First-ever gridiron meeting between Concordia-MMU set for Saturday

By Jacob Knabel on Oct. 11, 2021 in Football

SEWARD, Neb. – Two unfamiliar foes will go head-to-head on Saturday as the Concordia University Football team attempts to push its win streak to three. Every matchup is something new for this week’s opponent, Mount Marty, which is in its first season as a college football program. Kickoff on Saturday is set for 1 p.m. CT from Crane-Youngworth Field in Yankton, S.D. Head Coach Patrick Daberkow’s squad will venture north for the second week in a row.

The Bulldogs earned their first road win of the season while emerging from Jamestown, N.D., with a 24-17 victory last week. DJ McGarvie threw three more touchdown passes, including two to Korrell Koehlmoos, and the Concordia defense stood tall once again. The Bulldogs held the Jimmies to 306 total yards and came up with a key turnover that led to seven points. At 3-3, Concordia is one win away from equaling last season’s win total. The Bulldogs have already played the GPAC’s three nationally ranked teams.

The Lancers are still in search of their first-ever win. Mount Marty came close to a victory on Sept. 25 in a 36-28 home loss to Briar Cliff. A former assistant at Kansas Wesleyan University, Head Coach John Michaletti has been tasked with building up the Lancer program. Just like Concordia, Jamestown has been challenged with games against the likes of No. 2 Northwestern, No. 3 Morningside and No. 19 Dordt. Last week, Mount Marty was beaten by the Defenders, 63-21.

Concordia (3-3, 3-3 GPAC) at Mount Marty (0-6, 0-6 GPAC)
Saturday, Oct. 16 | 1 p.m.
Crane-Youngworth Field | Yankton, S.D.
Webcast: Mount Marty YouTube
Live Stats: Presto Stats
Radio: 104.9 Max Country
Commentators: Parker Cyza and Ross Wurdeman


Team Statistics

*2021 national rankings out of 98 NAIA football programs

Offensive PPG: 23.3 (58th)
Defensive PPG: 26.5 (T-47th)
Total Offense: 320.7 (59th)
Pass Offense: 202.5 (45th)
Rush Offense: 118.2 (64th)
Total Defense: 341.2 (39th)
Pass Defense: 226.5 (56th)
Rush Defense: 114.7 (27th)
Turnover +/-: -1

Mount Marty
Offensive PPG: 13.7 (T-88th)
Defensive PPG: 44.3 (90th)
Total Offense: 317.7 (62nd)
Pass Offense: 215.5 (41st)
Rush Offense: 102.2 (80th)
Total Defense: 495.5 (95th)
Pass Defense: 298.0 (94th)
Rush Defense: 197.5 (79th)
Turnover +/-: 0



Head Coach: Patrick Daberkow (19-25, 5th season)
Passing: DJ McGarvie – 68/127 (.535), 833 yards, 13 td, 5 int, 134.5 effic.
Rushing: Jonah Weyand – 63 rushes, 273 yards, 4.3 avg, 0 td
Receiving: Korrell Koehlmoos – 25 catches, 346 yards, 13.8 avg, 4 td
Defense: Caydren Cox – 38 tackles, 8.5 tfl’s, 6.5 sacks, 2 ff, 1 fr / Lane Napier – 74 tackles, 3 pbu’s, 1 sack, 1 fr

Mount Marty
Head Coach: John Michaletti (0-6, 1st season)
Passing: Torren Devericks – 72/125 (.576), 718 yards, 6 td, 3 int, 116.9 effic.
Rushing: Ka’ua Nishigaya – 102 rushes, 339 yards, 3.3 avg, 0 td
Receiving: Rex Ryken – 28 catches, 386 yards, 13.8 avg, 1 td
Defense: Gaven Craig – 52 tackles, 6 tfl’s, 1 int


Concordia (3-3, 3-3 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, 1 p.m.
10/23 vs. Midland, 1 p.m.
11/6 vs. Doane, 1 p.m.
11/13 at Hastings, 1 p.m.

