Comeback rally falls short in Cougars' season finale
The University of Minnesota, Morris Cougars mounted another comeback on Saturday, but this one came up just short as the Cougars fell to St. Scholastica 28-21 in the final home game of the season.
The Cougars finish 6-4 overall and 5-3 in the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference. The six wins by the Cougars is the most since 2006.
The Cougars fell behind 21-0 early, but they were able to rally by scoring 21 straight to tie the game up. The Saints scored the go-ahead touchdown with 1:55 left in the game on a 15-play, 69-yard drive that ate up 7:28 off the clock.
After stopping the Cougars on the opening drive the Saints marched down the field scoring on a 10-yard pass. The Cougars went three and out and CSS went back to work scoring on a seven-play, 66-yard drive to take a 14-0 lead after one quarter.
In the second quarter the Saints finished off a 10-play, 74-yard drive to make it 21-0.
UMM had a 15-play scoring drive to follow as Cam Adel put the Cougars on the board with a 31-yard field goal.
After forcing a Saints punt Morris went on another long drive going 14 plays and 69 yards. Again it was Adel who converted a 31-yard field goal making it 21-6 at halftime.
Both teams stalled out on their opening drives in the third quarter, but the Cougars forced a fumble on their punt and took over at the Saints' 44-yard line with 7:55 left in the quarter. Four plays later Derrick Foss found Brendon Foss on a 12-yard strike and then found him again for the two-point conversion to make it 21-14.
The Cougars forced a three and out on the next drive. After a 24-yard punt on the Saints' 41, all it took was one play as Dan Garrigan found Tyler Peterson streaking down the right side for a touchdown. The point after was successful tying the game at 21.
Morris was driving as the fourth quarter started looking at a 3-1 on the Saints' 35-yard line, but CSS made the play of the game at that point tackling Dustin Spohn for a two-yard loss. Each team had two possessions, but failed to do much with it, as CSS got the ball with 9:23 left in the game at their own 30-yard line.
Jake Jensen took over for the Saints rushing 12 times on the next drive for 52 yards as St. Scholastica methodically worked their way down the field picking up a touchdown on a 10-yard catch on third and seven.
With just 1:49 on the clock and starting at their own 33-yard line, UMM needed seven points to extend the game. Forcing a 4-17 Garrigan found Roumy Desir in the middle of the field for a 21-yard reception keeping the Cougars alive. After working the ball down to the CSS 31, a pass interference call gave UMM a first and 10 at the CSS 16. A holding penalty moved them back to the CSS 31, but Garrigan found Kernan moving the ball back to the CSS 19 forcing a 2-13. The next play looked like it would be a touchdown as Dalton DeGraffenreid appeared wide open in the end zone and Garrigan had him in his sights, but a great defense break up spoiled the play at the last moment. On 4-13 Garrigan's pass intended for Alex Longerbone sailed high