No. 11 Cougars rally late but fall short in season finale to No. 10 Knights

College Sports

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – On Saturday afternoon, the No. 11 University of Saint Francis Cougars (2-2; 2-2 MSFA) played host to the No. 10 Marian University Knights (5-1; 5-1 MSFA) in the regular-season finale at Bishop D’Arcy Stadium, but lost 41-34 as a late rally fell short.

As the game got underway, both defenses played strong. The Cougars were stopped in their first couple possessions with one of them ending in an interception thrown by senior quarterback Matt Crable. 

The only scoring done in the first quarter was a 40-yard field goal made by kicker Jack James to put Saint Francis ahead 3-0, and it stayed that way after the first quarter. 

But come the second quarter, the table turned on the Cougars. 

The Knights kicked off the frame by marching down the field and finding the end zone on a seven-yard run to go up 7-3. Then a couple of minutes later on the Cougars’ next drive, Crable threw an interception that gave Marian the ball right back at midfield. Two plays later, a 37-yard touchdown pass put the Knights ahead by 11 points. 

Then on the next possession for Saint Francis, the Knights forced a fumble, recovered the ball, and then two plays later enjoyed another touchdown this time on an 18-yard pass though the extra point was missed. 

Two costly turnovers by the Cougars led to consecutive touchdowns by the Knights as the game went to halftime with Saint Francis trailing 20-3. 

The Cougars kicked off to the Knights to open the second half and then Marian used their offense for another touchdown drive ending in a 10-yard pass. The score now stood at Marian leading 27-3.

Down but not out, the Cougars began to fight back. 

The Cougars milked a lot of the clock on their next possession but it was all for a good cause as Crable found wide receiver Matt Kominkiewicz open for an 11-yard touchdown pass to get back in the game. 

The Cougars still trailed by 16 going to the fourth quarter, but they now had the momentum. 

Opening the fourth the Knights had the ball but the Cougars still could not stop their running game as they enjoyed their second rushing touchdown of the game and fifth touchdown overall.

Through the next several minutes, the Cougars took control. Crable found Jordan Schmeling midway through the frame for an 18-yard touchdown pass and after a three-and-out by the Cougar defense, found Kominkiewicz for his second touchdown of the half with the two-point conversion a success.

With 4:27 remaining, the Cougars kicked off, but the Knights put the game away for good four plays later with a 35-yard touchdown run to put the game out of reach. The Cougars did manage another touchdown to close the deficit back to seven, but an onside kick attempt fell short as the Cougars were dealt the tough loss.

Cougar fans, be sure to stay updated on www.saintfranciscougars.com for full updates and recaps on all University of Saint Francis athletics. 

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