College football: UMD loses to St. Cloud in last seconds

ST. CLOUD, Minn. -- Chase Vogler took a deep breath and then exhaled before taking off his shoulder pads on Saturday night. He was exhausted, but after doing everything that Minnesota Duluth's senior quarterback did on Saturday -- only to lose --...

Justin Fowlkes
Minnesota Duluth's Justin Fowlkes (17) returns a kickoff for a touchdown during the first half of a game in St. Cloud on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012. (Eric Stromgren / St. Cloud Times)

ST. CLOUD, Minn. -- Chase Vogler took a deep breath and then exhaled before taking off his shoulder pads on Saturday night.

He was exhausted, but after doing everything that Minnesota Duluth's senior quarterback did on Saturday -- only to lose -- meant the mental exhaustion was even worse.

St. Cloud State quarterback Phillip Klaphake threw for a school-record 466 yards and five touchdowns -- including an 8-yard scoring strike to running back Michael Walker as time expired -- to lead the Huskies to a stunning 51-49 victory over the second-ranked Bulldogs before 4,524 fans at Husky Stadium.

Beside the 100 total points, the teams combined on three touchdowns in the final 2:09.

"This is a tough one to swallow. You lose with three seconds to go, it's tough," said Vogler, a senior captain. "We can't dwell on this game but have to try to turn it into a positive. It was a roller coaster. Offensively we played well, and I know a lot of people will try to pin this on the defense, but there were a lot of things the offense could have done to put this game away. We scored


49 points, but even if we got just one more first down, it wouldn't have ended this way."

UMD (4-1) controlled the first half, taking a 28-10 lead at the break thanks in part of Justin Fowlkes' 80-yard kickoff return for a touchdown -- the Bulldogs' third this season -- and then had to try withstand a furious comeback for the second week in a row. This time, UMD wasn't as fortunate despite a spirited effort from Vogler, who took some brutal hits but still managed to factor in on six touchdowns.

"Chase is a great football player and he proved it again," UMD coach Bob Nielson said. "St. Cloud has a great quarterback, too. It's hard to be the team that doesn't end up with the winning score after a game like this. Both teams played hard. It's disappointing. We had plenty of chances, but they made a play there at the end. It was one of those games where we just ran out of time. "

Vogler was 11-for-25 passing for 164 yards and two touchdowns, and he ran 14 times for 120 yards and four more scores, including a

35-yard TD run that gave the Bulldogs a 49-45 lead with 1:16 remaining.

"We have to be able to stop a team," Nielson said. "They went 75 yards in a minute."

That was enough time in this one as St. Cloud (3-2) finished with 642 yards of offense, third most in program history.

UMD failed to get pressure on Klaphake on the final play as he looked left before working his way back to his right and finding Walker -- who was supposed to stay back in pass protection -- bust out into the flats. Walker caught the pass, quickly turned it up field and then dove into the end zone as Huskies fans erupted in celebration, storming the field as part of Celebrate St. Cloud State Weekend.


"It was a busted play," Walker said. "I was supposed to be blocking, but I saw Phil running around and scrambling. I thought I should leak out and give him somebody to pass to.

"I knew if I dove I could get my body out there and get in. I couldn't believe it. My heart was racing. I saw the fans coming, and I couldn't breathe. It was exciting."

St. Cloud coach Scott Underwood was asked if he thought whoever had the ball last would win.

"Unfortunately that goes through your mind, but they continued to fight even when things weren't going well," Underwood said. "All we talked about at halftime is that we were going to play until the end. I didn't know it was going to come down to that, but we were going to play until the end and look up at what the scoreboard said."

It was the Huskies' second straight victory over the Bulldogs, including a 35-7 shocker last year, but only the sixth loss total for UMD in the past five seasons. Fifty-one points are the most given up by UMD since its 63-35 loss at Winona State in 1997.

UMD hosts Minnesota State-Moorhead (0-5) next Saturday on Hall of Fame Weekend.

"We can think about the what-ifs all we want on this one, but it won't make us a better football team for next week," Nielson said. "We have to move on."

Minnesota Duluth 14-14-7-14--49
St. Cloud State 0-10-20-21--51


First Quarter

UMD -- Zach Zweifel 33 pass from Chase Vogler (Andrew Brees kick), 12:13

UMD -- Jeremy Reierson 12 pass from Vogler (Brees kick), 3:53

Second Quarter

SCSU -- Taylor Berger 23 pass from Phillip Klaphake (Tyler Aldridge kick), 13:11

SCSU -- Aldridge 22 field goal, 5:42

UMD -- Justin Fowlkes 80 kickoff return (Brees kick), 5:26

UMD -- Vogler 1 run, :11


Third Quarter

SCSU -- Klaphake 9 run (kick failed), 13:00

SCSU -- Eli Shoemaker 36 pass from Klaphake (Aldridge kick), 7:30

UMD -- Vogler 13 run (Brees kick), 2:57

SCSU -- Michael Walker 38 run (Aldridge kick), :07

Fourth Quarter

UMD -- Vogler 11 run (Brees kick), 11:43

SCSU -- Renard Robinson 16 pass from Klaphake (Taylor Berger kick), 7:02


SCSU -- Chad Peterson 19 pass from Klaphake (Tyler Allery pass from Klaphake), 2:09

UMD -- Vogler 35 run (Brees kick), 1:16

SCSU -- Walker 8 pass from Klaphake, :00

A -- 4,524

Jon Nowacki is a former reporter for the Duluth News Tribune
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