SEWARD, Neb. Doane Football went on the road to open conference play on Saturday evening with a trip to Seward and hooked up with Concordia. The Tigers scored 10 unanswered points in the final quarter to post a 17-10 victory over the Bulldogs.
Concordia was the first team to put points on the board as they converted a field goal on their second possession of the game. The 27-yard field goal came with 4:54 to play in the opening quarter.
The Tigers responded quickly, needing 2:52 to go 75 yards on six plays to take the lead. Drake Davidson (JR/Moberly, Mo.) hit Izaiah Celestine (JR/Stockton, Calif.) for a 16-yard pass and the Tiger receiver did the rest as he raced another 33 yards after the catch for a touchdown. The 49-yard strike was the first TD as Tigers for both Davidson and Celestine.
After a defensive stop, the Doane offense drove into Bulldog territory. However, a Tiger fumble gave the ball back to Concordia and the host school took advantage. The Bulldogs covered 68 yards on six plays to score a touchdown to take a 10-7 lead. Concordia had a chance to add to their lead going into halftime, however, they missed a 39-yard field goal.
The Doane defense had a big second half, forcing Concordia into four 3-and-outs and two missed fourth down conversions. Additionally, the Tiger defensive special team unit came blocked a field goal attempt and recovered a fumble following a Doane punt.
The offense found their stride in the final quarter following the fumble recovery on the previously mentioned punt. The Tigers went 19 yards on five plays, finding the end zone to regain the lead as Kyle Jensen (SR/Exeter, Neb.) scored from two-yards out. It was Jensen's first touchdown since 2017 after he missed last year due to injury.
Following a 3-and-out by the Bulldogs, Doane took over in Concordia territory. Jamaine Derogene (JR/Dunedin, Florida) ran for 32 yards on the first play of the drive and put the Tigers in field goal range. The Tigers lost five yards on their next three plays, leaving Bryce Cooney (SR/Omaha, Neb.) to make a 33-yard field goal for the final points of the game with 5:50 to play.
Concordia was held to a 3-and-out and Doane took over late in the 4th quarter. They were able to run off 2:21 of game time before punting to the Bulldogs with 2:28 to play. On the first play of the Bulldog drive, they picked up seven yards. However, on third down the Tigers defense came up with a sack as Joaquim Robinson (JR/Kearney, Neb.) broke through for a 7-yard loss. On 4th down, Doane was able to make the stop and seal the victory.
Davidson posted 227 yards passing on 18 completions. He found Celestine for six catches in the game and 139 yards. Five Tigers had two receptions apiece. Derogene led the Tigers with 42 yards rushing and Jensen added 32.
Neither team was able to get the ground game going as Doane finished with 55 net yards and the Bulldogs were held to 25 net yards rushing.
The Doane defense was led in tackles by Garrett Fries (SR/Indianola, Neb.) with 11, including one tackle for loss. Warren Horne (JR/Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) and Riley Homolka (JR/Wilber, Neb.) were in on seven tackles apiece. Homolka recorded 3.0 tackles for loss to lead the Tigers. Anthony Malone (SR/Centennial, Colo.) added six tackles.
The Tiger defense finished with four sacks in the game. Robinson was credited with 1.5 sacks and Homolka and Malone in on one apiece. Kenny Kemp (SO/Winder, Ga.) received 0.5 a sack, sharing with Robinson.
Doane will head to Texas on September 14 to take on NCAA D2 Top 10 Tarleton State. The game will mark the first trip to Texas in program history and only the second time Doane will face a team from the state.