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Cougars snap losing streak with 40-7 win over Eureka

The University of Minnesota, Morris football team dominated its way to a 40-7 win over Eureka in Big Cat Stadium Saturday.

On a day to celebrate seasons past with many alumni from the original Cougar football teams in attendance, the latest crop of Morris gridders provided quite the tribute, running out to a 28-0 halftime lead en route to the win. Eureka entered the game riding a four-game winning streak without a loss in Upper Midwest Athletic Conference play, with Morris on the other end of the spectrum stuck in a four-game losing skid. The Cougars responded with their second highest scoring game of the year, setting a season high in total yards in the process.

Leandro Dower started the scoring at the 5:34 mark of the first quarter, breaking off a 48-yard touchdown run, cutting back against the grain and out-running the Red Devil defense to the endzone. Dower finished the game with a career high 134 yards, bettering the 119 he put up just last week. He also moved into the team rushing lead and topped the 500-yard mark on the season with 504 after the day.

In the second quarter, the offense kept rolling scoring 22 points with touchdowns on three consecutive drives. It started with a two-yard plunge from Derrick Foss at the 10:53 mark, and after a three-and-out from the Cougar defense, Derrick found his younger brother Brendon Foss less than three minutes later for a 16-yard scoring pass at the 8:23 mark.

Derrick Foss finished with 177 yards passing and two touchdowns for his best game of the season, while younger brother Brendon hauled in five passes for 91 yards and one score, finding the endzone for the fifth time in the last six games. Brendon now has nine touchdowns on the season, and is creeping up on the Morris single-season record of 12 set by Jack Siljendahl back in the 1978 season and tied by Ryan Stoick in 2006.

Before the first half ended Garrett Mensing got the Cougars in the endzone again, taking the ball off the left side and running through a hole big enough for a truck opened up by the offensive line, going nearly untouched for 40 yards to put Morris up 28-0 as the teams headed to the locker rooms.

Mensing finished with 104 yards on the ground, going over the century mark for the first time this season. It was also the first time since the season opener that the Cougars had two players rush for 100 yards in a single game. They finished with 284 total rushing yards, their second best day of the year, while piling up a season-high 461 yards of total offense.

The Cougar defense was equally as dominant, allowing a season-low 76 rushing yards while holding the UMAC's second-ranked to over 100 yards under their average. The Red Devils boasted the league's top passer in Sam Durley, but the Cougars held him to just 16-of-40, picking him off once, while allowing just 60 first-half yards through the air.

In all, six different players got into the endzone for the Cougars with Danny Kernan hauling in a 50-yard touchdown pass from Derrick Foss in the third quarter and Dustin Spohn scoring on a nine-yard run late in the fourth for his first career touchdown.

Cody Hickman again led the defense with 10 tackles, including four solos, a tackle for a loss, and one forced fumble. Jacob Wirz finished with a team-high two tackles for loss, while the Cougars posted six stops behind the line of scrimmage.

Back to the .500 mark in the UMAC standings, the Cougars will look to make it two in a row next week, when they hit the road to take on new conference foe Presentation. Kick-off in Aberdeen, S.D. is set for 1 p.m.