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Cougars fall to Panthers at Big Cat Stadium

Morris, Minn. -

The University of Minnesota, Morris football team fell to the Greenville Panthers  49-24 Saturday at Big Cat Stadium.

With the loss the Cougars drop to 2-2 overall and 2-1 in the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference.

The Panthers racked up 408 rushing yards using a fast action, read option offense.

Greenville came out firing on all cylinders scoring on the first drive in under four minutes. 

Morris came right back with a score as senior quarterback Derrick Foss connected with freshman wide receiver Dalton DeGraffenreid on a 48-yard touchdown pass. 

 With the game tied at one touchdown apiece, Greenville's quarterback Brandon Chambers connected on a long touchdown pass to Steven Glover to give the Panthers a 14-7 lead. 

Morris then retaliated with a 35-yard field goal from freshman Cam Adel, making the score 14-10. 

Greenville put together three consecutive touchdowns coming from two Morris punts and an interception return for a touchdown to extend the lead to 35-10.

With the score 35-10 and two minutes left in the first half, Morris was desperate for a score. The Cougars forced a Panther punt with less than three minutes left in the half and took advantage.

  UMM managed to string together a series of quick passes, leading to a 31-yard touchdown pass from Derrick Foss to junior receiver Danny Kernan.  This cut the Cougars' deficit to 18 at the close of the half. UMM missed a chance to make it closer when the kickoff after the Kernan touchdown was misplayed by the Panthers and the Cougars could not come up with the loose ball.

The Cougars received the kickoff to start the second half, but were unable to score on their opening drive.  Greenville capitalized on their opening drive with an 11-yard touchdown run coming from Panther running back Immanuel Gamble.  The Panthers would strike once more, four minutes later, to put the game away for good.

Tyler Peterson caught a five-yard touchdown pass from Foss with 9:28 left in the game to make the final score 49-24.

The Cougars struggled throughout the game to find any sort of rhythm offensively and only had 15 first downs compared to Greenville's 30.

  Defensively, Cody Hickman led the Cougars racking up a career high 22 tackles. 

As a team, the Cougars only gave up 102 yards passing, but gave up 408 yards on the ground. The nation's leader in fumbles recovered was aggressive once again jumping on two fumbles.

  Despite scoring drives of 16, 11, 10 and two seven-play drives the Cougars won the time of possession battle 46:41. Greenville was in a no huddle offense for a vast majority of the game.

Morris had 159 yards rushing, the highest on the season thus far. Leandro Dower had 75 yards on the ground and Dustin Spohn added 56.

Next week, the Cougars will continue their conference play and travel to St. Paul to take on the Northwestern Eagles