7-3 overall | 7-3 GPAC | Season Stats | Roster
|Sept. 4||*(3) Morningside College||Sioux City, Iowa||L, 7-63||0-1, 0-1|
|Sept. 11||*Briar Cliff University (Parents' Day)||Seward, Neb.||W, 61-21||1-1, 1-1|
|Sept. 18||*(19) Dordt University||Sioux Center, Iowa||L, 7-27||1-2, 1-2|
|Sept. 25||*(2) Northwestern College||Seward, Neb.||L, 7-31||1-3, 1-3|
|Oct. 2||*Dakota Wesleyan Univ. (Homecoming)||Seward, Neb.||W, 34-0||2-3, 2-3|
|Oct. 9||*University of Jamestown||Jamestown, N.D.||W, 24-17||3-3, 3-3|
|Oct. 16||*Mount Marty University||Yankton, S.D.||W, 38-7||4-3, 4-3|
|Oct. 23||*Midland University||Seward, Neb.||W, 21-7||5-3, 5-3|
|Nov. 6||*Doane University (Senior Day)||Seward, Neb.||W, 20-13||6-3, 6-3|
|Nov. 13||*Hastings College||Hastings, Neb||W, 17-7||7-3, 7-3|
|1||Arthur||Anderson||WR||Sr.||6-2||178||San Antonio, Texas||Wagner HS|
|1||Daniel||Cantu||K||Sr.||6-0||197||Eagle Lake, Texas||Rice HS|
|2||Caydren||Cox||OLB||Sr.||5-11||187||Beloit, Kan.||Beloit HS|
|2||Taygen||Fletcher||WR||Fr.||5-9||158||Holton, Kan.||Holton HS|
|3||Jayzen||Armstrong||CB||Jr.||5-6||145||Casa Grande, Ariz.||Vista Grande HS|
|3||Cayden||Beran||WR||Jr.||6-2||175||Hutto, Texas||Hutto HS|
|4||Kyle||Napier||WR||Fr.||5-11||175||Bruno, Neb.||Aquinas HS|
|4||Jourdhin||Smith||DB||So.||5-10||155||La Mirada, Calif.||John Glenn HS|
|5||Kam||Baker||S||So.||5-11||178||San Antonio, Texas||Samuel Clemens HS / Blinn CC|
|5||Korrell||Koehlmoos||WR||Jr.||6-1||186||Pilger, Neb.||Lutheran High Northeast|
|6||Blake||Sears||DB||Jr.||5-10||160||Crete, Neb.||Crete HS|
|7||Wyatt||Ehlers||QB||So.||5-11||200||Waco, Neb.||Centennial HS|
|7||Peyton||Mitchell||DB||Sr.||6-1||210||Waverly, Kan.||Waverly HS|
|8||Jorge||Ochoa||ILB||Sr.||5-11||198||Beaumont, Texas||West Brook HS|
|8||Cade||Peterson||QB||So.||6-2||191||Glendale, Ariz.||Raymond S. Ellis HS|
|9||Donzamom||Lewis-Bealer||QB||Fr.||5-9||175||North Las Vegas, Nev.||Canyon Springs HS|
|9||Payton||Stevens||DL||Jr.||6-4||245||Polk, Neb.||High Plains HS|
|10||Mark||Arp||QB||Fr.||6-0||163||McCook, Neb.||McCook HS|
|10||Cole||Schaedel||WR||Jr.||6-0||170||Lincoln, Neb.||Lincoln Lutheran HS|
|11||Erik||Cumley||WR||So.||5-10||185||Strasburg, Colo.||Lutheran HS|
|11||Jorre||Luther||K||Jr.||5-9||163||York, Neb.||York HS|
|12||Carson||Core||WR||So.||5-10||162||Seward, Neb.||Seward HS|
|12||Caleb||Matlock||CB||Fr.||5-9||175||Omaha, Neb.||Concordia Academy|
|13||Carsen||Arline||WR||So.||5-10||180||Nederland, Texas||Nederland HS|
|13||Isiaha||Conner||CB||Fr.||6-1||173||Las Vegas, Nev.||Centennial HS / Trinity Valley CC|
|14||Kayle||Carlson||ILB||Jr.||5-10||225||Malcolm, Neb.||Malcolm Public Schools|
|14||Luke||Lang||TE||Jr.||6-2||215||Brentwood, Calif.||Heritage HS|
|15||Luke||Sanchez||S||Fr.||6-0||201||Friendswood, Texas||Friendswood HS|
|15||Garrett||Schardt||TE||Jr.||6-3||210||Davenport, Neb.||Bruning-Davenport-Shickley HS|
|16||Noah||Fisher||S||Fr.||5-8||175||Lincoln, Neb.||Lincoln East HS|
|16||Dallas||Gomez||QB||Fr.||6-1||198||New Braunfels, Texas||Canyon HS|
|17||Matthew||Holmes||QB||So.||6-4||210||San Diego, Calif.||Mt. Carmel HS / Mesa CC|
|17||Myles||Lyons||CB||Fr.||6-1||157||Fort Worth, Texas||South Hills HS|
|18||Mason||Edwards||RB||Fr.||5-11||187||Wichita, Kan.||Maize South HS|
|18||Dylan||Smith||CB||Fr.||5-9||165||Denton, Neb.||Lincoln HS|
|19||DJ||McGarvie||QB||Fr.||6-3||175||Valparaiso, Neb.||Lincoln North Star HS|
|19||Nate||Moore||S||So.||6-0||175||Atwater, Calif.||Atwater HS|
|20||Nick||Sandoval||LB||Sr.||6-0||195||Chula Vista, Calif.||Del Rey Center HS|
|20||Brandon||Vega||TE||Jr.||5-10||244||Emporia, Kan.||Emporia HS|
|21||Qyalan||Clay||RB||So.||5-8||195||Houston, Texas||Manvel HS|
|21||Jaxson||Kant||OLB||Fr.||6-0||195||Norfolk, Neb.||Lutheran High Northeast|
|22||Shayne||Campbell||OLB||Jr.||6-0||195||O'Neill, Neb.||O'Neill HS|
|22||Devin||Zeigler||RB||So.||5-6||175||Houston, Texas||Cy-Fair HS|
|23||Ayden||King||WR||Fr.||6-0||188||Doniphan, Neb.||Doniphan-Trumbull HS|
|23||Lane||Napier||LB||Sr.||6-0||230||David City, Neb.||Aquinas HS|
|24||Karsten||McCarter||S||Fr.||5-10||167||Elm Creek, Neb.||Elm Creek Public Schools|
|24||Josh||Palacios||WR||Fr.||5-9||144||Katy, Texas||Cypress Park HS|
|25||Wyatt||Kube||OLB||So.||5-9||220||Fairmont, Minn.||Martin Luther HS|
|25||Jonah||Weyand||RB||So.||5-11||220||Crete, Neb.||Crete HS|
|26||Michael||Doiel||S||Fr.||6-0||183||Manhattan, Kan.||Manhattan HS|
|27||Davonte||Mouton||TE||Jr.||6-2||240||Crosby, Texas||Ross S. Sterling, HS|
|28||Matt||Kamm||S||So.||5-9||165||Bethlehem, Ga.||Bethlehem Christian Academy|
|29||Martin||Solano||RB||So.||6-0||211||Riverside, Calif.||Norte Vista HS|
|30||Ausaru||Allah||RB||Fr.||5-10||170||La Marque, Texas||Dickinson HS|
|30||Joseph||Kahrs||ILB||Fr.||5-11||215||Naponee, Neb.||Franklin HS|
|31||Arcullous||Heard III||RB||So.||5-9||235||Maryland Heights, Mo.||Lutheran HS of St. Charles|
|32||Lyle||Whitney||LB||So.||6-0||199||Newcastle, Wyo.||Newcastle HS|
|33||Logan||Srna||OLB||Jr.||5-10||195||Culver, Kan.||Tescott HS|
|34||Fisher||Bass||WR||Fr.||5-9||160||Hideaway, Texas||Brook Hill HS|
|34||Talatau||Solo||DL||Fr.||6-1||255||San Bernardino, Calif.||Pacific HS|
|35||Logan||Kreizel||OLB||Jr.||6-3||230||Lincoln, Neb.||Lincoln Lutheran HS|
|36||Jack||Whittaker||OLB||Fr.||5-11||190||Parker, Colo.||Lutheran HS|
|36||Isaac||Wilson||OLB||Fr.||5-11||180||St. Louis, Mo.||Lutheran HS South|
|37||James||Araya||K||Fr.||5-8||160||The Woodlands, Texas||The John Cooper School|
|38||Zach||Walker||TE||Sr.||6-0||255||Dacono, Colo.||Broomfield HS|
|39||Carson||Rohde||TE||Fr.||6-2||290||Sumner, Neb.||SEM HS|
|39||Konnor||Tannahill||OLB||Fr.||6-0||210||Holton, Kan.||Holton HS|
|40||Michael||Grindey||ILB||So.||6-1||220||Phoenix, Ariz.||Brophy Prep. / Creighton University|
|40||Nathan||Hofrock||TE||Fr.||6-0||250||Sidney, Neb.||Sidney HS|
|41||Lane||Lieb||CB||Fr.||5-10||162||Wilcox, Neb.||Wilcox Hildreth HS|
|42||Gabriel||Knisely||S||Fr.||5-11||206||Goehner, Neb.||Seward HS|
|43||Kyle||Sterup||DL||Fr.||6-2||211||Osceola, Neb.||Osceola HS|
|43||Parker||Vyhlidal||WR||Fr.||6-0||186||Lincoln, Neb.||Lincoln HS|
|44||Christian||Dyhrkopp||ILB||Fr.||6-0||227||Columbus, Neb.||Columbus HS|
|45||Anthony||Hawkins||OLB||Fr.||5-6||170||Saint Joseph, Mo.||Lafayette HS|
|45||Juan R.||Leon||ILB||So.||5-10||232||Columbus, Neb.||Columbus HS|
