Game notes: Concordia looks to turn tide in rivalry series with Doane

By Jake Knabel on Sep. 18, 2017 in Football

SEWARD, Neb. – From Concordia’s perspective, it’s been way too long. Not since head coach Patrick Daberkow played for the Bulldogs has the program claimed a win over rival Doane. Right now feels like the perfect time for a 2017 team aiming for a signature win while celebrating homecoming this week. Saturday’s kickoff from Bulldog Stadium is scheduled for 1 p.m. CT.

Concordia has dropped its first two road trips of this season following a 35-21 loss at No. 24 Northwestern (3-0) last week. However, the Bulldogs are returning to their home turf, where they own a seven-game win streak that dates back to the end of the 2015 campaign. On the other hand, the undefeated Tigers are fresh off an incredibly wild 68-67 home win last week over then 22nd-ranked Dakota Wesleyan (2-2). Doane rallied back from a 67-49 deficit with under six minutes left in the game.

GAME INFO
No. 7 Doane (3-0, 1-0) at Concordia (1-2, 0-1)
Saturday, Sept. 23 | 1 p.m.
Bulldog Stadium | Seward, Neb.
Webcast: Concordia Sports Network
Radio: 104.9 Max Country
Commentators: Tyler Cavalli and Roger Fitzke
Live stats: Stretch Internet

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN

2017 Team Statistics
*National rank in parentheses

Concordia
Offensive PPG: 19.3 (64th)
Defensive PPG: 23.0 (T-23rd)
Total Offense: 392.0 (40th)
Pass Offense: 196.3 (56th)
Rush Offense: 195.7 (27th)
Total Defense: 388.3 (42nd)
Pass Defense: 232.7 (50th)
Rush Defense: 155.7 (45th)
Turnover +/-: -1 (T-48th) 

Doane
Offensive PPG: 43.3 (T-15th)
Defensive PPG: 36.0 (T-66th)
Total Offense: 418.0 (30th)
Pass Offense: 222.0 (42nd)
Rush Offense: 196.0 (26th)
Total Defense: 489.3 (77th)
Pass Defense: 258.7 (63rd)
Rush Defense: 230.7 (73rd)
Turnover +/-: +6 (T-6th) 

Returning Individual Leaders

Concordia
Head Coach: Patrick Daberkow (1-2, 1st season)
Passing: Riley Wiltfong – Passing: 22/46 (.478), 330 yards, 4 td, 2 int; Rushing: 23 carries, 135 yards
Rushing: Ryan Durdon – 65 rushes, 348 yards, 5.4 avg, 2 td; Receiving: 5 catches, 37 yards
Receiving: Lane Castaneda – 18 catches, 180 yards, 10.0 avg, 2 td
Defense: D’Mauria Martin – 16 tackles, 3 tfl 

Doane
Head Coach: Matt Franzen (63-44, 11th season)
Passing: Jack Shadley – 25/39 (.641), 409 yards, 4 td, 0 int
Rushing: Kyle Jensen – 33 rushes, 224 yards, 6.8 avg, 4 td
Receiving: Hunter Bradley – 11 catches, 207 yards, 18.8 avg, 2 td
Defense: Chayton Crow – 28 tackles, 2 tfl, int 

SCHEDULE/RESULTS

Concordia (1-2, 0-1 GPAC)
9/2 at (20) Kansas Wesleyan, L, 13-28
9/9 vs. Ottawa, W, 24-6
9/16 at (24) Northwestern, L, 21-35
9/23 vs. (7) Doane, 1 p.m. (homecoming)
9/30 at (25) Hastings, 1 p.m.
10/14 vs. Midland, 1 p.m.
10/21 at Dordt, 1 p.m.
10/28 vs. Dakota Wesleyan, 1 p.m.
11/4 at Briar Cliff, 1 p.m.
11/11 vs. (4) Morningside, 1 p.m.

Doane (3-0, 1-0 GPAC)
9/2 at (14) Sterling, W, 34-28
9/9 vs. Friends, W, 28-13
9/16 vs. (22) Dakota Wesleyan, W, 68-67
9/23 at Concordia, 1 p.m.
9/30 at Briar Cliff, 1 p.m.
10/7 vs. Dordt, 1 p.m.
10/21 vs. (19) Northwestern, 1 p.m.
10/28 at (25) Hastings, 1 p.m.
11/4 vs. (4) Morningside, 1 p.m.
11/11 at Midland, 1 p.m.

In the rankings
Concordia appeared as the first team outside the national top 25 in the NAIA’s preseason ranking. The Bulldogs are no longer receiving votes in the national poll. Doane checked in at No. 7 in the new ranking released by the NAIA on Monday (Sept. 18).

