A devastating loss in the final seconds of Saturday’s game in St Cloud left the Bulldogs in unfamiliar territory, having sustained their first loss of the season 51-49 to the Huskies. “This is a tough one to swallow because of the way it ended,” said senior quarterback Chase Vogler. “There is a lot of room for improvement obviously.”
The contest was an offensive showcase defined by prolific quarterback play form both teams. Vogler was central to the success of the Bulldog offense – leading with command, delivering ample scoring power and 367 yards from scrimmage.
UMD struck first on a 33-yard connection from Vogler to receiver Zach Zweifel during the opening drive of the game.
The Bulldogs paved the way offensively and attained a comfortable 18-point lead heading into halftime.
Despite continuing to play well enough to win on offense, the UMD defense was exposed in the second half. The secondary was challenged outside and gave up big plays in the passing game as a result of not getting pressure up front on the passer. To their credit, an explosive St Cloud offense was a huge challenge to defend.
Vogler put in a valiant effort, arguably one of the most impressive showings of his Bulldog career – throwing two touchdowns passes and running in for four.
To suffer a loss after a stellar performance from the leader of the team is sobering.
“We want to be playing our best football at the end of the year, so we need to build on this game, be more assignment sharp and limit negative plays offensively and limit big plays defensively,” he said. “We can continue to get better on both sides of the ball as well as on special teams.”
Knowing now what they can work on, the Bulldogs will turn their focus to Minnesota State-Moorhead, which comes to Duluth this weekend for a night game Saturday.
BY BILL ZIEGLER firstname.lastname@example.org