|46||Ty||Bartholomew||OLB||Fr.||5-11||195||York, Neb.||York HS|
|47||Carson||Watts||S||Fr.||5-11||194||Osceola, Neb.||Osceola HS|
|48||Reid||Korth||ILB||Fr.||5-11||190||Wayne, Neb.||Wayne HS|
|49||Gabe||Ellis||ILB||Fr.||6-1||210||Kingsdown, Kan.||Bucklin HS|
|50||Reed||McFadden||ILB||Fr.||6-1||233||Purdum, Neb.||Sandhills HS|
|51||Matt||Preuss||ILB||Sr.||5-10||190||Placentia, Calif.||Lutheran HS|
|51||Dawson||Younker||OL||Fr.||6-1||250||Celina, Texas||Celine HS|
|52||Colton||Munoz||DL||Fr.||5-10||230||Kilgore, Texas||Pine Tree HS|
|53||Jack||Freeman||DL||Fr.||5-11||275||Palm Coast, Fla.||Flagler Palm Coast HS|
|53||Cameron||Roulston||OL||Fr.||6-0||263||Corpus Christi, Texas||London ISD|
|54||Lukas||Coe||ILB||So.||6-2||201||Omaha, Neb.||Concordia HS / Iowa Western CC|
|54||Noah||Schaedel||OL||Fr.||6-0||185||Lincoln, Neb.||Lincoln HS|
|55||David||Reyes||DL||Fr.||5-7||224||Downey, Calif.||Downey HS|
|55||Jeremiah||Vasquez||OL||Fr.||6-2||300||Edwards, Colo.||Battle Mountain HS|
|56||Jackson||Anderson||OL||Fr.||6-0||225||Highlands Ranch, Colo.||Valor HS|
|56||Jace||Stewart||NT||Fr.||5-9||260||New Orleans, La.||Holy Cross HS|
|57||Jayden||Brosius||DL||So.||6-1||230||North Platte, Neb.||St. Patrick's HS|
|57||Jordan||Spilinek||K||So.||5-9||167||Doniphan, Neb.||Doniphan-Trumbull HS|
|58||Zachary||Downs||DL||Fr.||6-0||200||Montgomery, Texas||Montgomery HS|
|58||Christian||Schlepp||OL||So.||6-1||252||Manhattan, Kan.||Manhattan HS|
|59||Sterling||Harp||NT||Fr.||5-8||254||Salina, Kan.||Southeast Saline HS|
|59||Dylan||Smith||OL||Fr.||6-1||300||Emporia, Kan.||Emporia HS|
|60||Johnny||Robinson III||OL||Jr.||5-9||301||Houston, Texas||Eisenhower HS|
|61||Jarryd||Doucet||OL||Fr.||6-3||270||Beaumont, Texas||West Brook HS|
|62||Brady||Soukup||OL||Fr.||5-11||228||Blair, Neb.||Blair HS|
|63||Keegan||Hornung||OL||Jr.||6-3||302||Chandler, Ariz.||Williamsfield HS|
|64||Logan||Giles||OL||Fr.||6-0||255||Aransas Pass, Texas||Ingleside HS|
|65||Alex||Helfrich||OL||Fr.||6-0||255||Omaha, Neb.||Omaha Concordia HS|
|66||Toby||Hager||LS||So.||6-2||270||Buena Park, Calif.||Sunny Hills HS|
|67||Christopher||Blount||OL||Fr.||6-1||350||St. Louis, Mo.||Ritenour HS|
|68||Edumar||Garcia||OL||Fr.||6-1||275||Rio Grande City, Texas||Rio Grande City HS|
|69||Tyler||Walford||OL||Fr.||6-3||284||Lincoln, Kan.||Ellsworth HS|
|70||Logan||Dieckmann||OL||Fr.||6-0||210||Holton, Kan.||Holton HS|
|71||Nathan||Miller||OL||Fr.||6-3||235||Seward, Neb.||Seward HS|
|72||Bryce||Needham||OL||Fr.||6-1||268||Katy, Texas||Katy HS|
|73||Kaden||Peters||OL||Fr.||6-3||264||Wood River, Neb.||Wood River HS|
|74||Blake||Schlegel||OL||Fr.||6-5||296||Bruning, Neb.||Bruning-Davenport-Shickley HS|
|75||Seth||Moore||OL||Fr.||6-3||226||Kearney, Neb.||Kearney Catholic HS|
|76||Nick||Sazama||OL||So.||6-5||300||Norfolk, Neb.||Norfolk HS|
|77||Gavin||Mull||OL||So.||6-3||256||Roanoke, Texas||Byron Nelson HS|
|78||Joseph||McQueen||OL||Fr.||6-3||226||Millsap, Neb.||Brock HS|
|79||Braden||Hackmer||OL||Fr.||5-8||265||Hungerford, Texas||Boling HS|
|80||Zack||Burke||WR||Fr.||6-3||173||Sidney, Neb.||Sidney HS|
|81||Cole||Coffey||WR||Fr.||6-1||168||Lincoln, Neb.||Lincoln North Star HS|
|82||Hunter||Cole||TE||Fr.||6-2||210||Decatur, Texas||Decatur HS|
|83||Daylan||Russell||TE||Fr.||6-2||205||Alma, Neb.||Alma HS|
|84||Zackry||Henke||TE||Fr.||6-2||250||Dalton, Neb.||Leyton HS|
|85||Justin||Ningen||WR||Fr.||5-10||172||Chapell, Neb.||Creek Valley HS|
|86||Dominic||Phiippi||WR||Fr.||5-8||155||Bruning, Neb.||Bruning-Davenport-Shickley HS|
|87||Marcus||Pruett||TE||Fr.||5-7||179||Holton, Kan.||Holton HS|
|88||Wyatt||Cast||TE||So.||6-6||200||York, Neb.||York HS|
|89||Gideon||Schauer||TE||So.||6-3||216||Union, Ill.||Faith Lutheran HS|
|91||Stephen||Hughes II||DL||Fr.||6-1||233||Denver, Colo.||Columbine HS|
|92||Eric||Kieper Jr.||NT||So.||6-3||260||Lacombe, La.||Lakeshore HS|
|93||Karson||Dickson||DL||Jr.||6-4||270||Carleton, Neb.||BDS HS / NW Missouri State|
|94||Dylan||Rahder||NT||Jr.||5-11||280||York, Neb.||York HS|
|95||Gerald||Morris||DL||Jr.||6-1||258||Arlington, Texas||Arlington HS|
|96||Carson||Stauffer||DL||Fr.||6-2||235||Milford, Neb.||Milford HS|
|97||Devon||Polley||NT||Fr.||6-1||330||Edmond, Okla.||Edmond Memorial HS|
|98||Jordan||Kavulak||DL||Fr.||6-3||239||Bee, Neb.||Seward HS|
|99||Kalvin||Page||DL||Jr.||5-11||240||Omaha, Neb.||Omaha Northwest HS|
|Zac||Dowgiallo||STF||So.||5-10||170||Viera, Fla.||Viera HS|
|Kalen||Garrett||STF||So.||5-10||200||Norfolk, Neb.||Doniphan-Trumbull HS|
|Ben||Myers||QB||Fr.||6-3||206||Seward, Neb.||Seward HS|
|Travis||Parsons||STF||Fr.||6-0||219||Round Rock, Texas||Concordia Lutheran HS|
|Devin||Rathman||STF||Hastings, Neb.||Heartland Lutheran HS|
|Kougar||Rodriguez||STF||Jr.||5-10||220||Midland, Texas||Robert E. Lee HS|
|Daniel||Warneke||STF||So.||6-0||175||Hastings, Neb.||Heartland Lutheran HS|
Patrick Daberkow, Head Coach
Corby Osten, Defensive Coordinator
Reggie Corbin, Offensive Coordinator / Quarterbacks
Grady Koch, Assistant Football Coach
D'Mauria Martin, Graduate Assistant (Defensive Assistant)
James Bailey, Graduate Assistant
Von Thomas, Running Backs
Courtney Meyer, Kickers / Punters / Long Snappers
Ron Jackson, Defensive Tackles
Justin Hoffman, Defensive Line
Vince Beasley, Receivers
Kordell Glause, Safeties
Chris Shipley, Linebackers
Karl Miller, Defensive Backs
Todd Berner, Director of Strength and Conditoning
Brenna Pfahler, Athletic Trainer
Aug. 6, 2021
The 2018 and 2019 recruiting classes brought in by Patrick Daberkow and his staff are entrenched as the backbone of the 2021 team. Many key components of the depth chart have two or three years of experience as starters or integral role players – or four years of starting experience in the case of All-American linebacker Lane Napier. Since the Bulldogs finished 6-4 overall in 2017, the program has been in the process of a gradual rebuild with an eye on constructing a foundation of consistency. The offensive side of the ball continues to attempt to catch up with a defense that has been sound and reliable. Concordia hit the .500 mark (4-4) in a shortened 2020 campaign. There are a total of 16 starters returning (eight on offense, eight on defense), so naturally, the expectation for Concordia is a winning season.
