Green Knights lose season opener
By SNC Athletics
Montgomery, Illinois – The St. Norbert College football team saw a first-quarter lead disappear thanks to a 29-point second quarter by Aurora University Sept. 7.
The Green Knights couldn’t recover in a 50-40 non-conference loss in Montgomery, Illinois.
St. Norbert took the lead on the second play from scrimmage when Notre Dame Academy graduate Nate Ihlenfeldt connected with Samuel Staehling on a 74-yard touchdown pass.
The Green Knights led 6-0 only 39 seconds into the game after the point-after try failed.
Aurora answered with a touchdown 1:36 later for a 7-6 lead.
St. Norbert went on a seven-play, 64-yard drive capped by a 4-yard run by Freddy Poorman with 9:53 left in the first quarter.
Aurora quarterback Gavin Zimbelman connected on a 92-yard pass from to Jacolby Maxwell later in the first quarter to take the lead for good.
Zimbelman then threw four touchdown passes in the second quarter, two each sandwiched around a 7-yard touchdown pass from Poorman to Staehling.
The St. Norbert touchdown brought it to within 29-19 with 5:34 remaining in the second quarter, but the Spartans scored twice in the last 2:20 of the half to take a 43-19 lead into halftime.
The Green Knights closed out the game with three touchdowns – on a 2-yard run by Ihlenfeldt late in the third quarter, a 34-yard touchdown pass from Poorman to Matt Galanopoulos and a 12-yard strike from Poorman to Staehling.
St. Norbert set a school record with 60 pass attempts and matched a school record with 100 plays, accomplishing it Oct. 28, 1989, against Beloit College.
The Spartans out-gained the Green Knights 604-528 in total offense.
Poorman, who set a school record with 55 pass attempts, completed 30 to finish with 303 yards passing and three touchdowns.
Staehling hauled in a career-high 10 receptions for 203 yards – his second 200-yard career receiving game – with three touchdowns.
His three touchdown receptions gave him 34 for his career, three shy of matching Mike Whitehouse’s school record.
Ihlenfeldt led the Green Knights on the ground with 112 yards on 16 carries.
Zimbelman completed 33 of 52 passes for 497 yards and seven touchdowns to lead Aurora.