River Forest, IL -- The Beloit College Football team just kept putting up points in their season opener at Concordia University Chicago on Saturday. But the Cougars were doing the same thing and, in a crazy last four minutes, managed one more point for a 51-50 win.
The Buccaneers struck first two minutes into the game on a 26-yard scoring pass from Danny May to Kam Sallee. CUC tied it at 7-all less than three minutes later on a five-yard run to complete a six-play, 64-yard drive. The Cougars then took a 14-7 lead after one quarter when they connected on a 10-yard pass with 4:12 left.
Sallee kicked a 31-yard field goal three minutes into the second quarter to pull Beloit back within 14-10 before a one-yard Concordia scoring run made it 21-10 at the 6:19 mark. Mike Nolden caught a 15-yard TD pass from May with two minutes left in the half to make 21-17 but CUC countered with a 40-yard scoring pass on the very next play to re-establish their 11-point advantage. But the Bucs weren't done and made it 28-24 at the break on May's one-yard run with 25 seconds left.
The third quarter was quiet. The Cougars scored on a 33-yard pass play to increase their lead to 35-24 before Sallee kicked his second field goal of the game, this one from 30 yards out, to make it 35-27 heading to the fourth.
Mason Dixon got in on the scoring with a 25-yard run just over a minute into the fourth quarter and May's conversion pass to Sallee tied it up at 35-all. The Buccaneers then grabbed their first lead since the opening minutes on Sallee's 26-yard run at 6:24, making it 42-35. Then the craziness began.
Concordia regained the lead with an 11-yard scoring pass and a two-point conversion to make it 43-42, CUC, with 4:13 remaining. But Beloit answered with a 53-yard TD pass from May to Sallee at the 1:59 mark. With May's conversion pass to Nolden the Bucs led 50-43. The Cougars had the last word though, getting a 10-yard scoring pass and then a two-point conversion pass to make it 51-50 with 14 seconds left. A 59-yard field goal attempt by Beloit went wide right as the clock hit 00:00 for the final.
Sallee finished with 238 total yards, 194 receiving, the second-most receiving yards in a single game for Beloit, and three TDs. In total he accounted for 30 of the 50 points. Nolden had 11 catches, fourth-most all-time, for 94 yards; May threw for 367; and Dixon rushed 38 times for 158 yards. The teams combined for 1,095 yards in offense, just under 700 through the air, and had 57 first downs.
Defensively, Danny Quijas made 13 tackles, seven solo, while Dewight Walker had seven. Antonio Jones had an interception and David Lafayette a fumble recovery. Kevin Cesario recorded Beloit's lone sack.
Beloit stays on the road as they travel to Grinnell College next Saturday for a 1:00 p.m. game.