SEWARD, Neb. – The Concordia University Football team got a chance to refresh last week thanks to a bye in the schedule. In their most recent action, the Bulldogs picked off six passes in the process of taking care of Midland, 21-7, on Oct. 23. Head Coach Patrick Daberkow’s squad will ride a four-game win streak into another rivalry matchup. Concordia and Doane are set to kick things off from Bulldog Stadium at 1 p.m. CT on Saturday.
The Bulldogs played eight-straight weeks before the bye week. Due to Dordt falling in back-to-back weeks (to No. 3 Morningside and No. 2 Northwestern), Concordia has pulled into a tie for third place in the GPAC standings. If the Bulldogs can hold that position, it would mark the second time in Daberkow’s four seasons that Concordia has claimed a third-place conference finish. The GPAC title race has become a two-team battle between Northwestern and Morningside, both 8-0 in league play.
Doane will also bring momentum into the matchup. Head Coach Chris Bessler’s squad has won three in a row and finished off a 4-1 month of October by winning at Midland, 24-13. Interceptions continue to haunt the Warriors, who threw four more picks against Doane. One of them was returned 54 yards for a touchdown by Cade Wiseman. The formula for the Tigers has been to play stout defensively and then hand the rock to Frazzie Wynn, who rushed for 135 yards and a touchdown at Midland.
Concordia (5-3, 5-3 GPAC) vs. Doane (5-4, 5-4 GPAC)
Saturday, Nov. 6 | 1 p.m.
Bulldog Stadium | Seward, Neb.
Webcast/Live Stats: Concordia Sports Network
Radio: 104.9 Max Country
Commentators: Parker Cyza and Ross Wurdeman
Tickets: Concordia HomeTown Ticketing
*2021 national rankings out of 98 NAIA football programs
Offensive PPG: 24.9 (T-55th)
Defensive PPG: 21.6 (30th)
Total Offense: 321.8 (64th)
Pass Offense: 198.1 (T-56th)
Rush Offense: 123.6 (66th)
Total Defense: 327.5 (32nd)
Pass Defense: 219.3 (65th)
Rush Defense: 108.3 (22nd)
Turnover +/-: +8
Offensive PPG: 21.2 (69th)
Defensive PPG: 20.1 (25th)
Total Offense: 292.8 (T-76th)
Pass Offense: 117.6 (92nd)
Rush Offense: 175.2 (25th)
Total Defense: 320.1 (26th)
Pass Defense: 236.6 (75th)
Rush Defense: 83.6 (11th)
Turnover +/-: +11
2021 INDIVIDUAL LEADERS
Head Coach: Patrick Daberkow (21-25, 5th season)
Passing: DJ McGarvie – 99/173 (.572), 1,171 yards, 17 td, 5 int, 140.7 effic.
Rushing: Jonah Weyand – 84 rushes, 355 yards, 4.2 avg, 1 td
Receiving: Cayden Beran – 32 catches, 386 yards, 12.1 avg, 6 td
Defense: Caydren Cox – 45 tackles, 11 tfl’s, 7.5 sacks, 2 ff, 1 fr / Lane Napier – 107 tackles, 3 pbu’s, 1 sack, 2 fr, 1 ff
Head Coach: Chris Bessler (17-20, 4th season)
Passing: Vaughn Martinez – 69/139 (.496), 798 yards, 5 td, 5 int, 102.5 effic.
Rushing: Frazzie Wynn – 145 rushes, 834 yards, 5.8 avg, 9 td (10 total td’s)
Receiving: Izaiah Celestine – 20 catches, 273 yards, 13.7 avg, 1 td
Defense: Riley Heithoff – 59 tackles, 16 tfl’s, 6.5 sacks, 3 pbu’s, 1 ff
Concordia (5-3, 5-3 GPAC)
9/4 at (3) Morningside, L, 7-63
9/11 vs. Briar Cliff, W, 61-21
9/18 at (19) Dordt, L, 7-27
9/25 vs. (2) Northwestern, L, 7-31
10/2 vs. Dakota Wesleyan, W, 34-0
10/9 at Jamestown, W, 24-17
10/16 at Mount Marty, W, 38-7
10/23 vs. Midland, W, 21-7
11/6 vs. Doane, 1 p.m.
11/13 at Hastings, 1 p.m.
Doane (5-4, 5-4 GPAC)
9/4 at Briar Cliff, W, 17-3
9/11 vs. (3) Morningside, L, 14-56
9/18 at (2) Northwestern, L, 0-38
9/25 vs. (22) Dordt, L, 7-27
10/2 vs. Jamestown, W, 44-20
10/9 at Dakota Wesleyan, L, 13-17
10/16 vs. Hastings, W, 44-0
10/23 vs. Mount Marty, W, 28-7
10/30 at Midland, W, 24-13
11/6 at Concordia, 1 p.m.
