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Concordia of Wisconsin contained Lakeland's nationally-ranked offense, and stunned the Muskies with a 24-6 win that spoiled Lakeland's Homecoming weekend.
The loss is the first for Lakeland in Illini-Badger Conference play, dropping them into a tie with Concordia, last season's conference champ, at 3-1. Aurora, 3-0 in the league, faced Concordia of Illinois Saturday.
Lakeland, averaging 516 total yards of offense this season and averaging 659 yards in its first three league games, was held to just 178 total yards on a cold, windy day at Taylor Field. The Muskies had just 73 rushing yards, well below their average of 355 rushing yards per game, and were just 1 for 12 on third down.
The Muskies, now 4-3 overall, missed a prime scoring opportunity in the first quarter, as the Falcons stopped Lakeland on a fourth-and-two play at the Concordia 11.
Lakeland took a 6-0 lead in the second quarter as sophomore Marcus Denham scored on a 1-yard run, but the extra point was blocked.
Lakeland went for another fourth-and-two on its own 36 midway through the second quarter, but Denham was stopped for no gain. Concordia took advantage, and eight plays later quarterback Glenn Duran scored on a 19-yard scamper. The extra-point kick failed and the game was tied at six at halftime.
"The turning point was when we were up 6-0 and had fourth and two and went for it and they stopped us," Lakeland head coach Jim Zebrowski said. "Then they scored and mentally that deflated us. We ran the ball up and down the field in first quarter and came away with no points."
The Falcons feasted on good field position most of the second half. Duran hit Jon Collier with a 5-yard TD pass to give Concordia a 13-6 lead midway through the third quarter.
A Kyle Mai 21-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter made it 16-6, and a 1-yard run by Duran with 1:44 left sealed the scoring.
Concordia finished with 371 total yards, including 280 rushing as IBFC rushing leader Immanuel Mills finished with 100 yards on 26 carries and Brandon Parker had 104 yards on 19 carries.
Denham was held to 39 yards on 16 attempts, while quarterback Ryan Maiuri had 18 carries for 29 yards. Maiuri was 5 of 18 passing for 105 yards.
"We didn't play well enough to win," Zebrowski said. "We just made too many mistakes."
Lakeland will look to get back on track next Saturday in a league game at Concordia of Illinois.