MOORHEAD, Minn. -- The Carleton College football team fell behind early, and despite a second-half comeback bid, the Knights absorbed a 51-27 loss at Concordia College. Mike Hartwell (Sr./Lakeville, Minn./Lakeville North) eclipsed 300 yards passing for the first time in his collegiate career, completing 28-of-43 passes for 305 yards and two touchdowns. His favorite target was tight end Brian Frett (Jr./Wilmette, Ill./New Trier), who reeled in a career-best 10 catches for 76 yards and a score.
The Cobbers (7-1, 5-1 MIAC), ranked No. 19 in this week’s American Football Coaches Association national poll, scored on each of their six possessions in the first half, including five touchdowns, as they built a 45-13 lead at the break. The second half was a different story, as they Knights (3-5, 1-5 MIAC) battled back with two scores, but it proved to be too little, too late.
Concordia built a 7-0 advantage less than three minutes into the game when Mike Starke laid out to pull in a Griffin Neal pass in the end zone.
The Knights responded on their next drive. On 3rd-and-7, Hartwell hit Chase Gottschalk (Jr./Independence, Minn./Orono) for a 59-yard gain to move the chains. A few plays later, the Knights knotted the score when John Baker (Jr./Minneapolis, Minn./Breck) rushed eight yards to the end zone, his first touchdown of the year.
The Cobbers recaptured the lead less than two minutes later when Ben Wolf scampered 49 yards for a score. Concordia would add touchdowns on its next two possessions, the first a 74-yard pass and then a seven-yard run, to build a 28-7 advantage.
Carleton narrowed the deficit on its next drive, marching 63 yards in six plays for a score. After Andy Zweber (Sr./Elko, Minn./New Prague) moved the chains with a two-yard rush on 4th-and-1, Hartwell connected with Anthony Kemper (Sr./Prior Lake, Minn./Prior Lake) for a 37-yard scoring strike.
On the ensuing kickoff, Bryce Hentges raced 90 yards for another Concordia touchdown. The Cobbers added an 18-yard touchdown pass from Neal to Starke, as well as a field goal before halftime.
The momentum began to swing in Carleton’s favor after intermission. On their second drive of the half, the Knights reached the end zone on an 11-yard run by Zweber, his seventh scoring scamper of the season.
The Knights struck again midway through the fourth quarter when Hartwell connected with Frett for a 14-yard score, cutting the Cobbers’ lead to 45-27. However, Concordia responded with a touchdown on its next possession to seal the victory.
The Knights return home next Saturday, November 3, to face Gustavus Adolphus College. Kickoff is slated for 1 p.m. A live broadcast—including a high-definition video stream—will be available via Knights Online.