Stepped-up defense key for Concordia
Concordia has fielded a high-scoring bunch this season, but as the Cougars have stepped into conference play, the defense has stepped up.
The Cougars allowed 100 points in their first three games and won them all thanks to a high-powered offense keyed by quarterback Jake Koehler. Since Northern Athletics Conference play started two weeks ago, Concordia (5-0, 2-0) has allowed only 19 points. And a defensive player, free safety Matt Rolf, came up with the biggest play, an 80-yard interception return in the fourth quarter that finished the scoring in a 21-9 victory against visiting Wisconsin Lutheran.
“It was something he was kind of anticipating, especially when he saw the quarterback roll out,” coach Lonnie Pries said. “We had a little bit of pressure on the quarterback and forced him to throw off the back foot. Matt did a great job in reading it and caught it in stride.”
With running back Andrew Maddox’ 21-yard touchdown run earlier in the quarter, Rolf gave Concordia enough to stay unbeaten. Strong defense will be key going into a tough conference stretch starting Saturday.
“We had a lot of new faces, so it took a while to find the right guys for the right spots, but also for guys to learn to trust each other,” Pries said
Lake Forest, 5-1 overall, is 5-0 in Midwest Conference play for the first time after a 35-28 victory over visiting Illinois College (4-1, 3-1). Quarterback Pete Scaffidi completed 22 of 28 passes for 217 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions, while Al Mitchell ran 23 times for 119 yards and two scores.
Top 10 for North Central
After a 42-22 thrashing of Millikin, North Central (4-1, 2-0 College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin) moved up one spot to No. 10 in the Division III poll. Three CCIW teams are in the Top 25, with Illinois Wesleyan (5-0, 2-0) at No. 14 and Wheaton (4-1, 2-0) at No. 20.
Wheaton quarterback Jordan Roberts was named CCIW offensive player of the week. Roberts completed 24 of 27 passes for 258 yards and five touchdowns.