A new year means another new starter at quarterback. In previous seasons, that position has primarily been filled by the likes of Blake Culbert (2020), Jake Kemp (2019), Andrew Perea (2018) and Riley Wiltfong (2017), respectively. Former Centennial High School state championship signal caller Wyatt Ehlers enters the picture after seeing time in 11 games over the past two seasons. Offensive Coordinator Reggie Corbin hopes to take advantage of the athleticism of Ehlers, who can make plays with his legs. Ehlers has the advantage heading into August camp as the lone QB with college experience.
Ideally, the Bulldogs will be able to pound the football on the strength of first team All-GPAC running back Jonah Weyand and an offensive line returning four starters, including all-conference performers in center Johnny Robinson III (three-year starter) and guard Christian Schlepp. The rest of the line could feature additional returning starters in guard Keegan Hornung and tackle Gavin Mull. The staff also really likes the way sophomore Kaden Peters has developed. Peters projects to be a strong left tackle. Up and comers include Jarryd Doucet, Cam Roulston and Tyler Walford. Collectively, the offensive line would like to see more outbursts in the running game like weeks one and two of last season when Weyand racked up a combined 346 yards and seven touchdowns. In relief of Weyand, Lyle Whitney and Devin Zeigler each saw action last season. Whitney ran for 260 yards and a touchdown.
The receiver core has a veteran look to it as Art Anderson, Cayden Beran and Korrell Koehlmoos return in 2021. All three have recorded multiple 100-yard receiving games in their careers. Statistically, Koehlmoos has a chance to go down as one of the top pass catchers in program history. His career totals stand at 91 receptions for 1,399 yards and eight touchdowns. At tight end, Garrett Schardt is arguably the GPAC’s best, if not one of the best in the entire NAIA. Schardt earned first team All-GPAC honors while catching 25 passes for 430 yards last season.
As an offense, Concordia went from 2019 averages of 280.2 yards and 15.6 points per game to comparative figures of 351.4 yards and 21.9 points. A similar rate of increase in 2021 would provide a big boost to the team’s chances on the scoreboard.
The big news here is that Lane Napier is back for a fifth year. Despite battling injuries last season, Napier moved past 400 career tackles and was named a second team All-American and a first team All-GPAC selection (fourth-straight year). He’s the clear leader of a defense that limited opponents to 25.4 points per game in 2020. Eight starters return on a defensive unit that should be better overall than it was last fall.
Defensive Coordinator Corby Osten has hopes of making strides up front. Returners Karson Dickson, Eric Kieper Jr. and Payton Stevens possess the most experience. A transfer from NCAA Division II Northwest Missouri State, Dickson has the potential to be a disruptive force off the edge while Stevens is a steady performer who will have an opportunity to start at another end spot. Osten is high on the incoming class of defensive linemen and believes newcomers will compete for playing time. Jordan Kavulak and Carson Stauffer are making a push. The goal is to keep blockers off of Napier, who could eclipse 500 career tackles.
The linebacker crew will be experienced with Napier being joined by the likes of Shayne Campbell, Caydren Cox and Jorge Ochoa. All four players have starting experience. Campbell’s role increased last season and he took advantage by making 42 stops (tied for second on the team). Logan Kreizel will be in his second season as a linebacker since making the switch from the offensive side of the ball.
Most of the two-deep returns in the secondary. Safety Peyton Mitchell is the most heralded having garnered second team All-GPAC honors in each of the past two seasons. Mitchell will have a new safety alongside him with Kamren Baker appearing to be a frontrunner. At corner, there will be competition between Jayzen Armstrong, Isiaha Conner, Blake Sears, Jourdhin Smith and others. Opposing quarterbacks threw for only 11 touchdowns last season on the Bulldog secondary.
The three GPAC teams that qualified for the NAIA playoffs last season all employed elite offenses. In other words, Concordia will be put to the test throughout conference play. The Bulldogs would like to cut down on the 384.2 yards per game they allowed in 2020.
Last year’s specialists – kicker Jordan Spilinek (injury) and punter Lane Castaneda (graduated) – will have to be replaced. Spilinek went 6-for-10 on field goals and 18-for-20 on PATs last season. Dan Cantu and Jorre Luther could potentially share kicking duties. The punter position is up for grabs (the battle could include as many as four competitors). Receiver Korrell Koehlmoos can make plays in the kick return game (589 kick return yards last season). Defensive back Jourdhin Smith handled most of the punt return duties last season, but Carson Core could take on that role this fall. On the flip side, the Bulldogs expect to have solid coverage units once again. Toby Hager is back as the long snapper.
Aug. 9, 2021
2021 GPAC Preseason Football Coaches’ Poll
SEWARD, Neb. – In the 2021 GPAC Preseason Football Coaches’ Poll revealed on Monday (Aug. 9), the Concordia University Football team landed at No. 5 while totaling 62 points in the poll. The Bulldogs placed fifth in the conference in 2020 when they went 4-4 in conference games. The GPAC now includes 11 football members with Mount Marty getting set for its inaugural season.
Looking ahead to Head Coach Patrick Daberkow’s fifth season as head coach, Concordia returns eight starters on offense and eight on defense. Each of the seven Bulldogs who earned either first or second team All-GPAC accolades in 2020 is back in the fold. The group includes receiver Korrell Koehlmoos (first team), linebacker Lane Napier (first team), tight end Garrett Schardt (first team), guard Christian Schlepp (first team), running back Jonah Weyand (first team), safety Peyton Mitchell (second team) and center Johnny Robinson III (second team).
The GPAC elevated itself as one of the top football leagues in the NAIA in 2020. Three conference teams qualified for the NAIA playoffs. Those same three squads are ranked in the 2021 NAIA preseason poll.
Concordia will open the 2021 campaign on Saturday, Sept. 4 with a trip to third-ranked Morningside. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. CT from Sioux City, Iowa.
2021 GPAC Preseason Football Coaches’ Poll
-First place votes in parentheses
1. Morningside – 98 (8)
2. Northwestern – 93 (3)
3. Dordt – 82
4. Midland – 73
5. Concordia – 62
6. Doane – 50
7. Dakota Wesleyan – 48
8. Hastings – 40
9. Jamestown – 27
10. Briar Cliff – 19
11. Mount Marty – 13
Aug. 20, 2021
2021 Concordia Football Media Guide (PDF)
Head Coach: Patrick Daberkow (16-22, 5th year)
2020 Record: 4-4 overall; 4-4 GPAC (5th)
Key Returners: DB Jayzen Armstrong; WR Art Anderson; WR Cayden Beran; LB Shayne Campbell; WR Korrell Koehlmoos; DB Peyton Mitchell; OL Gavin Mull; LB Lane Napier; OL Johnny Robinson; TE Garrett Schardt; OL Christian Schlepp; RB Jonah Weyand.
Key Losses: OL Cole Baumgartner; QB Blake Culbert; WR/P Lane Castaneda; DL Chase Hammons; DB AJ Jenkins.
