Football downs St. Ambrose 41-24 in home opener

Football downs St. Ambrose 41-24 in home opener

(Ann Arbor, MI) – Concordia football held their home opener on Saturday afternoon when they hosted Saint Ambrose for an MSFA crossover matchup. The Cardinals came in ranked #6 in the country and both teams were looking for their first win of the year. The first half was tightly contested, but a 21-point third quarter lifted CUAA to a 41-24 win.

Gavin Brooks went 33-47 for 274 passing yards and 4 touchdowns while adding a team-high 52 rush yards. Donovan Johnson led the Cardinals with 67 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns. Seeger DeGayner added 64 receiving yards and a touchdown while also racking up 254 kick return yards and a 100-yard return TD. Payton Pizzala also caught a touchdown.

On defense, Casey Rauch led the team with 11 tackles. Conner Long finished second with 7 tackles. Gerald McHenry Jr made an interception while tying Alonzo Johnson and Chase Haynard with 6 tackles.


Concordia kicked off to Saint Ambrose to begin the game. Both teams traded defensive stops throughout the beginning of the quarter. A turning point came when a booming punt by Casey Rauch was muffed by Saint Ambrose and recovered by CUAA at the SAU 11-yard line. Gavin Brooks found Donovan Johnson in the corner of the endzone for an 11-yard touchdown to open scoring.

Saint Ambrose briefly took a 7-6 lead in the second quarter, but the Cardinal special teams responded in a big way. Seeger DeGayner fielded the ensuing kickoff in the endzone and found a seam along the sideline, putting Concordia back on top with a 100-yard TD return.

After a Cardinal fumble put Saint Ambrose in the redzone, the defense held the Fighting Bees to a field goal. CUAA maintained a 13-10 lead at halftime.


Seeger DeGayner started the third quarter with a 57-yard kickoff return to give the offense solid field position. Gavin Brooks led a 5-play, 40-yard scoring drive and connected with Donovan Johnson in the endzone for the second time on the day.

Gerald McHenry made a key interception in the endzone on the next series. Saint Ambrose eventually trimmed the Cardinal lead to 20-17 after a 60-yard rushing touchdown from Kaden King.

Seeger DeGayner added another electric return on the next kickoff, running 75 yards down the sideline. Gavin Brooks found Payton Pizzala in the endzone for a 4-yard touchdown reception to go back up by 10 points.

After the defense forced a stop on fourth down, Gavin Brooks led a 7-play, 40-yard drive with Seeger DeGayner hauling in a 5-yard receiving touchdown. CUAA led 34-17 after the third quarter.


Concordia put together a lengthy 10-play, 81-yard drive in the fourth quarter that burned 5:15 off the clock. James Carpenter punched in an 8-yard rushing touchdown to cap the drive.

Saint Ambrose added one more touchdown, but the Cardinals were able to secure the 41-24 victory as time expired.


Concordia will head on the road next Saturday, September 17 to face Roosevelt at 3pm