WALESKA — Reinhardt’s season came to a disappointing end Saturday as its fourth-quarter comeback came up short in a 31-21 loss to Concordia in the first round of the NAIA tournament.
The Eagles (9-2) entered the fourth quarter trailing 24-3, and while they got the three touchdowns they needed in the, two missed extra points, a failed 2-point conversion and a touchdown for the Cardinals (10-2) kept Reinhardt trailing.
“We just couldn’t put a drive together in the first half and make a play,” Reinhardt coach James Miller said. “I thought we were playing hard and blocking OK. We did some really good stuff. We just couldn’t put a drive together and finish it.”
Things started to go off the rails for Reinhardt late in the first half, when what looked like a game-tying touchdown was called back on a penalty and sent the Eagles to the locker room trailing 10-3.
With that momentum, Concordia came out in the second half and marched 79 yards in 16 plays to take a 17-3 lead.
A Reinhardt fumble on the next possession set up the Cardinals at the 31-yard line. Just five plays later, they found the end zone again to go up 24-3.
“Those drives in the third quarter just killed us,” Miller said. “We came out and we knew we needed to make a stop. We didn’t and gave it right back to them. We knew we couldn’t do that. It was just too big of a hole.”
Concordia quarterback Roger Engle was 17-of-26 passes for 266 yards and a touchdown. Clay Coltson had two catches for 125 yards, while Roderick Dailey had eight catches for 70 yards. Donte Desalle had six catches for 70 yards and a touchdown.
With the season hanging in the balance, Reinhardt finally found the end zone in the fourth quarter when Tevin McCoy broke the goal line on a fourth-and-1 play.
Nick Marquez then recovered his own onside kick on the ensuing kickoff to set up a 41-yard touchdown pass from Billy Hall to Qua Stocks.
“We were just finally able to open some things up,” Miller said. “We couldn’t get out of our own way early. Later in the game, it seemed like we executed a little better. I really liked how they kept fighting and got back in the game.”
After Reinhardt cut the deficit to 24-15, Concordia jumped out once again as Joe Connor took the next play 75 yards untouched for a score. He finished with 124 yards on 21 carries.
Reinhardt running back Montralius Mosley scored from 4 yards out to give the game its final margin with 1:23 to play.
Mosely finished with a team-high 56 yards on nine carries. Hall added 51 yards on the ground while completing 12 of 23 passes for 198 yards and a touchdown. Jace Jordan catching five passes for 108 yards.