For the first time in the storied 78-year history of University of Minnesota Duluth football, the Bulldogs have pulled off a conference championship three-peat.
UMD, the No. 1-ranked NCAA Division II team in the country, captured at least a share of its third consecutive Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference title Saturday afternoon by stomping the University of Minnesota Crookston 55-7 in Crookston. In other league action, previously undefeated Augustana fell to Wayne State, 26-14. With the victory, the Bulldogs improved to 10-0 overall and 9-0 in the NSIC and can claim the 2010 league crown outright with a win in their regular season finale next Saturday at Minnesota State University-Mankato.
Possessing the nation's highest scoring offense, UMD scored touchdowns on six of its seven first half possessions (it turned the ball over on a fumble on the Golden Eagle nine-yard line on the other drive) to take a 42-0 lead in cruising to its 29th consecutive NSIC victory and its school-record 20th road triumph in a row. Senior running back Brad Foss ran for 90 yards on nine carries and a pair of touchdowns (the first two of the afternoon), sophomore quarterback Chase Vogler completed 11 of 12 passes and threw for two more scores and junior placekicker David Nadeau personally had a hand in 13 points (one shy of his team mark) for the Bulldogs, who outgained Minnesota Crookston (2-9; 0-9) in total offense by a whopping 573-149 margin. Nadeau, who connected on two fields goals of 31 and 21 yards in addition to his seven extra point kicks, became UMD's all-time leading scorer for placekickers with 260 points -- two more than the previous record holder, Chad Gerlach, racked up between 2000-03.
The Bulldogs finished with 337 yards on the ground, including a career-high 77 by Justin Claiborne and 61 by senior running back Brian Hanson while holding the Golden Eagles to just 49 yards on 28 attempts. Sophomore Jon Lynch, who replaced Vogler midway through the second quarter, was 5-of-8 for 38 yards and one touchdown (a seven-yard toss to sophomore wide receiver Colin Stinogel). Junior outside linebacker Rob Huberty brought back a Golden Eagle fumble 18 yards for another touchdown -- the third time he has done so this season.
Courtesy: UMD Athletics