By Jim Bastian
Journal Sports Writer
NEW ULM - When Martin Luther College senior running back Mark Voss scored a touchdown on a one yard run with just over three minutes left in the third quarter, it all but salted the game against Crown College away.
Martin Luther College scored four touchdowns in that third quarter to turn a slim 14-0 halftime lead into a 41-7 lead as the Knights closed out their 2012 football season with a 41-14 win over the Storm in an Upper Midwest Athletic Conference game.
Freshman Matthew Olson scored three touchdowns for the Knights. Two other freshmen - quarterback Luke Rothe and defensive lineman Derek Loewen - each added a touchdown in the dominating win by MLC.
"This was a good way to finish the year," said MLC head coach Dong Lange, whose team ended the season with a 4-6 overall overall mark and a 2-6 record in the UMAC. "We have been trying to put together a gane like thia, Today our only weakness was in the kick-off coverage."
The Knights forced two Storm turnovers that led to two MLC touchdowns. The Knights' Benjamin Olson recovered an Eli Dahl fumble on a punt on the Storm 49. It took seven plays for MLC to find the end zone with Rothe covering the final 18 yards for a touchdown. Shawn Scherer's kick made it 7-0.
Galen Holzhueter picked off a Wes Stafford pass on the MLC three late in the first quarter. That set the stage for a 12-play, 97-yard drive which was culminated by the first of three touchdown runs by Matthew Olson, this one from six yards out for a 14-0 lead. It was a lead that MLC took into halftime.
Lange said that the Knights made a halftime adjustment with the pitch option. That led to two quick scores on runs of 24 and 16 yards by Matthew Olson, who finished with 122 yards on 22 carries.
On defense, lineman Derek Loewen recovered a Amos Schmidt fumble and rambled 52 yards for a touchdown and a 34-0 lead with 9:08 left in the third quarter.
"That was our first defensive score of the year," Lange said. "It was nice to see us force turnovers."
After Crown scored, the Knights came right back with a touchdown run by Voss. That score made it 41-7 with Crown scoring late in the final quarter.
"This was a great way to end this year and a good start for next year," Lange said.