In the rankings
Concordia is hoping to push for votes in the national poll by extending its active four-game win streak. The Bulldogs’ most recent top 25 appearance came in November 2017 when they landed at No. 25. Current Massey Ratings list Concordia at No. 37 and Doane at No. 47. The strength of schedule for the Bulldogs ranks 38th. The Tigers last found themselves in the NAIA top 25 in October 2017 (at No. 24). Concordia upset then seventh-ranked Doane, 29-18, on Sept. 23, 2017.
GPAC preseason: 5th
Current Massey Ratings: 37th
GPAC preseason: 6th
Current Massey Ratings: 47th
Senior Day at Bulldog Stadium
It will be senior day on Saturday as the Bulldogs play at home for the final time in 2021. Concordia is still finalizing the list of seniors who will be recognized prior to kickoff. Several academic seniors will have the option of returning to the program next year due to the 2020 ‘COVID year’ that resulted in no football student-athletes being charged a season of competition. The class of four-year seniors have had their careers coincide with the head coaching tenure of Patrick Daberkow.
Last time out
The Bulldogs moved to 3-1 at home this season with their 21-7 win over Midland on Oct. 23. Most notably, safety Peyton Mitchell was responsible for three of the team’s six interceptions, a total that equaled a team single-game record. Mitchell’s three picks also tied a program record for an individual in a single contest. As a result, Mitchell was named the GPAC Defensive Player of the Week. Offensively, Jonah Weyand (two-yard rush), Garrett Schardt (15-yard touchdown reception from Korrell Koehlmoos) and Cayden Beran (14-yard touchdown reception from DJ McGarvie) each found the end zone. McGarvie enjoyed an efficient day in throwing for 187 yards and a touchdown while going 19-for-27. Weyand rushed for 82 yards. All-American linebacker Lane Napier notched 13 tackles and eclipsed an impressive career milestone.
2021 GPAC Players of the Week
Oct. 4 – DJ McGarvie (Offensive)
Oct. 11 – Caydren Cox (Defensive)
Oct. 18 – Lane Napier (Defensive); Korrell Koehlmoos (Special Teams)
Oct. 25 – Peyton Mitchell (Defensive)
The incomparable Lane Napier passes 500 career tackles
There just isn’t anyone who can compare to Lane Napier when it comes to making tackles. Prior to Napier’s arrival on the scene, no Bulldog during the GPAC era had ever reached 300 career tackles. He’s now pushed past 500 stops (508 tackles) after making 13 in the win over Midland. The week prior, Napier racked up 20 tackles at Mount Marty and was named the GPAC Defensive Player of the Week for the fourth time in his career. Napier has posted at least 10 tackles 26 times and has reached at least 15 tackles 11 times in his career (20-plus tackles five times). The native of David City, Neb., is a four-time First Team All-GPAC selection and was chosen as a Second Team All-American by the AFCA in 2020.
Napier, year-by-year tackle totals
2021 – 108
2020 – 54
2019 – 108
2018 – 142
2017 – 97
McGarvie sets standard for freshmen
Quarterback DJ McGarvie has had a big hand in Concordia’s four-game win streak. During that stretch, he’s thrown for a combined 10 touchdowns to just one interception (and rushed for two touchdowns versus Dakota Wesleyan). McGarvie’s 17 touchdown passes are the most ever for a Bulldog freshman quarterback and rank behind Morningside’s Joe Dolincheck (25), Northwestern’s Blake Fryar (24) and Jamestown’s Cade Torgerson (19) among GPAC signal callers. He also ranks third nationally in touchdown tosses among freshman quarterbacks, behind Mayville State (N.D.)’s Tim Salmon (23) and Iowa Wesleyan’s Gavin Esquivel (19). The school record for touchdown passes in a single season is 21 by Von Thomas in 2014.
Most TD passes in single season, school history
21 – Von Thomas (2014)
17 – DJ McGarvie (2021)
17 – Rod Giesselman (1970)
16 – Jarrod Pimentel (2001)
16 – Phil Seevers (1988)
Defense dominates during streak
The Concordia defense has improved in a big way from a season ago. The unit has been anchored by linebackers Caydren Cox and Lane Napier, two of the very best in the GPAC. The D has been quite solid against every opponent outside of Morningside. When taking out the season opener, the Bulldogs have allowed an average of just 281.0 yards per game. During the current four-game win streak, Concordia has surrendered a grand total of 31 points. The run included a 34-0 shutout of Dakota Wesleyan. In the most recent outing, six interceptions helped the Bulldogs thwart six separate drives into Concordia territory.
Total yardage allowed, last six weeks
9/11 vs. Briar Cliff – 154
9/18 at Dordt – 403
9/25 vs. Northwestern – 393
10/2 vs. Dakota Wesleyan – 138
10/9 at Jamestown – 306
10/16 at Mount Marty – 232
10/23 vs. Midland – 341
The six interceptions versus Midland is believed to have tied a school record for a single game. The 1967 squad intercepted six passes in a 33-0 win over Northwestern that season. Mitchell became the first Bulldog to pick off three passes in a game since D’Mauria Martin did so in the 44-14 win over Midland on Oct. 14, 2017. In addition, Lane Napier is in a close battle for the national lead in tackles. His 107 stops rank second behind the 108 tackles of Jason Freeman at Olivet Nazarene University (Ill.). As for Caydren Cox, he is tied with Doane’s Ty Barbazon for the GPAC lead in sacks with 7.5. Due in large part to the win over Midland, Concordia’s season turnover margin has moved to plus-eight.
