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Concordia beats Miles College

Concordia trailed Miles College for 59 minutes and 19 seconds at Memorial Stadium on Saturday. Those last 41 seconds were all the Hornets needed.

Fullback Dee Surls plunged in for a 1-yard touchdown run to give Concordia a 29-24 win.

“Concordia played extremely well and made the plays when they had to,” said Miles coach William “Billy” Joe.

The win marks the Hornets’ second win over an NCAA Division II team this season.

“That was a huge win for the program,” said Concordia coach Shepherd Skanes. “The bottom line is, nobody respects Concordia College. But Concordia College is here to stay.”

The turnaround in the game could not have been much bigger. Miles jumped out to a 17-0 first-quarter lead and appeared to be on the verge of blowing the Hornets out of the stadium.

After giving the Golden Bears a 3-0 lead on a 27-yard field goal, Justin Madison picked off a Ken Johnson pass at the Concordia 35-yard line and ran it in for a touchdown to extend the lead to 10-0.

On the Bears’ next possession, quarterback Chivas Jones hit wide receiver Jonorzell Green on a swing pass, and he outran the Hornet defense for a 62-yard touchdown.

Barely six minutes into its homecoming game, Concordia found itself in a big hole.

“We were fortunate to capitalize on some mistakes Concordia made earlier in the game and put some points on the board,” said Joe. “But we still were not playing that unadulterated Miles College football.”

The Hornets roared back in second quarter as Johnson hooked up with wide receiver Chris Gooden for three touchdowns to reclaim the momentum.

They capped a 10-play, 61-yard drive with a 20-yard touchdown to cut the Hornets’ deficit to 17-8. Surls ran for 30 yards on a fake punt to keep the drive alive.

On the Hornets’ next possession, Miles defensive lineman Trevaris Holmes pounced on a Johnson fumble at the Concordia 13. Three plays later, the Bears briefly reclaimed the momentum on a 7-yard touchdown pass from Jones to Breante Allen that extended the lead to 24-8.

But Johnson and Gooden connected for two more touchdowns — one for 41 yards and the other for 31 — in the half’s final two minutes to cut the lead to 24-22.

“They were rolling coverage on (wide receiver) John (Halman),” said Skanes. “We kept telling them that if they keep rolling coverage on John, someone’s got to be open on the back side. We scored three touchdowns in the second quarter on the same play.”

Unfortunately, Concordia couldn’t take advantage of prosperity for much of the second half.

The Hornets fumbled the ball away at the Miles 3-yard line. They later drove to the Miles 13, but Halman’s 30-yard field goal attempt was blocked.

“I think we were trying to give the game to each other,” said Joe. “It really wasn’t a well-played football game.”

With only 2:56 remaining, Concordia got the ball back one more time. The Hornets made it count on Surls’ plunge for the win.

“I wanted it, but more so, I wanted us to get in,” said Surls. “I just told the line that at that point, all it took was heart to get in, no matter who touched the ball.”

Cortez Stubbs intercepted Jones on the ensuing possession to seal the win.