(Crookston, Minn.) – The University of Minnesota, Crookston football team had a mission today. It was to pick up their first Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference victory of the season. The task at hand was not going to be an easy one for the Golden Eagles. However, U of M, Crookston was not to be denied as Jordan Grafsgaard (Sr., TE, Ulen, Minn.) scored off of a 20 yard pass from David White (Jr., QB, Detroit, Mich.) with eight seconds left to play to defeat MSU Moorhead by a score of 42-38 in Moorhead, Minn.
The Golden Eagles looked to be the superior team early on as they took a 7-0 second quarter lead on an Eric John (So., RB., North Miami, Fla.) one yard run 1:10 into the second quarter. U of M, Crookston continued the scoring with 10:06 left in the second quarter as John broke a 59 yard run to put the Golden Eagles up 14-0.
MSU Moorhead’s offense awoke after this as they scored the next 21 points. Bert Smith plunged in from the one yard line for their first score while Jabari Taylor scored on ten and five yard passes from Dustin Long. Suddenly the Dragons had a 21-14 halftime lead.
Things appeared to get worse for U of M, Crookston as Long connected with Nick Scharpf on a 24 yard touchdown reception with 9:25 remaining in the third quarter to put MSUM up 28-14. The Golden Eagles responded with their work horse John again who popped off an eight yard scamper to bring U of M, Crookston back within a touchdown at 28-21. The Dragons closed out the third quarter with a 22 yard field goal by Kyle Wilcox to take a 31-21 lead.
It looked as if MSU Moorhead might have the Golden Eagles right where they wanted them until a wild 5:22 of the football game which saw 28 total points scored at the end of the fourth quarter. It all started when Reggie Frazier (Sr., RB, Los Angeles, Cal.) hit the end zone with a two yard run to bring U of M, Crookston within three at 31-28.
After holding the Dragons to a four and out, the Golden Eagles got the ball back. Eight plays later, White found Aaron Wall (So., WR, New Orleans, Louisiana) with 2:16 remaining for a 50 yard touchdown reception to give U of M, Crookston their first lead since the first half at 35-31. The lead was to be short lived though as Long hooked up with Bert Smith on a 24 yard pass with 53 seconds remaining to put MSUM up 38-35.
Starting with the ball on their own 47 yard line and 47 seconds remaining, the Golden Eagles had a tall order ahead of them. White hit John on a 22 yard reception to the MSUM 31 yard line. He followed this up with an 11 yard rush to the Dragon’s 20. After an incomplete pass, White found Grafsgaard with eight seconds remaining to put U of M, Crookston up 42-38.
After a 35 yard kick off by Stan Shurson (Fr., K, Ramona, Cal.) and a six yard return by Donta Holloway, MSUM took over on their own 41. Long completed a pass to Jabari Taylor but Ollie Owens (Sr., DL, Raleigh, Mississippi) forced a fumble that was recovered by U of M, Crookston’s Tayler Michels (Jr., SS, Pelican Rapids, Minn.) to end the game.
Eric John had a stellar day for the Golden Eagles with 133 yards rushing on 18 carries and three touchdowns. Reggie Frazier added 68 yards rushing and a touchdown. David White was nine of 16 for 220 yards passing with two touchdowns and no interceptions.
Special teams were strong for U of M, Crookston as Travis Coulson (Jr., P, Crescent City, Iowa) had six punts for 221 yards averaging 36.8 yards a punt. Stan Shurson could not have been more reliable either making all six of his extra points.
Demario Robinson (Sr., LB, Hope, Ark.) led the Golden Eagles with 10 tackles (three solo and seven assisted). Michael Yanez (Fr., LB, Buda, Texas) added eight (six solo and 2 assisted) while Taylor Michaels (four solo and two assisted) and Trevor Haugh (Sr., LB, Wells, Minn.) (three solo and three assisted) each added six.
U of M, Crookston improves their record to 2-7 overall and 1-7 in the Northern Sun
Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC). They will travel to Minneapolis, Minn. and the Metrodome on Friday, November 9 for their season finale against Concordia-St. Paul. Kick off is set for 4:00 pm. The Dragons fall to 3-7 overall and 2-6 in the NSIC.
For more information, visit the Golden Eagle Athletics website at www.goldeneaglesports.com.
The University of Minnesota, Crookston is a NCAA Division II Institution and a member of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC). Golden Eagle Hockey is a member of the Midwest Collegiate Hockey Association (MCHA). The Golden Eagle Equestrian team is a member of the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA).