The Concordia College football team was able to get back on track this past Saturday, taking down Presentation College by a final score of 55-14. Senior receiver Andy Gravdahl led the way for the Cobbers on offense, racking up 128 yards and two receiving scores on nine catches, adding an 88-yard kickoff return for a touchdown as well. Senior quarterback Tanner DuBois was 36-45 with 319 yards and 4 touchdowns, setting a new school record in single-game completions on his way to his first collegiate win as starting quarterback.
Coming after a loss in their season opener against Valley City, the Cobbers were able to find their groove and get going in the right direction. Concordia’s offense came out hot, scoring on their first drive of the day, as DuBois found Junior receiver Peter Narum in the endzone from 15 yards out. The offense didn’t stop there in the first quarter, as DuBois hooked up with Gravdahl and Senior receiver Zach Wolf for 71-yard and 23-yard touchdowns, respectively.
Concordia kept that momentum going into the second quarter, as running back Peyton Mortenson punched one in from one yard out halfway through the quarter. The defense got into the fun as the half was winding down as senior Sam Hegg-Entzion picked up a fumble and took it 42 yards to the house to give Concordia a 34-point halftime lead.
The Cobbs stayed in gear coming out of the locker room, as DuBois once again found Gravdahl from 29 yards out. That ended the senior’s day, as Coach Horan was able to sit his starters and ride the rest of the game out.
Being able to get the first win this season seemed to mean a little more, coming off a year where there was no season due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Celebrating after this win, the first one in over 660 days, had a special feeling to it.
“Singing our school song in the locker room after the game, I don’t know if it’s felt like that in a while. That was pretty special for the guys, being able to see it on their faces,” said Concordia head coach Terry Horan. “You kind of take things for granted. You have a year stripped away from you. Having that extra thanks to get a chance to put on the uniform and compete was a wonderful feeling.”
While a sense of normalcy is starting to return, COVID has not gone away. When asked about how the team is handling the threat of a possible infection derailing the season, Coach Horan kept it simple: “We’re doing what we need to do. We’re masking indoors, socially distancing in meetings and constant reminders to make sure we’re doing the little things right. Washing your hands, just staying distant and wearing your mask. That’s what we got to do.”
Having two classes of players with no college experience can raise a lot of questions, and Horan made sure both the sophomore and first-year classes were ready to compete.
“We put a heavy emphasis with those two classes just learning our culture and what we expect, especially in fall camp. But we were ready to go, that want to be able to finally get into practice and prepare for games,” said Horan.
Sophomore starting tackle Ethan Tong is experiencing his first true collegiate season and is seeing firsthand the changes from high school to college.
“It was nerve racking, especially before the start of the game. I didn’t really know the intensity and competitiveness of games until the first snap I played. People aren’t just playing to be a part of the team, people are here to play. Preparation is a bit more intense than high school. It’s a lot more serious and that level of urgency from our coaches is passed onto us during practice.”
After a bye week, Concordia will kick off conference play as they head to St. Peter to take on Gustavus on Sept. 25. “That’s really all that’s on our mind right now. Heading into this bye week and then prepare for them. We need everybody’s efforts, not just Gravdahl or DuBois. We need our defense, our special teams and offense to have big days and play as a team. That’s our goal.”