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Cougars return to Big Cat Thursday night

The University of Minnesota, Morris football team lost their second straight Friday, falling 48-27 to Macalester at the annual Upper Midwest Athletic Conference Dome Day.

The Cougars return home Thursday night to play under the lights at Big Cat Stadium for their final home game. At 7 p.m. they will kick off with Trinity Bible.

The Cougars and Scots kicked off the two-day, five-game event at the Metrodome.

A back-and-forth first half saw the Cougars score early on the first of two Todd Gramenz touchdown runs. Gramenz capped off a nine-play, 94-yard drive with a two-yard plunge at the 3:41 mark of the first quarter.

Gramenz later added a 53-yard screen pass for a touchdown in the second, but not until after Leandro Dower found the endzone on a nine-yard rush to start the quarter. However, for each first-half score the Cougars had, the Scots had an answer, and despite three touchdowns, UMM led just 20-17 heading into halftime.

The Cougars finished with 443 yards of total offense, but Macalester held the edge with 507 total yards, including an average of 7.3 yards per play.

The Scots turned the offense up a notch in the second half, outscoring the Cougars 31-7 in the final two quarters. The scoring began modestly, with a field goal to tie it up, but by early in the fourth their lead had stretched to 34-20.

Following that Macalester score, Gramenz did his best to get the Cougars back in it as he took the first play of the series 86 yards to the house to pull UMM back within 34-27 with nearly 11 minutes left in the game.

The Cougars had no luck finding the endzone again, as the Scots added another pair of scores for the final 48-27 margin.

Gramenz finished with 118 yards on the ground and two scores, on his way to 184 all-purpose yards on the day. Dower also topped the century mark on the ground, checking in with 101 rushing yards.

Quarterback Daniel Garrigan completed eight of 12 passes for 138 yards, with his one touchdown going to Gramenz. John Russow was on the receiving end of three Garrigan passes, and he led the team in receptions on his way to 29 yards. Brenden Foss caught two passes for 63 yards.

Mitch Zimmer led the defense with 15 stops on the day, including 0.5 sacks. Tanner Gramm was also in double digits, finishing with 12 tackles, including one for a loss.