Win streak to be put to the test by Midland

By Jacob Knabel on Oct. 18, 2021 in Football

SEWARD, Neb. – Following back-to-back wins on the road, the Concordia University Football team will make its return home this Saturday as it welcomes Midland to Bulldog Stadium. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. CT. The series between the two programs was interrupted last season due to a COVID no contest. The Bulldogs and Warriors first began playing each other in 1944 in the midst of World War II.

Head Coach Patrick Daberkow’s squad is soaring with confidence thanks to a three-game win streak that has pushed Concordia over .500 at 4-3. This past week, the Bulldogs toppled fledgling Mount Marty, 38-7, in Yankton while scoring the final 24 points of the game. DJ McGarvie fired three more touchdowns and linebacker Caydren Cox returned an interception for a touchdown. Cox and the defense have allowed a grand total of 24 points over the past three weeks.

Jeff Jamrog is in his sixth season as head coach at Midland. The Warriors have had extra time to prepare for Concordia having last played on Oct. 9 when they pummeled Briar Cliff, 59-7. Midland boasts a couple of big-time offensive playmakers in the likes of receivers Kenneth Carr III and Dalton Tremayne. The latter actually leads the team in rushing. The Warriors have been plagued a bit by turnovers (14 interceptions thrown) but have a quality win on their ledger having knocked off then 14th-ranked Dordt.

Concordia (4-3, 4-3 GPAC) vs. Midland (4-3, 4-2 GPAC)
Saturday, Oct. 23 | 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


Team Statistics
*2021 national rankings out of 98 NAIA football programs

Offensive PPG: 25.4 (T-49th)
Defensive PPG: 23.7 (39th)
Total Offense: 322.6 (63rd)
Pass Offense: 197.6 (56th)
Rush Offense: 125.0 (T-61st)
Total Defense: 325.6 (24th)
Pass Defense: 210.0 (49th)
Rush Defense: 115.6 (25th)
Turnover +/-: +2

Offensive PPG: 31.9 (34th)
Defensive PPG: 28.4 (53rd)
Total Offense: 367.6 (41st)
Pass Offense: 204.7 (48th)
Rush Offense: 162.9 (33rd)
Total Defense: 394.6 (64th)
Pass Defense: 266.3 (85th)
Rush Defense: 128.3 (33rd)
Turnover +/-: -4


Head Coach: Patrick Daberkow (20-25, 5th season)
Passing: DJ McGarvie – 80/146 (.548), 984 yards, 16 td, 5 int, 140.7 effic.
Rushing: Devin Zeigler – 77 rushes, 319 yards, 4.1 avg, 1 td
Receiving: Korrell Koehlmoos – 28 catches, 365 yards, 13.0 avg, 4 td
Defense: Caydren Cox – 41 tackles, 9.5 tfl’s, 6.5 sacks, 2 ff, 1 fr / Lane Napier – 94 tackles, 3 pbu’s, 1 sack, 2 fr, 1 ff

Head Coach: Jeff Jamrog (36-22, 6th season)
Passing: Jake Ashby – 65/139 (.438), 828 yards, 8 td, 9 int, 102.8 effic.
Rushing: Dalton Tremayne – 37 rushes, 332 yards, 9.0 avg, 2 td
Receiving: Kenneth Carr III – 26 catches, 462 yards, 17.8 avg, 6 td
Defense: Trevor Havlovic – 43 tackles, 6.5 tfl’s, 2.5 sacks, 4 pbu’s


Concordia (4-3, 4-3 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.

Midland (4-3, 4-2 GPAC)
8/28 vs. Sterling, L, 36-38
9/4 at (14) Dordt, W, 25-24
9/11 vs. (2) Northwestern, L, 29-35 (OT)
9/18 vs. Dakota Wesleyan, W, 27-14
9/25 at Jamestown, W, 33-22
10/2 at (3) Morningside, L, 14-59
10/9 vs. Briar Cliff, W, 59-7
10/23 at Concordia, 1 p.m.
10/30 vs. Doane, 1 p.m.
11/6 at Hastings, 1 p.m.
11/13 vs. Mount Marty, 1 p.m.

