordia Chicago to improve to 7-3 in the all-time series.
FOR THE FOES
- Lance Moise rushed for 168 yards on 18 carries for the Cougars, an average of 9.3 yards per rush.
- Shane Virnala passed for 221 yards and a score while completing 14-of-38 passing attempts.
- Ryan Allison collected seven catches for 105 yards.
- Thaddous Daniel recorded an impressive 23 tackles for the Cougars, 17 of which were solo.
- Concordia Chicago turned five Wisconsin Lutheran turnovers into just seven points.
- Wisconsin Lutheran concludes its 2017 season 3-7 overall and 3-3 for a fourth-place finish in the NACC, marking the ninth straight season Wisconsin Lutheran has finished with at least a .500 record in conference play.