2020 NAIA All-America: Lane Napier (AFCA Second Team).
2020 GPAC All-Conference: Korrell Koehlmoos (First Team); Lane Napier (First Team); Garrett Schardt (First Team); Christian Schlepp (First Team); Jonah Weyand (First Team); Peyton Mitchell (Second Team); Johnny Robinson (Second Team); Chase Hammons (Honorable Mention); Chevy Stout (Honorable Mention).
Optimism abounds in the preparatory month of August for a 2021 Concordia Football team that league coaches have pegged for fifth place in the GPAC. In a rough and tumble conference, three teams in particular managed to separate themselves from the rest of the pack last season. There will be no easing into this fall with the Bulldogs staring down a season opener at Morningside, the program that has set the standard in the GPAC. It will be the ultimate litmus test to see how far Head Coach Patrick Daberkow’s program has come.
A season ago, Concordia took care of the bottom half of the league while starting out 4-0. The Bulldogs flirted with a possible 5-0 start, trailing by a single possession in the final few minutes of a loss at Northwestern. Daberkow and company will know they’ve truly arrived when they break through in such matchups with perennial playoff contenders.
“We had a good offseason,” Daberkow said. “As a staff, we felt like we have an organized plan and we feel good about our preparation. We’re trying to execute what we set in motion in January. I love the leadership on this team. It’s been a really welcoming environment for the new guys to come into and be a part of. You’re only really gauged by Saturdays. I feel like we’re on track though.”
There’s continuity in place with eight starters returning on both sides of the ball. In addition, coordinators Corby Osten and Reggie Corbin remain in place and have reason to believe their respective units will be improved. Over the past few years, the running game has been a work in progress. It stands to reason that the offensive line (four returning starters), featuring all-conference stalwarts in Johnny Robinson III and Christian Schlepp, will take another step forward.
At running back, Jonah Weyand has added muscle with a goal of being able to handle the load for the full 10-game slate. Weyand equaled a GPAC single-game record last season when he rushed for five touchdowns in the overtime win over Hastings. He earned first team all-conference recognition, but may have only scratched the surface of his full potential. Daberkow also likes the depth behind Weyand with Lyle Whitney and Devin Zeigler ready to step in as needed.
“We need to improve some durability,” Daberkow said. “I think if you shake hands with Jonah I think you’ll see a guy who has taken that call seriously. He’s put on some good weight and has maintained speed. We feel really good about his progress and the progress of the rest of that room. We have a great running back room – great young men who are pushing each other hard and cheering each other on. It’s a fun group to be around.”
The threat of Weyand out of the backfield could make the passing game more dangerous. Wyatt Ehlers enters the picture for what will be his first season as a starter. Ehlers will have a plethora of experienced pass catchers at his disposal. The trio of Art Anderson, Cayden Beran and Korrell Koehlmoos has combined for career totals of 253 receptions, 3,181 receiving yards and 16 touchdowns. Not only that, the Bulldogs boast a returning first team All-GPAC tight end in Garrett Schardt.
For Concordia to make a serious run at breaking into elite company within the conference, the offense must take another step forward. Weyand believes he and his teammates are coming of age. Experience won’t be an issue.
“I think guys have a chip on their shoulder,” Weyand said. “This is one of the more veteran teams we’ve had. The last couple of years we’ve had to rely on freshmen and sophomores. Those guys who were making plays as freshmen and sophomores are now juniors and seniors. We know what to expect and we know what our opponents will look like. I think adding all that together and creating that winning culture in the locker room is something that will benefit us this year. I think our locker room is changing. We have guys working their butts off who want to see results on the field.”
If Weyand is to be considered the face of the offense, All-American linebacker Lane Napier is most certainly the face of the defense. Last season Napier became the GPAC’s all-time leader in tackles (currently at 401 career stops). In terms of production, there really is no equal when it comes to Bulldogs to have played the inside backer position. Napier and the linebacker crew that includes Shayne Campbell, Caydren Cox and Jorge Ochoa is the rock of what figures to be another tough-nosed 3-4 defense.
As for the rest of the defense, the biggest question marks appear to be up front. In the secondary, two-time second team All-GPAC safety Peyton Mitchell provides leadership and stability. At corner, Jayzen Armstrong enjoyed a productive 2020 that included 33 tackles, an interception and a forced fumble.
Said Daberkow, “It’s exciting to have Lane back and we’re also excited about our whole group of upperclassmen linebackers. We feel like we’re deep at that position. We have the luxury of having a lot of guys back for their fifth years. We’ve seen the development that has taken place in the weight room with some of those guys. We’ve seen a ton of progression from freshman year to where they’re at now. It’s Lane and it’s everybody, that whole group.”
Added Napier, “We started out 4-0 right away (last season) and I think we got complacent with who we were and what we were doing as a program. When we started facing some of those tougher teams we realized that stuff wasn’t going to work. We knew we were going to have to work harder if we wanted something to turn around.”
A battle has been playing out among specialists this preseason as Concordia deals with an injury to kicker Jordan Spilinek and works to replace punter Lane Castaneda. The staff likes the return abilities of the likes of Carson Core and Koehlmoos. Core, a Seward High School product, is also angling for more reps within the offense.
Daberkow is pleased with how the program is progressing in virtually all areas, but he understands this team will be judged based on the on-field results. This entire team is now made up of student-athletes that were recruited since Daberkow was named the head coach in December of 2016. It’s also the most veteran team the Bulldogs have put forth since the 2017 squad that went 6-4.
“We will outhit our opponents,” Daberkow said. “We strive to be a disciplined team, a physical team and a relentless team. We talk to our guys a lot about accountability, toughness and authenticity. This sounds like coach talk, but if you do the simple things at a really high level it’s probably going to go your way on the scoreboard. When we fail to do those things, the scoreboard doesn’t agree with you. We’re going to keep pounding the rock and keep coming back for more. I really feel good about this group. We’re going to see what happens when things start flying. Then we’ll find out what we’re really made of.”
Said Weyand, “The biggest thing I’m focusing on this year from a leadership standpoint is getting our guys to finish games. If we go into games knowing that we have an opportunity to win the game, I think that changes how you play. I think we have the talent and we have the coaches. I’m looking forward to seeing how guys come together and finish. We’ve put in so much time in the offseason, and we don’t do that for nothing.”
Aug. 27, 2021
All-American linebacker Lane Napier is certainly proud of the accomplishments he’s enjoyed on the football field, but he would probably rather talk to you about his teammates. Or maybe the fish he caught over the summer. Quite frankly, Napier just wants to be one of the guys again. That’s why he’s returned to the Concordia Football program for one more season.
Not only does he have a knack for reeling in opposing GPAC ball carriers, Napier is no stranger to landing big lunkers. Sometimes the fishing stories are just as good as the football stories.
“It was just a little farm pond and I went out there later on towards the evening,” Napier explained of his big catch this summer. “I caught a very nice bass. I was so shaky I called my dad right away. It was just something like, ‘I gotta tell someone.’ I called him and he answered. He honestly thought something was wrong with me because my voice was shaking. It’s kind of a funny story now how whenever he goes out and catches something, he calls me.”
Patrick Daberkow and his staff lured in a prize fish when Napier signed on the dotted line and began his collegiate career in 2017. They just never imagined he would still be an active member of the program in 2021. Due to the circumstances brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic last fall, all NAIA college football players were granted an additional season of eligibility. The David City, Neb., native could have ridden off into the sunset and began his professional career.
Why do that when you can play another full season of college football? That was something of a rhetorical question for Napier. He’s a football guy.
“Football’s been a part of life for a long time,” Napier said. “Knowing that we had the opportunity to come back another year and play – there wasn’t a lot of kids that gave that up. A lot of guys took advantage of it. I just think being with the guys was one of the main reasons for coming back.”
Apologies for the bad pun, but Napier is one of the biggest fish in the entire GPAC pond. Last season he became the all-time leading tackler in the history of the conference (2000-present) while eclipsing the 400-tackle mark. With a full 10-game slate on the docket, Napier stands a fair chance to push past 500 stops. Because of the “COVID season,” Napier has a shot at another rare feat that could only happen in these strangest of times. How about FIVE first team all-conference awards?!
Also a three-time NAIA All-American, Napier is working on moving into a category all by himself, at least when it comes to Concordia defensive players. His 14 tackles in the 2020 season finale were enough to edge him over 400 career tackles. According to available records, the next highest tackle total in program history is 290, a figure recorded by another program great in former safety Sean Stewart (1999-2002).
“It was pretty awesome,” said Napier of hitting the 400 milestone. “It was the last game of the year and someone told me I needed 13. After the game, one of the coaches came up and said that they had me down for 14. It was just cool to see how the hard work has paid off.”
