Concordia beat in nailbiterPublished 8:54pm Monday, November 18, 2013
For nearly three quarters, it looked like Concordia College Alabama and Warner University might finish regulation in a scoreless tie, but the offenses came alive in the game’s final 16 minutes.
Warner University won 13-7 to get the first win in their first year program’s history, but it wasn’t easy. Concordia’s defense kept the Royals in check for most of the game, but the Hornets offense never seemed to find its rythym, even after Concordia head coach Don Lee decided to put Andre Millet in for Jeremy Buffington.
“The defense played really good the first and second quarter,” Lee said. “Then we came out the third and fourth quarter and we kind of backed down a little bit. Offensively, we couldn’t get moving the first and second quarter and then they started picking up when we changed the quarterback.”
It took a while for the scoring to get going, but in the final quarter both teams marched the ball up and down the field with relative ease.
The Royals’ Marcel Jenkins scored on a 3-yard run to give Warner a 7-0 lead with 34.5 seconds left in the third quarter, but Concordia answered with a 63-yard drive. Millet threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to David Hampton in the corner of the endzone to tie the game 7-7 with 12:32 left to play.
But the Royals seemed to sense how close their programs first victory was, because Warner’s offense came to life at just the right time.
Royals quarterback Andrew Rodriguez ran for a 6-yard touchdown with 8:26 left to play in the game, but the extra point was missed.
Down 13-7, Concordia tried to rally. The Hornets first possession following the touchdown ended in a three-and-out, but Concordia’s defense held Warner once again. The Hornets methodically drove the field, reaching the Warner 27-yard line with 24.7 seconds left.
From there, a strange sequence ensued. Concordia handed off to running back Jeremy Buffington, who was knocked down in the backfield for a loss of 3-yards on second down. With no timeouts remaining, Concordia was forced to spike the ball setting up a fourth down situation with 6.3 seconds left.
Millet threw an incomplete pass in the end zone, but the officials inexplicably gave the Hornets another play. Fortunately for Warner, Millet’s pass final pass — a fifth attempt to pull a miracle — fell incomplete once again, setting off a wild celebration on the sideline that probably left many fans on the Hornets sideline what was going on.
But Warner head coach Jeff Schaum, knew what this win meant for his program.
“We have fought every game this year and we finally stuck one out to get a win,” Schaum said. ”This is our first win. First year program, first win.”
The officiating crew had a rough day. In the first quarter, a Warner punt was muffed by Concordia’s Bovaire Brown and rolled into the end zone where the Royals recovered. After a brief discussion, the officiating crew ruled that a touchback had occurred, because the offensive player had not possessed the football.
Concordia finished 1-9 but Lee is excited to see where his program can go in the future.
“We have lot of freshman and we only have five seniors walking across the stage,” Lee said. “Our goal is to keep all these guys here and build off for it next year and get better every year.”