Koehlmoos, Beran move up receiving program lists
Korrell Koehlmoos and Cayden Beran continue to move up the charts on the program’s all-time receiving lists. Both Bulldogs went over 100 career receptions this fall. They have a big impact on the offense in nearly every game. In the win over Midland, Koehlmoos threw for a touchdown on a trick play and Beran hauled in a touchdown toss from DJ McGarvie. For his career, the native of Pilger, Neb., has caught 121 passes for 1,797 yards and 12 touchdowns. In the program’s career record book, Koehlmoos ranks sixth in catches and sixth in receiving yards. Meanwhile, Beran has caught 117 passes for 1,447 yards and 10 touchdowns in his career. Koehlmoos has also been an asset as a punter and was named the GPAC Special Teams Player of the Week on Oct. 18.
Career receptions, program history
168 – Ross Wurdeman (1998-01)
161 – Jared Garcia (2014-17)
147 – Eric Pralle (1987-91)
140 – Dan Danielczyk (1968-71)
125 – Clarence Woods (1984-88)
121 – Korrell Koehlmoos (2018-- )
117 – Cayden Beran (2018-- )
115 – Travis Soukup (1991-94)
All-American tight end?
Recently, Daberkow mentioned that he believed tight end Garrett Schardt should be a candidate to be named an All-American. The native of Davenport, Neb., earned distinction as First Team All-GPAC and 2020 and has been even better in 2021. Schardt actually leads the team in receiving yards (437) and has made 28 grabs, including five for touchdowns. During the four-game win streak, Schardt has caught at least three passes in each outing and has snagged a touchdown reception in each of those four games. A senior academically, Schardt may choose to return next season. His career totals include 68 catches for 1,121 yards and nine touchdowns. In other words, Concordia boasts three different players on the active roster with more than 1,000 career receiving yards.
Weyand goes against hometown team
Crete native Jonah Weyand would love to duplicate the performance he put together last season against Doane. While playing in his hometown, Weyand went off for 169 rushing yards and two touchdowns as part of the 24-7 win. That performance remains the second highest single-game rushing total Weyand has produced, behind the 177 yards he put up last season versus Hastings. Weyand has battled through injuries this season but returned against Midland to rush for 82 yards and a touchdown. The Crete High School alum leads the team with 355 rushing yards for the season.
Win streak at four
The Bulldogs went a perfect 4-0 in the month of October with wins over Dakota Wesleyan, Jamestown, Mount Marty and Midland. During the streak, Concordia has outscored its opponents by a combined total of 117-31. This marks the third time the Bulldogs have put together a win streak of exactly four during Daberkow’s tenure. Concordia won four in a row in 2017 and started 2020 at 4-0. The program last won five-plus games in a row in 2013 when the Bulldogs raced out to a 6-0 record behind GPAC Defensive Player of the Year Darnell Woods. Concordia is also seeking its first seven-win season since going 7-3 in 2016.
Series vs. Doane
Doane had Concordia’s number prior to last season, triumphing in 13 of the previous 14 meetings. The two rivals first met in 1935 and have played each other 65 times. Doane leads the all-time series, 42-20-3. The Bulldogs have enjoyed more success in this rivalry under Patrick Daberkow, who is 2-2 against the Tigers. Concordia defeated Doane in both 2017 and 2020. The victory in ’17 ended what had been an 11-game series win streak for the Tigers.
In last season’s matchup, the Bulldogs dominated Doane, 24-7, in what was the season opener for both teams. Concordia outgained the Tigers, 374-195, and limited Doane to a grand total of 10 first downs. The Bulldogs held the ball for nearly 40 minutes in time of possession. Jonah Weyand scorched the Tiger defense with 169 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries. Doane struck first with a touchdown in the first quarter before Concordia went on to rattle off the game’s final 24 points. The result marked the first time the Bulldogs had won in Crete since 2005.
This will be the final game of the season for Doane, which has its own hopes of finishing strong. In year four of Chris Bessler’s tenure as head coach, the Tigers combine an opportunistic defense (NAIA leading 19 interceptions) with a strong running game that leans upon the talents of Frazzie Wynn. The Lincoln native was named the NAIA National Offensive Player of the Week on Oct. 18 after he ran for 225 yards and four touchdowns in the team’s 44-0 blowout of Hastings. Defensively, four different Doane players have picked off at least three passes. That vaunted pass defense will go up Concordia quarterback DJ McGarvie, who has been picked off only once over the past four games. In the team’s front seven, Ty Barbazon (7.5 sacks) and Riley Heithoff (6.5 sacks) have been blowing up opposing quarterbacks. The glaring weakness for the Tigers has been a passing game that averages just 117.6 yards per game. Saturday’s matchup will pit two squads that hang their hats on rock solid defensive units.