As an added bonus, the decision to play one more year will allow Lane to be teammates with his younger brother Kyle, now a freshman. For the most part, Lane stayed out of the way when it came to Kyle’s college choice. Said Lane, “We really didn’t know he was looking at Concordia and he did his verbal commitment. He called my parents and they had no clue about it. It was awesome because it was his decision. He didn’t have me persuading him. You could tell this was where he wanted to be at.”
Kyle has the perfect big brother to look up to. On the field, No. 23 is always about substance over style. Most of what he does isn’t flashy, but he flows to the football as well as anyone. At an inside backer spot in Concordia’s 3-4 defense, Napier found an immediate home. He made 97 tackles as a freshman, racked up a GPAC single-season record 142 as a sophomore, added 108 as a junior and then made 54 stops in the ‘COVID year.’ Despite missing three games last fall, Napier still managed to lead the team in tackles.
From a personality perspective, Napier is soft-spoken, humble and a well-respected leader. His teammates love to joke with him about the attention and the accolades he’s received. Napier just smiles and takes it in stride. He would happily give away some of those tackles if he could exchange them for team success.
While interviewed last week by the Lincoln Journal Star, Napier expressed a simple desire. “To win,” he said. “I think ultimately all of us guys just want to win. When we came in, now fifth years, we came in our freshmen year and had a pretty solid team. We had a couple down years, and we want that winning season and to show people what we can do.”
As long as Napier is eligible to play, Daberkow is happy to have him on the roster. Said Daberkow, “It’s exciting to have Lane back and we’re also excited about our whole group of upperclassmen linebackers. We feel like we’re deep at that position. We have the luxury of having a lot of guys back for their fifth years. We’ve seen the development that has taken place in the weight room with some of those guys. We’ve seen a ton of progression from freshman year to where they’re at now. It’s Lane and it’s everybody, that whole group.”
Instead of jumping into the business world, Napier will be diagnosing opposing offenses for one more fall. As Napier has joked, he wasn’t ready to grow up yet anyway. And there will be plenty of time to go fishing after football season ends. If things shake out appropriately, the biggest catch is yet to come.
Said Napier, “I like the guys here. I’ve had a fun four years. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I wouldn’t go anywhere else or do anything different.”
SIOUX CITY, Iowa – The Concordia University Football program drew the ultimate test in its 2021 season opener on Saturday (Sept. 4) night as it invaded the home field of 10-time defending GPAC champion Morningside. The Mustangs looked the part of the No. 3 team in the NAIA while racking up 652 total yards in the process of routing the Bulldogs, 63-7, in Sioux City, Iowa. In game one of year five of his college football career, Concordia All-American linebacker Lane Napier made 12 tackles.
Head Coach Patrick Daberkow’s squad will have to flush this one as they attempt to regroup. The Bulldogs are 2-3 in season openers during Daberkow’s tenure.
Based on its showing underneath the lights on Saturday, Morningside looks like it has put together another potential national title contender. Quarterback Joe Dolincheck and the Mustang passing game showcased an aerial assault that resulted in 515 passing yards and six touchdowns. Dolincheck completed 29-of-35 attempts for 461 yards and five touchdowns. Talented receivers Zach Norton, Reid Jurgensmeier and Austin Johnson each recorded at least 97 receiving yards. The running game (137 yards) took a back seat to the thriving passing attack.
As a sign of how this night went, Concordia fumbled away a chance to cut into a 21-0 deficit early in the second quarter. The turnover followed a 47-yard pass play from Bulldog quarterback Wyatt Ehlers to Cayden Beran. It gave Concordia first and goal at the 10. This marked the second career start for Ehlers, now in his third year in the program. He finished 13-for-24 for 148 yards.
Morningside was ferocious along its defensive line while consistently putting pressure on Ehlers. The Mustangs recorded seven sacks and limited the Bulldogs to an average of 2.2 yards per rush. Returning first team All-GPAC running back Jonah Weyand ran for 58 tough yards on 15 carries. Devin Zeigler added 36 rushing yards on four attempts.
At last, the Bulldogs got on the board with 1:21 left in the game. That’s when backup quarterback DJ McGarvie found Beran for an 11-yard touchdown connection in the left corner of the end zone. The scoring toss finished off a seven-play, 70-yard drive. Beran led the receiver group with three grabs for 80 yards and a touchdown. Davonte Mouton caught two passes for 39 yards and Korrell Koehlmoos reeled in four receptions for 31 yards.
Morningside has won 48 consecutive regular season games and had its way in virtually every statistical category on Saturday. The Mustangs averaged 8.3 yards per play while holding Concordia to 4.2 yards per play. While Napier’s 12 tackles were a team high, three other Bulldogs registered at least eight stops: Caydren Cox (nine), Kam Baker (eight) and Michael Grindey (eight).
The Bulldogs will host their home opener next Saturday (Sept. 11) when Briar Cliff (0-2, 0-1 GPAC) pays a visit to Bulldog Stadium for a 1 p.m. CT kickoff. The Chargers began GPAC play on Saturday with a 17-3 home loss to Doane while under the direction of first-year head coach Shane LaDage. In last season’s Concordia-Briar Cliff matchup, the Bulldogs won by a 24-9 score in Sioux City.
Sep. 11, 2021
SEWARD, Neb. – While kicking off the 2021 home slate, the Concordia University Football team treated fans to big offensive plays, five forced turnovers and a defensive touchdown on a bounce-back Saturday (Sept. 11). The complete reversal from last week saw the Bulldogs bully Briar Cliff, 61-21, on a sultry Seward afternoon. Concordia racked up 520 total yards in a game that had a little bit of everything, including a combined seven turnovers, a kickoff return for a touchdown and four touchdown tosses from a backup quarterback.
This was more like the team Head Coach Patrick Daberkow expected to see this fall. The Bulldogs are now 1-1 after responding to last week’s loss at No. 3 Morningside in emphatic fashion.
“I like how we played in the fourth quarter,” Daberkow said. “I think we have some things to clean up, especially on special teams. Any time you win a game like this and there are 21 points scored on you – and two (touchdowns) are when the defense is not on the field – you have some stuff to work on. We talked about facing adversity and we faced some in the third quarter. I was proud of how they responded, and I was pleased with the effort.”
The 61 points on Saturday broke a Concordia Football program record for most points scored in a GPAC game. Not since the 2001 GPAC championship team dropped 62 on Mount Senario College had the Bulldogs enjoyed this type of productivity. In relief of starting quarterback Wyatt Ehlers, freshman DJ McGarvie fired four touchdown passes while going 7-for-8 for 150 yards. The eight Concordia touchdowns were scored by eight different players.
Among the highlights, Garrett Schardt caught a 72-yard touchdown pass from Ehlers while outrunning the Charger defense to the end zone. Linebacker Shayne Campbell also got into the act with a 49-yard fumble return for a touchdown late in the third quarter. The scoop and score by Campbell supplied needed breathing room at the time after Briar Cliff had gotten within 26-14.
“The biggest thing was keeping the guys together in practice this week and really staying focused on what we want to do,” Campbell said. “There’s a lot of season left. That was week one (at Morningside). We can learn a lot from the tape. We came out here and we did what we wanted to do today. That’s how we wanted to win this one.”
With Jonah Weyand sidelined, Devin Zeigler stepped in as the starting running back and ran for 86 yards and a touchdown on 26 carries. Backup Qyalan Clay (who last played for Concordia in 2015) also churned out 43 yards and a score. Leading the way for the receiver group, Korrell Koehlmoos snared seven receptions for 108 yards and a touchdown. He surpassed 100 career grabs in the victory.
The fourth quarter got nutty. McGarvie, a Lincoln North Star High School product, was slinging it around the yard. In that final period. McGarvie fired touchdown strikes of 22 yards to Koehlmoos, 21 yards to Wyatt Cast, 26 yards to Cayden Beran and six yards to Cole Schaedel. In all, five Bulldogs caught exactly one touchdown reception as part of a 384-yard team passing performance.
“It’s always been there. We just haven’t been able to get it to click,” Koehlmoos said. “We got our running game going and that kind of helped open up our receivers. Plus, we took advantage of the DB’s sagging off. We took advantage of what we were given. We just clicked.”
On the other side of the ball, the defense was smothering. The Chargers would have struggled to crack double digits on the scoreboard, but they got a 32-yard interception return for a touchdown by Mike Green and a 93-yard kickoff return touchdown from Tim Brown. Briar Cliff’s offense was held to just 155 yards. In addition, the Concordia defense came up with four sacks. Linebacker Caydren Cox came through with a big day that included two sacks, included one that resulted in a fumble and a Bulldog recovery.
Michael Grindey led the defense with nine tackles. Starting in place of Peyton Mitchell at safety, Gabriel Knisely made a nifty one-handed interception and added four tackles. Jordan Kavulak was credited with two tackles for loss, including a sack. The first Bulldog scoring drive was set up by a muffed punt that was recovered by long snapper Toby Hager. Daniel Cantu also converted on two field goals.
