|Concordia (MI) (1-0)||15||7||0||3||25|
|Concordia (MI)||Indv. Leaders||Davenport|
|#13 Joe Conner - 170||Rushing||#2M Marcus Jester - 24|
|#6 Seth Suida - 202||Passing||#14 Hunter Krause - 104|
|#9 Bryant Hudson - 61||Receiving||2 Players (#3,#5) - 29|
|Concordia (MI)||Team Statistics||Davenport|
(Caledonia, Michigan) – The Cardinals opened their 2017 season with a historical road matchup against the newly affiliated NCAA Division II Davenport Panthers. The much anticipated opener with the Panthers led to a large Concordia contingency supporting the Cardinals at the Farmers Insurance Athletic Complex. First year Head Coach Joshua Schumacher saw his team score the first 22 points and never looked back, winning 25-6 for the school's first ever victory over an NCAA DII school. Joe Conner (SO/Flat Rock, MI) paced the Cardinals' offense in the match with 170 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns
The Cardinals kicked off to begin the game, and a 70-yard return by Davenport's Nate Couturier would give the Panthers field position deep in Cardinals territory. The Cardinal defense responded with a big 4th-down stop on their own 5-yard line, forcing a turnover on downs and giving the ball to the Cardinal offense. Seth Suida (SR/Livonia, MI) orchestrated a 92-yard opening drive, highlighted by a 23-yard run from Joe Conner and a 28-yard reception by Donte Desalle (SO/Nashville, TN). Joe Conner would eventually rush up the middle for a short 2-yard touchdown run to give the Cardinals an early 7-0 lead.
Jay Koski (JR/Portage, MI) recorded his first sack of the season to set the Panthers back on their second drive of the game which eventually led to a Panthers punt. The Cardinals converted again as tight end Jay Alvarez (SR/Lansing, MI) hauled in a 29-yard pass setting up a 10-yard touchdown run by Joe Conner. On the PAT attempt Brendan Beerer (SO/Royal Oak, MI ) displayed savvy field awareness, picking up a botched snap and connected with Andrew O'Hara (JR/Cleveland, OH) for a 2-pt conversion to make it 15-0 with 46 seconds left in the first quarter.
Cardinals defensive tackle Nick Edney (FR/Garden City, MI) took over the first defensive series of the 2nd quarter. Edney recorded a tackle for a loss and a sack on back to back plays to force another Panther punt. The Cardinals would score on the next series after Schumacher choose to go for it on 4th and 1 on their own 40 yard line. Offensive coordinator Andrew Rode didn't have to look too far on his play chart calling Conner's number once again. Joe Conner found a seam up the middle and ran for a long 60-yard touchdown, his third score of the day. Davenport would get on the board with a late touchdown strike towards the end of the half, but the Cardinals would take a 22-6 lead into halftime.
A defensive battle ensued in the third quarter as neither team could put together scoring drive. The Cardinals first forced turnover highlighted the quarter as Jay Koski picked off the Panther quarterback with just over 2 minutes left in the 3rd. The Cardinals would take over on the Panthers 35 yard line but a missed field goal on the 15 would end the drive leaving the score 22-6 after the third quarter in favor of the Cardinals.
Ashton Gray (SR/Detroit, MI) and Joe Conner would split carries to run out the clock in the 4th quarter. Three more points would be added to the Cardinals total when Joshua Kukulies drilled his first field goal from 27 yards with 1:12 left in the game. Andrew O'Hara sealed Coach Schumacher's first victory as a head coach with an interception on the next Davenport possession.
Seth Suida performed well at the quarterback position, completing 19 of 30 passes for 202 yards. Bryant Hudson (SR/Flint, MI) was the Cardinals leading receiver on the day with 4 catches for 61 yards. Defensively Nick Edney led the Cardinals with 8 total tackles and 1.5 sacks. Jay Koski and Andrew O'Hara both had an interception in the match and O'Hara also added 8 punts for 284 yards.
The Cardinals move to 1-0 on the young season with the victory. They will look to continue their winning ways when they travel to Trinity International on Saturday, September 9th for a 2pm EST matchup.