Cougars fall to Northwestern with last-minute TD
The University of Minnesota, Morris erased a 20-point deficit in the fourth quarter, but fell 50-45 to Northwestern on Saturday at Big Cat Stadium.
Donnie Mavencamp started for the first time in his career and threw for a 404 yards, setting a new school record.
Northwestern forced a three and out in the opening possession for the Cougars and took advantage going on a nine-play, 44-yard drive to take a 7-0 lead.
A 33-yard field goal with six seconds left in the first quarter made it 10-0.
In the first quarter the Eagles outgained Morris 109-36 and held the ball for over nine minutes of game clock.
Mavencamp had just 33 passing yards in the opening frame.
A Minnesota Morris fumble early in the second quarter led to another Eagle touchdown to make it 17-0 with 11:56 left in the first half.
A Cougar punt pushed the Eagles back to their own two-yard line and UMM forced a short punt to take over at the Eagles’ 26 on the next possession. On third and 14, Mavencamp hit Roumy Desir for a 31-yard touchdown up the middle.
Northwestern responded with 4:03 left in the half to make it 24-6.
UMM scored a huge touchdown before halftime, as Dustin Spohn finished off a 12-play, 66-yard drive with a four-yard touchdown run. Mavencamp hit Brendon Foss for the two-point conversion to make it 24-14 going into the break.
The Eagles fumbled the opening kickoff of the second half and Minnesota Morris took advantage going 25 yards on five plays, pulling within three.
On the next drive, Northwestern scored on a one-yard touchdown to make it 30-24 after missing the extra point.
Morris drove down to the Eagles’ 19-yard line, but on third and 10 a touchdown pass was called back on an illegal touching call. The Cougars settled for a 36-yard field goal by Cam Adel with 3:46 left in the third quarter.
The scoring in the third quarter was not done as Northwestern went right down the field and scored on five plays, taking a 37-24 lead.
Spohn fumbled on the first play of the following drive and Northwestern scored on the very next play to take a 44-24 lead into the fourth quarter.
The Cougars scored on the next drive as Mavencamp hit Desir on a fourth and four play from 37 yards out.
Northwestern intercepted a Cougar pass with less than seven minutes left and returned it for a touchdown, but a block in the back on the return negated the touchdown and the Eagles missed a field-goal attempt to keep the score at 44-31, in favor of UNW.
Minnesota Morris took advantage of the missed field goal and scored on a two-play, 80-yard drive, pulling within six at 44-38. Mavencamp hit Leandro Dower for 47 yards and then hit Desir for 37 yards for the touchdown.
The Eagles fumbled on their next possession and Morris took over on the Northwestern 32. Spohn finished off the six-play, 32-yard drive with a two-yard touchdown run to tie the ball game. Adel's extra point made it 45-44 with 1:59 left.
Northwestern responded with a nine-play, 61-yard drive to take a 50-45 lead with 46 seconds left in the game.
Minnesota Morris drove the ball to midfield, but an incomplete pass on fourth and six gave the ball back to the Eagles and they would ice the game with a kneel down.
Mavencamp finished the game 30-for-54 for 404 yards and three touchdowns. He threw for 210 in the fourth quarter alone.
Desir had eight catches for 146 yards and three touchdowns. Foss finished with 10 catches for 89 yards and Dower had five catches for 90 yards.
The defense forced three Eagles fumbles, recovering two. William Fust had nine tackles and forced two fumbles with one recovery. Cody Hickman led the team with 13 tackles. Colter Combellick had five tackles, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery.
This weekend the Cougars will travel to take on Westminster in Fulton, Missouri at 1 p.m.