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Concordia shows progress in opening loss

Mistakes were the difference Saturday as Concordia College Alabama fell to Arkansas Pine-Bluff 31-0 in its season opener.

The Hornets had their first punt of the game blocked and allowed the Golden Lions to control the game on the ground. Pine Bluff finished the game with 203 rushing yards on 52 attempts.

“We did have a couple of sustained drives but we had too many mental errors — wrong blocking assignments, running the wrong route,” Concordia head coach Stanley Conner said. “We had some other things come up like some guys who we expected to play couldn’t play for various reasons.”

The Hornets trailed 17-0 at halftime and did not find any offensive success in the second half either. Concordia finished the game with 42 plays for 113 yards, which averaged out to 2.69 yards per play. Concordia also went 0-for-10 on third down conversions and failed on its one fourth down attempt in the game.

Conner said he knew it would be a tough challenge for the Hornets to go to Arkansas Pine Bluff, a Division I program from the SWAC conference, and win, but he learned a lot about his team in the defeat.

“They didn’t quit and that was a very good sign,” Conner said. “We have got to focus on the little things within our program. A lot of people don’t understand how important the little things are but it was the little things that really hurt us.”

Three different quarterbacks played for the Hornets — Aaron Pierce, Kaade Hendricks and Haratio Keller. Together the trio combined to go 7-of-16 for 42 yards with one interception, which was thrown by Pierce. Matthew Rowser led the Hornets with a total of 29 yards rushing, with a long of 26 yards.