“We absolutely had some guys step up,” Daberkow said. “I was proud of how that happened for us. We had to move some guys around. I’m proud of our team’s resilience this week with our attitude about that next man up mentality. To work through that, to come out on top and to have a lot of guys contribute is a lot of fun.”
With sack yardage included, Briar Cliff (0-3, 0-2 GPAC) managed only 10 rushing yards. Charger quarterback Luke Davies went 14-for-21 for 145 yards and a touchdown.
Schardt finished with 97 receiving yards on three receptions. Daylan Russell caught two passes for 70 yards while Art Anderson recorded two receptions for 19 yards.
The Bulldogs will head to Sioux Center, Iowa, next Saturday (Sept. 18) and take on 14th-ranked Dordt (1-1, 1-1 GPAC). The Defenders were edged, 25-24, by Midland in week one before they responded with a 61-10 thumping of Hastings on Saturday. Dordt has won each of the past three meetings with Concordia.
Sep. 18, 2021
SIOUX CENTER, Iowa – For one half, the Concordia University Football team was the equal of 2020 NAIA playoff qualifier Dordt. Linebacker Lane Napier and the Bulldog defense contained a potent Defender rushing attack before that ground game eventually wore the Bulldogs down over 60 minutes. No. 19 Dordt pulled away for a 27-7 victory in Sioux Center, Iowa, on Saturday (Sept. 18) while limiting Concordia to 182 total yards.
Head Coach Patrick Daberkow’s squad gave a better account of itself in its second opportunity on the road. The Bulldogs (1-2) were coming off a 61-21 home win over Briar Cliff.
“Our guys never quit,” Daberkow said. “On a hot day like this when you’re a little bit thin, you need guys to step up and toughen up through some things. I saw that happen. Defensively, I really loved the game plan Coach (Corby) Osten and staff put together. There were some 50-50 balls that didn’t go our way and we had some key money down stops that didn’t happen. Dordt is always a very unique opponent to prepare for. I thought we did a pretty good job through three quarters defending the run but hats off to them. They’re a good team.”
The Concordia defense came through with a series of key plays in a 7-7 first half deadlock. The half concluded with the Bulldogs stuffing Dordt running back Anthony Trojahn on third and goal at the one as the clock expired. In addition, Jayzen Armstrong and Gabe Knisley emerged with an interception apiece. The only Defender touchdown of the first half was aided by a short field. Josh Bush converted on a fourth and three with a 38-yard touchdown scamper.
Bush found the end zone again in the third quarter on a seven-yard rush and Kade McDaniel scored on the ground from 18 yards out later in the quarter. Dordt then added two field goals in the final period to salt the game away. The Defender rushing attack churned out 281 yards (4.8 yards/rush), led by 100 yards from Bush. Those totals amounted to plenty of enough offense with the Dordt defense dominating on the other side.
The Bulldogs pulled even at 7-7 midway through the second quarter when quarterback DJ McGarvie found receiver Cayden Beran for a four-yard touchdown strike. It marked the third time already this season that McGarvie and Beran have connected for six. That drive covered 51 yards on 12 plays. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a whole lot else working for Concordia’s offense, which was suffocated to the tune of 66 total yards after halftime.
The freshman McGarvie made his first career start at quarterback after having played exceptionally well in relief appearances the previous two weeks. He went 14-for-36 passing for 109 yards, one touchdown and one interception. For the second game in a row, Devin Zeigler got the call at running back and carried 18 times for 70 yards. Beran caught five passes for 20 yards while tight end Garrett Schardt hauled in four receptions for 48 yards.
Dordt (2-1) is always going to get its yards on the ground. It had averaged nearly 330 rushing yards through the first two weeks of the season. At the same time, Napier and the Bulldogs are always up for a challenge. Napier notched a game high 18 tackles, a sack and a pass breakup in another starring performance at inside linebacker. Knisley added seven stops to go along with his interception while linebacker Caydren Cox also came up with seven tackles. Jorge Ochoa returned to the lineup and made five tackles.
Said Daberkow of Napier, “Our defense isn’t designed to funnel things to him. That’s what some people assume – that we just cover everybody up and let him scrape. Lane is a phenomenal football player. He’s tough as nails. He’s what we want the rest of our guys to embody – that hard-hat mentality. He’s constantly gutting through things that other people wouldn’t. He’s just a tough kid.”
McDaniel has been broken in as the Dordt quarterback after the graduation of star Noah Clayberg. On the other hand, Levi Jungling (one of the NAIA’s best receivers) returned for a fifth season of college football. Jungling made five catches for 73 yards and also had a 45-yard kickoff return on Saturday.
Another major challenge awaits next Saturday (Sept. 25) when Concordia will host No. 2 Northwestern (4-0, 3-0 GPAC), the 2020 NAIA national runner up. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. CT from Bulldog Stadium. The Bulldogs managed to make last year’s meeting in Orange City, Iowa, (31-17 Northwestern win) a four-quarter battle. Said Daberkow, “We’re going to find out the character of our team. I was proud of how they bounced back after our last loss and came out and played a complete game the next week. That’s what I expect as a coach from our guys. We’ll learn from it and move forward.”
Sep. 25, 2021
SEWARD, Neb. – Failure to take advantage of short fields caught up to the Concordia University Football team on Saturday (Sept. 25) in a 31-7 loss to No. 2 Northwestern, last season’s NAIA national runner up. Considering the strength of the opponent, the Bulldogs did not have much margin for error anyway. Concordia turned the ball over four times (one pick-six) and watched as Red Raider quarterback Blake Fryar made two impressive touchdown flicks to open up a comfortable lead for the visitors.
Head Coach Patrick Daberkow’s squad went 0-for-3 against the three 2020 NAIA playoff qualifiers within the conference. The Bulldogs stand at 1-3 with the victory coming over Briar Cliff two weeks ago.
“We just didn’t make enough plays,” Daberkow said. “We put our defense in a lot of sticky situations and we got out of most of them. I was really proud of their effort today. We have to find a way to score more points and do a better job of flipping the field on special teams. I thought we had some good things – we had a kick return that just about went (for a touchdown). We have to generate some points out of that.”
During the opening quarter, Concordia had two cracks inside the red zone and came away with no points to show for it. Both drives ended in missed field goals. Northwestern led by just three points at the end of a quarter. The game got away from the Bulldogs in the second quarter when the Red Raiders cashed three separate interceptions into three touchdowns. The second score came after Tanner Oleson picked off DJ McGarvie and raced 19 yards for a Northwestern touchdown.
It was 24-0 before Concordia managed to dent the scoreboard. On McGarvie’s best throw of the day, he somehow threaded the needle on a 20-yard touchdown strike to Korrell Koehlmoos in the second quarter. It was a rare offensive highlight on a day when the Bulldogs were limited to 200 total yards. Sixty-five of them came on a Jonah Weyand rush that ended with Northwestern recovering a fumble in the third quarter.
A bright spot for Concordia was the play of corner and return man Isiaha Conner, who showed game breaking ability. He took a kickoff for 67 yards in the first quarter and later intercepted a pass and returned it 35 yards. Conner’s pick set up the lone Concordia score of the game. The Las Vegas native also made six tackles, including one for loss.
Other than the 32- and 36-yard pass plays allowed for touchdowns, the Bulldog defense stood tall. The potent Red Raider offense did not have a scoring drive longer than 53 yards. Carson Core and Caydren Cox came through with big fourth down stops and linebacker Lane Napier enjoyed another fine day while collecting 18 tackles for the second week in a row. Cox was credited with two tackles for loss, including a sack. Jorge Ochoa also registered a sack.
With the help of that 65-yard carry, Weyand finished with 102 rushing yards on 16 carries. The Crete High School product had missed the previous two games. McGarvie went 11-for-30 for 100 yards with a touchdown and three picks. Koehlmoos caught four passes for 53 yards and a score.
Northwestern (5-0, 4-0 GPAC) has now won 16 of its last 17 games. Star receiver Cade Moser reeled in eight receptions for 119 yards and a touchdown. Fryar finished 20-for-28 for 235 yards and two scores. Running back Konner McQuillan carried the ball 12 times for 88 yards and a touchdown. The Red Raiders got 21 of their 31 points off turnovers.
Said Daberkow, “Having played three playoff teams out of four games, it’s important that we soak up the lessons that we learned and apply that moving forward. We’ve played really good competition and we have really good competition ahead of us. Our guys are playing hard. We have to stick with it and not get discouraged.”