In the rankings
Both Concordia and Midland could eventually push for votes in the national poll with a strong finish to the 2021 season. The Bulldogs’ most recent top 25 appearance came in November 2017 when they landed at No. 25. Current Massey Ratings list Concordia at No. 43 and Midland at No. 31. The strength of schedule for the Bulldogs ranks 34th.  The Warriors were ranked in the top 25 as recently as September 2018 when they were listed at 24th.

GPAC preseason: 5th
Current Massey Ratings: 43rd

GPAC preseason: 4th
Current Massey Ratings: 31st

Last time out
The Bulldogs went up against Mount Marty for the first time ever and emerged with a 38-7 win on a homecoming Saturday in Yankton, S.D. The Lancers used a 21-play drive to pull within 10-7 in the second quarter, but Concordia responded with a 28-0 push to close out the game in dominant fashion. As part of that run, linebacker Caydren Cox picked off a pass and returned it eight yards for a touchdown. In addition, quarterback DJ McGarvie fired three touchdown passes, including two to Cayden Beran and one to Garrett Schardt. Backup running back Martin Solano also found the end zone and Daniel Cantu made a 24-yard field goal. Defensively, Lane Napier (20 tackles) was all over the place. The Bulldogs limited Mount Marty to 232 total yards.

The incomparable Lane Napier
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 knocking on the door of 500 stops (495 tackles) after making 20 in last week’s win at Mount Marty. His day also included a tackle for loss, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. As a result, Napier was named the GPAC Defensive Player of the Week for the fourth time ins his career. Napier has posted at least 10 tackles 25 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, 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
20 – Mount Marty, Oct. 16, 2021
18 – Northwestern, Sept. 25, 2021
18 – Dordt, Sept. 18, 2021
18 – Hastings, Oct. 20, 2018

McGarvie sets standard for freshmen
Quarterback DJ McGarvie has had a big hand in Concordia’s three-game win streak. During that stretch, he’s thrown three touchdown passes in each outing (and rushed for two touchdowns versus Dakota Wesleyan). McGarvie’s 16 touchdown passes are the most ever for a Bulldog freshman quarterback and rank behind only Northwestern’s Blake Fryar (22) and Morningside’s Joe Dolincheck (19) among GPAC signal callers. He also ranks third nationally in touchdown tosses among freshman quarterbacks, behind Mayville State (N.D.)’s Tim Salmon (19) and Iowa Wesleyan’s Gavin Esquivel (17). 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 – Rod Giesselman (1970)
16 – DJ McGarvie (2021)
16 – Jarrod Pimentel (2001)
16 – Phil Seevers (1988)

A top 25 defense
Based on yards allowed per game, Concordia is now a top 25 national defense. The Bulldogs have moved up to No. 24 with an average of 325.6 yards per game surrendered. Concordia shored things up impressively after a tough outing in week one. Over the past six games, Bulldog foes have averaged only 271.0 yards per game. During the three-game win streak, they have surrendered averages of 225.3 yards and 8.0 points per contest. Only one of the first seven opponents have produced more yards against Concordia than their current offensive yards per game average.

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

Scoring on D
Caydren Cox was the second Concordia defensive player to find the end zone this season. He returned an interception eight yards for a touchdown during the third quarter of the win at Mount Marty. Earlier this season, Shayne Campbell returned a fumble 49 yards for a touchdown as part of the 61-21 win over Briar Cliff. Prior to Campbell’s touchdown, the Bulldogs had not scored on defense since Tarence Roby’s 100-yard interception return for a touchdown on Sept. 9, 2017. Below is a list of the five most recent touchdowns scored by the Concordia defense.