Mount Marty (0-6, 0-6 GPAC)
9/4 vs. Dakota Wesleyan, L, 3-20
9/11 at Jamestown, L, 6-35
9/18 at (3) Morningside, L, 7-56
9/25 vs. Briar Cliff, L, 28-36
10/2 vs. (2) Northwestern, L, 17-56
10/9 at (19) Dordt, L, 21-63
10/16 vs. Concordia, 1 p.m.
10/23 at Doane, 1 p.m.
10/30 vs. Hastings, 1 p.m.
11/13 at Midland, 1 p.m.

In the rankings
Both teams are off the national radar in terms of rankings. Mount Marty came in at No. 11 in the GPAC preseason coaches’ poll. The Bulldogs’ most recent top 25 appearance came in November 2017 when they landed at No. 25. Current Massey Ratings list Concordia at No. 44 and Mount Marty at No. 84. The strength of schedule for the Bulldogs ranks 22nd with them having played each of last season’s NAIA playoff qualifiers from the GPAC.

GPAC preseason: 5th
Current Massey Ratings: 44th

Mount Marty
GPAC preseason: 11th
Current Massey Ratings: 84th

Last time out
It wasn’t a thing of beauty, but the Bulldogs got the job done on a dreary and rainy day in Jamestown, N.D. Concordia couldn’t exhale until Logan Kreizel came up with a third down sack with the Jimmies knocking on the door of the red zone in the final minute. Jamestown then spiked the football on fourth down to sew up a 24-17 win for the Bulldogs. Concordia scored on its second play from scrimmage (78-yard touchdown pass play from DJ McGarvie to Korell Koehlmoos, in which Koehlmoos did most of the work) and never trailed. McGarvie fired three touchdown passes, including two to Koehlmoos and one to tight end Garrett Schardt. Defensively, Lane Napier notched 13 tackles and Caydren Cox produced two of the team’s five sacks. The Bulldogs outgained Jamestown, 326-306.

McGarvie racking up touchdowns
Lincoln North Star High School alum DJ McGarvie continues to play beyond his experience level. The true freshman has fired three touchdown passes in back-to-back games, making him the first Concordia quarterback to accomplish that feat since Riley Wiltfong in October 2016. McGarvie was named the GPAC Offensive Player of the Week on Oct. 4 after putting up five total touchdowns in the win over Dakota Wesleyan. McGarvie’s 13 touchdown passes this season rank No. 3 among GPAC quarterbacks. Over the past two weeks, the Valparaiso, Neb., native has completed 33 of 50 passes for 441 yards and six touchdowns and has rushed for two scores. The six touchdown passes have gone to four different receivers.

Defense tightens screws
Ever since the season opener at Morningside, the Bulldog defense has been stout, allowing averages of 19.2 points and 278.8 yards per game over the past five weeks. The anchors of the defense have been at linebacker in Caydren Cox and Lane Napier. Concordia has gotten solid results while rotating plenty of players along the defensive line and in the secondary. Defensive Coordinator Corby Osten has kept the d-line fresh by using the likes of Jordan Kavulak, Eric Kieper Jr., Devon Polley, Talatau Solo, Dylan Rahder and Payton Stevens on a regular basis in the team’s 3-4 alignment. In the secondary, Carson Core has moved into a starting role at corner after formerly playing receiver. Nationally, the Bulldogs have moved up to 39th in total defense.

Total yardage allowed, last five 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

Cox tops GPAC in sacks
Caydren Cox picked up some well-deserved recognition on Monday when he was named the GPAC Defensive Player of the Week, courtesy of his efforts at Jamestown. The native of Beloit, Kan., notched four tackles, two sacks, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery as part of the win. The fumble led to seven points for the Bulldogs. With 6.5 sacks on the season, Cox has far surpassed a career high. He also leads Concordia with 8.5 tackles for loss and ranks second on the team in tackles (38) in 2021. In his career with the Bulldogs, Cox has totaled 95 tackles, 18 tackles for loss, 8.5 sacks and two interceptions.