Concordia
GPAC preseason: 5th (coaches); 6th (media)
NAIA coaches’ poll (Sept. 18): NR
Massey Ratings: 45th

Doane
GPAC preseason: 3rd (coaches); 2nd (media)
NAIA coaches’ poll (Sept. 18): 7th
Massey Ratings: 15th

Quarterback watch
Patrick Daberkow and offensive coordinator Thomas Byrd have juggled between juniors Andrew Perea and Riley Wiltfong at the quarterback position. Wiltfong started the first (Kansas Wesleyan) game while Perea got the call for games two and three (Ottawa and Northwestern). Perea has attempted 53 passes. Wiltfong has fired 46 attempts. Last week Wiltfong found three different receivers for touchdown passes and racked up a career high 319 total yards (247 passing, 72 rushing). Wiltfong, a native of Doniphan, Neb., is listed atop this week’s depth chart. He has thrown for 1,742 yards and 18 touchdowns and has run for 450 yards and three scores in 15 career collegiate games.

On the other sideline, Doane is happy to have starter Jack Shadley back at the controls of its offense. In his return last week, Shadley completed 25 of 39 passes for 409 yards and four touchdowns, earning GPAC offensive player of the week accolades. Shadley has compiled 3,308 passing yards and 37 passing touchdowns in his career as a Tiger. Doane had used Trey Lovell and Paul Lozano at quarterback in the season’s first two games prior to Shadley’s reemergence.

No small feat
The starting defense now contains both small brothers, Erik at nose guard and Kevin at inside linebacker. Erik has added starting defensive line duties along with his role as the team’s fullback on offense. Erik has been solid on the interior for a unit that ranks 42nd nationally in total defense. Kevin is set to start his third game in a row. He moved into the lineup after Terrell Pearson suffered a season ending injury. Kevin made a highlight reel hit on Ottawa quarterback Connor Byers in Concordia’s first win of the season. Kevin has 12 tackles, including 1.5 for loss this season. Erik has also made 12 tackles and a has also produced a sack. The Small brothers hail from Los Alamitos, Calif.

Home cooking
Concordia extended its home winning streak when it defeated Ottawa University in its home opener on Sept. 9. The Bulldogs went a perfect 5-0 at home during the 2016 season. Concordia also won its final home contest of 2015, meaning the win streak currently stands at seven. Included in that run are five wins over GPAC opponents and two over squads from the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference. The 2016 squad was the program’s first to complete an undefeated home season since 2000.

Seven-game home win streak
9/9/17 | W, 24-6 | Ottawa (Kan.)
11/12/16 | W, 31-28 | Hastings
10/22/16 | W, 20-14 | #22 Midland
10/8/16 | W, 56-0 | Briar Cliff
9/17/16 | W, 9-7 | Northwestern
9/3/16 | W, 23-7 | Mary (Kan.)
11/14/15 | W, 48-0 | Briar Cliff

Reinforcements on the way?
A pair of notable weapons have been missing from the Concordia offensive attack over the first three weeks of the season. Senior Jared Garcia has reappeared this week as one of the receivers on the depth chart’s top line. The Bulldogs also soon hope to welcome back senior TJ Austin. Over his first three seasons at Concordia, Garcia played in each of the team’s 31 games. Unfortunately, an injury suffered in preseason camp has kept the Pearland, Texas, native sidelined so far. He entered 2017 within striking distance of breaking school career receiving records for catches and yards. Garcia remains stuck on 140 receptions for 2,188 yards and 29 touchdowns as one of the most prolific pass catchers ever to wear the Bulldog uniform. Austin split time at quarterback over his first three years, amassing 2,661 total yards and 23 total touchdowns. Both players can add juice to an offense currently averaging 19.3 points per game.

Series drought
The Bulldogs hope to continue their home win streak while also putting an end to a 12-game series losing skid against Doane. The last Concordia win over the Tigers came on Oct. 29, 2005, when star Bulldog running back JaMaine Lewis ran for 131 yards on 21 carries, leading the way in a 23-10 victory in Crete. There have been close calls in recent years. The 2015 matchup was a classic overtime battle that resulted in a 23-20 Doane triumph. With the game tied 20-20, Concordia was stopped on a fourth-and-goal at the one-yard-line with 2:22 left in the game. The Tigers had all kinds of trouble containing Jared Garcia, who caught six passes for 192 yards and two touchdowns. A year earlier, Doane came all the way back from a 20-0 deficit and topped the Bulldogs, 23-20, in Crete. Concordia defeated the Tigers in three consecutive meetings from 2003 to 2005.

Scouting Doane
Under head coach Matt Franzen’s direction, Doane has an overall record of 48-17 since the beginning of the 2011 season. The Tigers are coming off back-to-back NAIA playoff appearances. Doane comes into this week’s matchup highly rated behind an offense that piled up 597 total yards in last week’s come-from-behind win. Franzen’s squad will look to shore up a defense that surrendered 798 yards, including 405 through the air and 393 on the ground, to Dakota Wesleyan. Offensively, the Tigers have found a nice replacement for Nate Meier, who rushed for 3,838 yards in his career. Kyle Jensen ran for 142 yards in the season opening win over Sterling College as Doane adjusted without quarterback Jack Shadley over the first two contests of 2017. Defensively, the Tigers have yielded their share of yards, but they have been quite opportunistic, taking the ball away from their opponents 13 times already this season. Considering its current position in the national poll, Doane is expected to contend for a third NAIA playoff berth in a row. The Tigers’ most recent postseason victory came in 1997.