Last five Concordia defensive touchdowns
10/16/21 at Mount Marty – Caydren Cox (8-yard INT return)
9/11/21 vs. Briar Cliff – Shayne Campbell (49-yard fumble return)
9/9/17 vs. Ottawa – Tarence Roby (100-yard INT return)
11/12/16 vs. Hastings – Trey Barnes (21-yard fumble return)
11/14/15 vs. Briar Cliff – Clint Gardels (70-yard fumble return)

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. Beran was the go-to target last week, hauling in five catches for 67 yards and two touchdowns. Meanwhile, Koehlmoos had three receptions for 19 yards (had a touchdown reception called back by penalty). For his career, the native of Pilger, Neb., has caught 119 passes for 1,764 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 112 passes for 1,372 yards and nine 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 Monday.

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)
119 – Korrell Koehlmoos (2018-- )
115 – Travis Soukup (1991-94)
112 – Cayden Beran (2018-- )

Tight end matchup problem
From the tight end position, Garrett Schardt leads the team in receiving yards with 373 on 21 catches. He’s also caught four touchdown passes as part of another campaign that will make him a strong candidate for First Team All-GPAC honors (as he earned in 2020). Schardt’s four touchdown catches represent a career high as he closes in on his career bests for catches (25) and receiving yards (430). Last week, Schardt made three grabs for 64 yards and a touchdown. His career totals now stand at 61 receptions for 1,057 yards and eight touchdowns.

Running back depth
Concordia ran the ball effectively last week in the absence of starter Jonah Weyand. The trio of Martin Solano (13-63, TD), Devin Zeigler (11-63) and Qyalan Clay (8-29) combined to rush 32 times for 155 yards (average of 4.8 yards per carry). Solano got on the board with his second career touchdown when he found the end zone from six yards out in the second quarter of the win at Mount Marty. Zeigler is now the team’s leading rusher this season with 319 yards on 77 carries. The team’s average of 3.5 yards per rush this season is an uptick from 3.3 yards per attempt last season.

Win streak at three
The Bulldogs are now 3-0 in the month of October with wins over Dakota Wesleyan, Jamestown and Mount Marty. During the streak, Concordia has outscored its opponents by a combined total of 96-24. This marks the third time the Bulldogs have put together a win streak of at least three 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.

Series vs. Midland
The series with Midland is one of the oldest rivalries in program history. The two sides first met in 1944 in what was six-man football at the time due to man power needs of World War II. The result that year was a 40-0 Concordia victory. The Bulldogs and Warriors did not play each other again until 1952. Then in 1957, they began playing annually all the way up to the present day (with the exception of 2020 due to a COVID no contest). Midland leads the all-time series, 37-27-1. In recent seasons, Concordia had its way by winning all six matchups from the 2012 through 2017 seasons. The Warriors broke that string with victories in 2018 and 2019. Due to last season’s cancellation, this will be the fifth-straight Concordia-Midland game to take place in Seward.

Last eight games vs. Midland
2020 – COVID no contest
2019 – L, 7-27 (Seward)
2018 – L, 7-35 (Seward)
2017 – W, 44-14 (Seward)
2016 – W, 20-14 (Seward)
2015 – W, 41-38 | OT (Fremont)
2014 – W, 35-28 (Seward)
2013 – W, 35-14 (Fremont)
2012 – W, 23-14 (Seward)

Scouting Midland
Midland has enjoyed a winning season each year under Head Coach Jeff Jamrog, who took over the program beginning with the 2016 campaign. The tallest task for the Bulldogs may been limiting the explosiveness capabilities of receivers Kenneth Carr III and Dalton Tremayne, who have combined for nine total touchdowns this season. Midland has used both Carr III and Tremayne in the run game while struggling at the quarterback position. Warrior QB’s have completed only 47.9 percent of their passes and have been intercepted 14 times in seven games. However, Midland has been competitive with some of the other top teams in the GPAC. The Warriors rallied late to edge then No. 14 Dordt, 25-24, on the road and took No. 2 Northwestern to overtime (35-29 loss). On the defensive side of the ball, Midland has been adept at rushing the passer (22 sacks) led by Chase Lipsys, who has notched 4.5 sacks.