It will be homecoming next Saturday (Oct. 2) when the Bulldogs will welcome Dakota Wesleyan (2-2, 2-1 GPAC) to town for a 1 p.m. CT kickoff. Concordia enjoyed a three-game series win streak over the Tigers until DWU got the best of the Bulldogs, 28-17, in Mitchell, S.D., in the 2020 regular season finale.
Sep. 28, 2021
1981 Schedule/Results – 9-1
--Final NAIA national rank of No. 12
at Tarkio (Mo.) – W, 31-7
at Central (Iowa) – W, 20-0
at Peru State – W, 20-9
at Nebraska Wesleyan – W, 13-0
at Midland – L, 21-28
vs. Doane – W, 7-3
vs. Dana – W, 41-7
vs. Hastings – W, 25-13
vs. Concordia-River Forest – W, 58-6
at Benedictine (Kan.) – W, 33-15
Story of the 1981 team
NOTE: The narrative below is a passage from the book, “Cultivating Men of Faith and Character: The History of Concordia Nebraska Football,” published in 2016. The book was authored by Jake Knabel, Concordia Director of Athletic Communications.
The 1981 team entered the season “with several counts against it” as a narrative from the time read. The Bulldogs had a roster of only 52 players and had significant question marks along the offensive line and in the secondary. An account from the Concordia office of college relations wrote that fifth-year head coach Larry Oetting was “concerned about a lack of depth.” Guard Tim Preuss, a transfer from the University of Nebraska joked, “We had about 15 guys on the two-deep roster.” Cornerback Keith Theimer pointed to stellar leadership as a driving force behind what would end up being one of the greatest seasons in program history. The captains were two four-year starting linebackers in seniors Tom Kelzer (Watertown, Michigan) and Scott Smith (Racine, Wisconsin) as well as senior slot back Greg Williams (St. Louis, Missouri) and senior center Tim Voelker (Palmer, Kansas). Though short on players, Oetting believed he had a talented defense.
The third game of the season hinted at how special Oetting’s fifth edition would turn out. The Bulldogs went to Peru State and shocked the fourth-ranked Bobcats, 20-9, in a win so thrilling that visiting Concordia fans stormed onto the field. A week earlier Concordia’s opportunistic defense forced seven turnovers (six fumbles, one interception) in a 20-0 blanking at Central College in Pella, Iowa. Said assistant coach Dean Vieselmeyer, “We had games that just shocked the tar out of everybody.” Peru State simply wasn’t ready for Concordia’s dominant defensive unit. Scott Smith battered Bobcat ball carriers with 17 tackles and a sack while also recording an interception. Smith and the smothering defense shut down star Bobcat running back Al Holder, who went on to be named a Nebraska state college athlete of the century by the Lincoln Journal Star in 1999.
Defensive coordinator Courtney Meyer and the rest of the staff had another thing coming for Holder. However, no one knew it leading up to the game. As Vieselmeyer recalled, “We were saying, ‘how in the world are we going to beat these guys?’” In scouting the Bobcats, Meyer and Vieselmeyer noted that they typically ran just one or two plays while trying to disguise them in multiple formations (the detail-oriented Vieselmeyer believed it to be a 132 total formations). The staff then used its scout team to mimic Peru State all week long at practice. They coached their defense up to a point that Bulldog defenders were easily calling out plays just by diagnosing the alignment of the offense. When it came time to go to battle, the staff instructed its defensive personnel not to yell out play calls during the first half to limit the adjustments Peru State could make at halftime.
Said Vieselmeyer, “By the third quarter I told the guys, ‘now you can start saying it.’ ‘Watch the screen over here.’ ‘Watch the dive over here.’ We started doing that and we got in their heads.” It was about all the All-American Holder could handle. He had come accustomed to shredding opposing defenses. After being run out of bounds in the third quarter, frustrations boiled over for Holder, who flipped the ball to his coach and said, “I’m done.” Two words summed up a stifling defensive effort that left Peru State fuming so much that it neglected to unlock the visiting locker rooms for nearly 40 minutes after the game. The game also came with a “free light show” when a transformer in the stadium blew up. “They were really, really good,” Vieselmeyer said. “So we knew we had something special.” The following week Smith was named a Booster Club Athlete of the Week. The win did not go unnoticed by the community. On September 29 Wayne Tanderup and Seward Motor Freight hosted the weekly Booster Club luncheon in the Jones National Bank auditorium where Oetting described the details of the victory.
Throughout the ’81 season, the Bulldogs smothered their opponents with one of the top defensive squads in program history. It started up front with nose guard Gary Pomerenke, who recorded seven sacks and forced four fumbles in 1981, his first of back-to-back All-America campaigns. The Nebraska Intercollegiate Athletic Conference defensive player of the year hailed from Miami, Missouri, stood at 6-foot-2 and weighed in at 250 pounds, making him an imposing figure for the time period. Assistant Coach Steve Sirek confidently believes that Pomerenke would have gotten a shot in the NFL had he simply been a couple inches taller. During Pomerenke’s four-year run the Bulldogs went a combined 28-12 with Meyer calling plays for the defense.
Pomerenke was complimented by a 1981 linebacker core headed by all-district selections in Smith and Tom Kelzer. Joining Pomerenke up front, Brett Smith punished opposing quarterbacks with nine sacks. He was surrounded by all-conference defensive ends Dave Kjergaard and Tom Voelker. Coordinated by Meyer, the unit allowed just 228.0 yards and 8.8 points per game. It held seven of 10 foes to less than 10 points. Only one squad reached the 20-point mark against the Bulldogs. Midland hung 28 on them in a 28-21 Warrior victory in Fremont – the only Concordia loss all season.
Backing the dominant defense was game-breaking receiver and return man Terrance Square, then a sophomore, who provided flair for Oetting’s offensive attack. That season he caught 38 passes for 586 yards and five touchdowns. He also toasted opposing special teams units with kickoff return scores of 97 and 95 yards. Square caught passes from then senior quarterback Paul Reinisch (6-1, 192), the team’s offensive MVP. Reinisch totaled 21 touchdowns (14 passing, seven rushing) and 1,612 yards (1,247 passing, 365 rushing) for a strong rushing squad. Kelzer led the attack with 829 rushing yards.
The 1981 season actually got off to an inauspicious start in the opener at Tarkio, surrounded by cornfields. Oetting and his staff already had reason to believe they had assembled a stout defense. This was supposed to be a breeze against a Tarkio squad that entered the year with a lengthy losing streak. But Tarkio landed the first punch with a scoring drive on its opening possession to make it 7-0. Tarkio even tried to send a message when one of its linebackers deliberately struck a forearm underneath the facemask of guard Tim Preuss. The Bulldog offense responded with a dominant first outing. A fake field goal that went for a touchdown highlighted the 31-7 win over Tarkio. A week later Oetting used the same swinging gate trick play (installed by Vieselmeyer, who worked with the special teams units) in the 20-0 victory over Central College, a nationally-ranked team. Bulldog football was back. “At that time they were a powerhouse,” Vieselmeyer said of Central. What Vieselmeyer remembered most about the momentum-building victory was an exchange afterwards with the head official. He flagged down a hurried Vieselmeyer, who was racing to leave to go scout a game that night. The official told Vieselmeyer, “I have never officiated a more impressive team. I didn’t hear a single swear word on the sideline. When you guys knocked the snot out of somebody, you picked him back up. I want you to know that this is the best game I’ve ever officiated in my life.”
The blanking of Central College was the first big clue that the 1981 team could hang with anyone in the nation. It helped lessen concerns held by Vieselmeyer and other members of the defensive coaching staff. They rightfully worried about the team’s ability to make it through a season with the lack of depth all over the field. Guys like Kjergaard and Voelker had matured and were “strong as bulls” as Vieselmeyer put it. But there wasn’t a whole lot behind them. “We thought it was going to be a disaster,” Vieselmeyer said. “We had three defensive ends and two linebackers. That’s it. What we had were good players at every spot. The Lord blessed us and protected those guys. Somehow we got through the whole season without an injury.”
Ranked 12th nationally after the win at Peru State, the Bulldogs ran their undefeated mark to 4-0 behind another stellar defensive display that led a 13-0 shutout over Nebraska Wesleyan on a muddy Saturday night on October 3. Wesleyan managed just 108 total yards (16 rushing). Concordia got one of its two touchdowns that day courtesy of Kelzer’s still-standing school record 100-yard interception return for a touchdown. That score helped make up for the offense’s lack of production despite six trips to the red zone. Unfortunately that momentum did not carry over a week later when the Bulldogs fell at Midland in another rivalry affair. Down a touchdown, Concordia’s late fourth-quarter drive stalled at the Warrior 36 and Midland celebrated an upset win.
