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Green Knights fall to Monmouth in MWC Championship

{ }St. Norbert College fell just short of returning to the top of the Midwest Conference football race, losing a 9-6 overtime decision to Monmouth College in the Midwest Conference Championship Game at Zorn Memorial Stadium.

MONMOUTH, Ill. - St. Norbert College fell just short of returning to the top of the Midwest Conference football race, losing a 9-6 overtime decision to Monmouth College in the Midwest Conference Championship Game at Zorn Memorial Stadium.

The Green Knights (7-3) and Fighting Scots (9-1) battled to a 3-3 tie at the end of 60 minutes to set up overtime.

St. Norbert opened overtime with a nine-yard run by Jack Becker, but two rushes on the next two plays did not yield a gain. Spenser Thompson-Meyers' 33-yard field goal was good to give the Green Knights a 6-3 lead.

Monmouth then ran five plays before having third-and-9 at the St. Norbert 11, when Hayden Nelson hit fullback Konnor O'Keefe on an underneath crossing route for a 10-yard gain to the St. Norbert 1. Nelson's quarterback sneak on the next play decided the outcome. Monmouth clinched the MWC's automatic berth into the NCAA Division III Playoffs with the win.

St. Norbert's defense turned in a yeoman's effort, battling through a scoreless first quarter and then held early in the second quarter when Monmouth's Joey Biel missed a 23-yard field goal. Two possessions later, Thompson-Meyers connected on a 41-yard field goal with 5:18 left in the second quarter.

The Green Knights had a chance to extend their lead, but Thompson-Meyers' 50-yard field goal as time expired in the first half missed just to the right.

St. Norbert did not penetrate Monmouth territory in the third quarter and advanced to the Scots' 37 early in the fourth quarter before a drive stalled out. Two possessions later, Monmouth got a big play when Deandre Wright broke through the line for a 45-yard run to set up Biel's 39-yard field goal with 6:09 left. Neither team had a scoring chance in regulation after that.

Monmouth outgained St. Norbert 307-249 in total offense. Jadon Sackman had 27 carries for 82 yards, while Becker completed 12 of 20 passes for 86 yards. Matt Galanopoulos had five catches for 24 yards.

Wright led Monmouth with 112 yards on 24 carries, while Nelson completed 15 of 25 passes for 164 yards.

Ben Kornowski led the St. Norbert defense with 10 tackles, while Sam Koss and Matt Barrett had nine tackles apiece.

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