The Piper defense took the field first and held Martin Luther to a three-and-out on their opening possession. Adam Meyer (So., Cold Spring, Minn.) started the game behind center for Hamline and immediately orchestrated an eight-play, 65-yard scoring drive to put the hosts up 7-0 just over five minutes into the game. The drive ended in a 26-yard touchdown pass to Tim Queck (So., Annandale, Minn.) and the first of four successful point-after attempts from Derek Johnson (Sr., Casa Grande, Ariz.).
After Hamline’s defense prevented the Knights from gaining a first down on their next possession, Meyer led the Pipers back down the field on a long scoring drive. This time he took them 73-yards and included completions of 37- and 10-yards to Ben Johnson (So., Roseville, Minn.) and a 14-yard reception by Alex House (Jr., Champlin, Minn.). Meyer doubled the Hamline lead with 2:13 to play in the opening quarter on a five-yard pass to Ben Johnson, followed by another successful point-after attempt from Derek Johnson.
Aiming to go three-for-three on their opening trio of opportunities for the season, Hamline started their next drive at the 50-yard line. Traynor picked up his first eight rushing yards on the march down the field that included a 17-yard snag by House to help put Derek Johnson within field goal range. Johnson’s attempt from 22-yards out was good, giving Hamline a 17-0 lead with 8:40 to play in the first half.
Traynor picked up 62 of his 100 yards on the team’s fourth turn on offense, nearly breaking free up the right side of the field before Stephen Gurgel (Sr., Mequon, Wis.) chased him down and pulled him out of bounds at the Martin Luther 16-yard line.
With less than two minutes to play in the half, the Pipers upped their lead to 24-0 when Blake Cook (Fy., Fridley, Minn.) burst through and dashed 28 yards for the touchdown, ending a quick 55-yard scoring drive.
The score remained at 24-0 for over 15 minutes of playing time until Meyer found Kyle Nitz (Sr., Richfield, Minn.) for an eight-yard TD catch at 1:33 in the third quarter. Derek Johnson then scored his final three points of the game, and finished 6-for-6 on the day in kick attempts, with a 27-yard field goal with 7:09 to play in the game.
Hamline’s offense totaled 455 yards in the game. Traynor tallied 100 of Hamline’s 190 yards contributed by the Piper ground game, while Johnson led the receivers with 76 of the 265 yards in the air. House covered 72 yards on five receptions. Meyer was 19-of-30 with 236 yards passing and three touchdown tosses in his debut as the Piper starting quarterback.
The Piper defense was equally as impressive, holding the Knights’ offense to 115 yards. Doing their part, the Hamline secondary allowed only 17 passing yards throughout the game. Martin Luther’s trio of passers were only able to connect on two of their 22 total attempts.
Lucas Jones (So., Farmington, Minn.) led Hamline with eight tackles (four solo, four assists), Josh Bain (Jr., Spring Valley, Minn.) had six (four solo, two assists). Three Pipers in Marc McDonald (Fy., Portland, Ore.), Mike LaBore (Sr., South St. Paul, Minn.) and Brady Lorenzen (Sr., Grand Meadow, Minn.) tallied five tackles.
To see video of post-game interviews with head coach Jim Good, Meyer, Queck and LaBore, click here.
With the non-conference win, the Pipers open the 2009 season at 1-0 overall. They will begin MIAC play next Saturday, September 19, by hosting Gustavus Adolphus at 1:00 p.m.