(Fort Wayne, IN) – Concordia football closed out their regular season on Saturday afternoon with a road contest at Saint Francis. The Cardinals looked to defend their #9 ranking and lock up an NAIA playoff spot with a win. CUAA performed well and clinched the title of MSFA Mideast co-champions with a 37-7 victory. It is the largest margin of victory over Saint Francis in program history and the first time the Cardinals have beaten the Cougars in back-to-back seasons.
Gavin Brooks passed for 217 yards and 2 touchdowns on the day. Keirell Jackson led the team with 76 rushing yards on 20 carries. Ameir Wilbourn and Keviantae Brown also added touchdowns on the ground. Seeger DeGayner was the leading receiver with 85 yards and a touchdown. Parker Graham had 65 receiving yards and caught a touchdown as well.
Concordia received the opening kickoff and Gavin Brooks converted right away with an 8-play, 80-yard scoring drive. Luke Wilson hauled in a 39-yard pass to move the team downfield and the drive was capped by an 8-yard touchdown run from Ameir Wilbourn.
Gerald McHenry made an interception on the next series to give the ball right back to the Cardinals. However, Saint Francis was able to block a field goal attempt to keep the game within a touchdown. The Cougars put together a scoring drive late in the quarter to tie the game 7-7.
In the second quarter, a high snap on a Saint Francis punt attempt rolled out the back of the endzone giving Concordia a safety. After the Cardinals made a stop on fourth down later in the quarter, a big play extended the team's lead. Gavin Brooks fired a pass over the defense and Seeger DeGayner made a fingertip catch, taking the ball 79 yards for a touchdown.
Saint Francis drove down to the Concordia 6-yard line in the final minutes of the half, but Aaron Rahn was able to jump a route in the endzone for an interception. CUAA maintained a 16-7 lead at halftime.
Concordia special teams made an impact in the third quarter when Hayden Kermode blocked a Saint Francis punt and Jon Kennedy recovered it in the endzone for a touchdown. After a defensive stop, the Cardinals scored again when Gavin Brooks rolled out and found Parker Graham for an 8-yard touchdown.
Concordia tacked on one more touchdown in the fourth quarter. Keirell Jackson used a steady rushing attack to move the team downfield and Keviontae Brown eventually punched in a strong 16-yard touchdown on the ground. CUAA claimed the 37-7 win as time expired.
Concordia now likely clinches an NAIA playoff spot after their victory. The full tournament field will be announced on Sunday, November 14 at 7:00pm. The announcement will be made via the Play NAIA Facebook page and can be viewed by clicking here.