For the second straight time at home, the game came down to one of the final plays of the day. Only this time it was the Wolves who made the big play, blocking a Concordia-St. Paul PAT attempt and escaping with a 24-23 victory over the Golden Bears Saturday afternoon in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference football action.
The win marks Northern State's first of the season as they improve to 1-3 overall, all in NSIC play. CU dropped their first game on the road this year and also stand at 1-3 overall with Saturday's loss.
The Wolves rallied from a 10-3 deficit at half time to take a 24-10 lead with 11:56 left in the game, but saw the Golden Bears score two touchdowns in the final six minutes to close the gap. CU's final drive included three big pass completions from sophomore quarterback James Peterson, who found Tre Mason for 29 yards, Jermain Clemon for 16 and Cordell Smith for 13 on 3rd-and-12 to keep the drive alive.
Peterson then found Smith again from seven yards out with 34 seconds left in the game to close within one and sent the PAT squad on the field to tie the game. NSU senior Mason Thorstad, however, had other ideas, breaking through the line to block Tom Obarski's kick attempt and preserve the slim advantage.
NSU senior Mark Hanley then recovered the on-side kick, and the Wolves took a knee to run out the clock and pick up their first win of the year.
Turnovers proved to be a key part of the victory for NSU. The Wolves picked off CU's Peterson three times in the game, two of which led to NSU touchdowns. Junior safeties Jayson Geditz and Logan Dosch accounted for all three picks. Dosch had one interception in each half and now has three on the season.
For their part, the Wolves finished the game with no turnovers, marking the first game without a turnover this season.
Sophomore quarterback Jared Jacobson, who came into the game as the second-leading rusher in the NSIC, finished with just 14 yards on the ground, but was effective both through the air and on the ground. A week after posting his first 200-yard passing game, Jacobson finished 17 of 33 for 191 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for a 13-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter.
Junior tailback John Hughes carried the load for the Wolves, posting 104 net yards on 15 carries. The effort marked his first 100-yard rushing game in an NSU uniform. Cameron Pudwill had 14 yards on five carries in the fourth quarter.
Hanley caught five passes for 37 yards and two touchdowns for the Wolves. Jordan Piatz also had five catches for 42 yards. Senior Chris Morton had just two catches, but led the team with 49 yards. Thirty-seven of those came on one play.
Courtesy: Jacque Scoby: NSU Athletics