Napier among national tackle leaders
Not only does Caydren Cox lead the GPAC in sacks, Lane Napier ranks as the conference leader in tackles. Napier continues to rank near the top of the national leaderboard. His 74 tackles this season are second nationally only to Ottawa University (Kan.)’s Colby Johnson (75 tackles). Napier put together another solid performance in the win at Jamestown, registering 13 tackles and two pass breakups. Napier has posted at least 10 tackles 24 times and has reached at least 15 tackles 10 times in his career. The native of David City, Neb., is a four-time First Team All-GPAC selection.

Napier, highest single-game tackle totals in career
23 – Jamestown, Oct. 5, 2019
22 – Morningside, Oct. 27, 2018
22 – Briar Cliff, Oct. 13, 2018
21 – Jamestown, Sept. 15, 2018
18 – Northwestern, Sept. 25, 2021
18 – Dordt, Sept. 18, 2021
18 – Hastings, Oct. 20, 2018

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. Koehlmoos finished last week’s game with 122 receiving yards and two touchdowns on six receptions. For his career, the native of Pilger, Neb., has caught 116 passes for 1,745 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 107 passes for 1,305 yards and seven touchdowns in his career.

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)
116 – Korrell Koehlmoos (2018-- )
115 – Travis Soukup (1991-94)
107 – Cayden Beran (2018-- )

Tight end matchup problem
Tight end Garrett Schardt is a problem – for opponents. Concordia has learned to use Schardt, one of the nation’s best tight ends, in creative ways. The native of Davenport, Neb., caught six passes for 64 yards and a touchdown last week. On a second quarter touchdown drive at Jamestown, Schardt caught four-straight passes (for 35 total yards), capping it with a 12-yard scoring grab. He also made a diving catch to convert a fourth down. On the season, Schardt has caught 18 passes for 309 yards and three touchdowns. The foursome of Korrell Koehlmoos (25), Cayden Beran (22), Schardt (18) and Art Anderson (11) have accounted for 76 of the team’s 95 receptions on the season.

Kicking game/special teams shows growth
The kicking game was an overall positive at Jamestown. Korrell Koehlmoos punted seven times for an average of 41.4 per punt with two of the punts downed inside the opponent’s 20. Daniel Cantu also drilled a 41-yard field goal in the second quarter and was 3-for-3 on extra points. In addition, Carson Core returned a punt 33 yards, setting up Koehlmoos’ second touchdown of the day. Prior to last week, Concordia had been 2-for-5 on field goal attempts and had averaged 30.8 yards per punt.

Back to .500
The Bulldogs have returned to .500 thanks to back-to-back wins for the first time this season. Concordia finished last season at 4-4 overall. The Bulldogs are looking for their first above .500 campaign since going 6-4 in 2017, Patrick Daberkow’s first as head coach. Concordia would have to win out in order to reach the seven-win mark for the 18th time in program history. The 2016 team finished at 7-3 and was ranked 19th in the NAIA’s postseason coaches’ poll.

Series vs. Mount Marty
This will be the first meeting ever between the two sides. Past Concordia teams used to regularly play against Yankton College, which closed in 1984.

Scouting Mount Marty
On April 2, 2019, Mount Marty University announced that it was adding a football program. Initially, Mount Marty eyed 2022 for its first official season of varsity competition but made the decision to move the timeline up by one year. Mike Woodley (former national championship coach at Grand View University) was hired as program’s first head coach. However, Woodley stepped down prior to the start of this season and the Lancers elevated John Michaletti into the head coaching position. Michaletti was selected as the KCAC Assistant Football Coach of the Year in 2017 and 2019 when he worked at Kansas Wesleyan University. Not surprisingly for a first-year program, Mount Marty has gone through some struggles while starting out 0-6. The Lancers have been gashed, ranking 90th nationally in scoring defense and 95th in the NAIA in total defense. Mount Marty boasts a star receiver in junior Rex Ryken, a Yankton High School product. The Lancers will be hungry for their first-ever win while playing on their home field. In home games this season, Mount Marty has been defeated by Dakota Wesleyan, Briar Cliff and No. 2 Northwestern.