Customary for the time, coaches had the ability to hire officiating crews that they preferred. Oetting remembered several questionable calls from the ’81 season’s only defeat. A controversial ruling in the latter stages of the game at Midland occurred when officials judged a Concordia pass catcher to have come down out of bounds. Oetting and company disagreed with the call that robbed the Bulldogs of a potential winning score. Said Oetting, “Sometimes a loss helps. I think it made us a better team.”
The Bulldogs rebounded a week later with a win, a 7-3 decision over Doane with the only touchdown being a one-yard plunge by Fred Friedrichs (Herkimer, Kansas). Concordia’s defense surrendered only 171 yards. Then came a blowout victory over Dana, 41-7, that gave the Bulldogs a chance to clinch a tie for the conference championship on October 31. Pomerenke made it a mission to ensure that happened. He abused Hastings for nine tackles, a sack, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery and even knocked down a pass on an attempted two-point conversion. On the other side of the ball, junior Tuhran Hall caught five passes for 126 yards and rushed for another 69 yards on three carries, allowing him to net national offensive player of the week accolades. Concordia defeated Hastings, 25-13, to improve to 7-1 overall and 4-1 in the conference.
The Bulldogs moved up to No. 9 in the national rankings and, with one contest left, had a shot to qualify for the eight-team NAIA playoff. Once again, Concordia’s defense was up to the task and Benedictine College (Kansas) could muster only 248 yards in the regular-season finale. The Bulldogs got out to a 23-3 halftime lead and cruised to a 33-15 win, finishing the year at 9-1 overall. However, it wasn’t quite enough to earn a playoff berth and the school record-breaking campaign came to an end. Fifteen Bulldogs were tabbed all-NIAC, including eight who were placed on the league’s first team. Reinisch was a unanimous first-team choice at quarterback.
“We probably played one of our best games of the season. We beat them really bad,” Oetting said of the victory over Benedictine. “Their coach was a (national) rater and the loss made him very upset. What do you do when you go into your very last game and you might make the playoffs? How do you show them that you belong? We played our best game possible. We actually dropped in the rankings (from ninth to 11th).” To this day, that victory stands out as one of the most satisfying in Oetting’s career. It was a game that Concordia almost had to play without Pomerenke and the Smith brothers who were part of a handful of players that rode with Vieselmeyer in a Station Wagon separate from the team bus. The wagon was grounded to a halt when a tire blew out. No one else noticed and the bus kept rolling without Vieselmeyer and the team’s star nose guard. Eventually Vieselmeyer flagged someone down who could change the tire, but the wagon pulled into Benedictine just 30 minutes prior to kickoff.
As part of a summary put together shortly after the 1981 season, Coach Oetting wrote:
The 1981 Bulldogs enjoyed the greatest success in the history of Concordia Football, although one may get an argument from the 7-0 team of 1931 or the 8-1 team of 1970. Not only did this exceptional team work hard to achieve a 9-1 record, but they gained national attention in the third game of the season with their stunning 20-9 upset of nationally fourth-ranked Peru State. Ranked thirteenth after the Peru State victory, they suffered their only setback two weeks later in a hard-fought loss to conference rival Midland, 28-21, then finished strong with a five-game winning streak. Their impressive 25-13 win over Hastings gave them the elusive NIAC championship, shared with Hastings and Midland. They finished twelfth nationally.
NOTE: The 1981 Concordia Football team was inducted into the Concordia Athletic Hall of Fame in 2006. The team was coached by Larry Oetting, who was inducted into Concordia’s HOF individually that same year.
Head Coach: Larry Oetting
Assistant Coaches: Dean Vieselmeyer, Courtney Meyer, Steve Sirek, Lee Vieselmeyer, Casey Vreeland, Randy Krieger.
Head Trainer/Equipment Manager: Stan Schlueter
1981 Lettermen – Clarke Abbe, Jim Beaudoin, John Dumar, Fred Friedrichs, Dana Gerard, Tuhran Hall, Matt Heibel, Tom Kelzer, Kahlil King, Donnell Kinsey, Dave Kjergaard, Mark Koehlinger, Gary Koke, Jay Krause, Gary McDaniel, Steve Muller, Mike Neben, Joel Niebuhr, Greg Oelke, Gary Pomerenke, Von Portwood, Tim Preuss, Paul Reinisch, Carl Robinson, Kenneth Roupe, Ron Schultz, Brett Smith, Brian Smith, Scott Smith, Terrance Square, Brian Stacy, Keith Theimer, Tim Voelker, Don Vos, Tim Walter, Greg Williams, James Woolfolk.
1981 Honor Roll
Co-Captains: Scott Smith, Greg Williams, Tim Voelker, Tom Kelzer
Most Valuable Player: Paul Reinisch, QB
Top Offensive Player: Donnell Kinsey, TB
Top Defensive Player: Scott Smith, LB
Top Offensive Lineman: Tim Voelker, C
Top Defensive Lineman: Gary Pomerenke, NG
Top Offensive Rookie: Gary Koke, G
Top Defensive Rookie: Ken Roupe, DT
Most Improved Player: Matt Heibel, SS
All-Nebraska Intercollegiate Athletic Conference
Tim Walter, OT
Paul Reinisch, QB
Tim Voelker, C
Donell Kinsey, TB
Gary Pomerenke, NG
Dave Kjergaard, DE
Scott Smith, LB
Jim Beaudoin, CB
Terrance Square, WR
Greg Williams, TE
Gary McDaniel, OG
Fred Friedrichs, FB
John Dumar, K
Tom Voelker, DE
Tom Kelzer, LB
HONORABLE MENTION – Tuhran Hall, Don Vos, Joel Niebuhr, Brian Smith, Brett Smith, Brian Stacy.
All-NAIA District 11
FIRST TEAM – John Dumar, Gary Pomerenke, Scott Smith
HONORABLE MENTION – Greg Williams, Tim Walter, Tim Voelker, Terrance Square, Tuhran Hall, Paul Reinisch, Fred Friedrichs, Donell Kinsey, Dave Kjergaard, Tom Voelker, Brett Smith, Brian Smith, Tom Kelzer, Jim Beaudoin.
NAIA District 11 Coach of the Year
Oct. 2, 2021
SEWARD, Neb. – Freshman quarterback DJ McGarvie had a hand in all five touchdowns and the Bulldog defense suffocated the life out of visiting Dakota Wesleyan on homecoming Saturday (Oct. 2) inside Bulldog Stadium. McGarvie was one of four players from the Concordia University Football team to find the end zone in what amounted to a 34-0 win. The Bulldogs easily overcame a minus-two turnover disadvantage by outgaining the Tigers, 442-138.
Head Coach Patrick Daberkow’s squad has moved to 2-3 with both victories coming at home in dominant fashion. The shutout on Saturday marked the first for the program since its 44-0 win at Hastings on Sept. 21, 2019.
“I was proud of our effort both offensively and defensively. Both sides of the ball really did their jobs today,” Daberkow said. “That was a team win. We still have some things we need to clean up in our special teams. I believe we’ll get those things fixed, but I’m really proud of the effort.
“DJ is not easily flustered and I think that’s what makes him a great quarterback. He’ll sit in the pocket and deliver strikes – and he’s dangerous with his legs. He can really hurt you when he gets loose. I was very pleased to see how he played today.”
This game was more one-sided than the already lopsided score would indicate. Dakota Wesleyan’s offense was completely flummoxed by a Concordia defensive unit that surrendered only seven first downs and 2.3 yards per play. Linebacker Caydren Cox cleaned up with 2.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks. The Tigers (2-3, 2-2 GPAC) put two rushers over 100 yards in their win last week over Hastings. In this go-round, DWU ran for a grand total of 49 yards and standout running back Jamin Arend (30 yards on 13 carries) had nowhere to go.
Since the season opener at Morningside, the Bulldog defense has raised its game. In 13 possessions on Saturday, the Tigers punted nine times and turned it over on downs four times. They failed to reach the red zone even once.
Said Cox, “You try not to look at the scoreboard much, but you look up there and see a zero and that just motivates you to keep playing harder and keep the pressure on them. That was our goal to shut them out. Coach (Corby) Osten put together a great game plan and we just came out there and executed.”
McGarvie looked a lot more like the quarterback that Bulldog fans saw in week two when Concordia blasted Briar Cliff, 61-21. The Lincoln North Star High School product went 14-for-19 passing for 210 yards and three touchdowns while adding 99 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. He became the first Bulldog quarterback to pass/rush for five touchdowns in a game since Von Thomas in 2014.
Concordia quickly got on the board in the first quarter when McGarvie raced 28 yards to the end zone while capping a hasty four-play, 75-yard drive. McGarvie also fired touchdown passes of 33 yards to tight end Garrett Schardt, 13 yards to Luke Lange (first career touchdown) and 22 yards to Art Anderson. In the final quarter, McGarvie took it over the goal himself one more time to complete the scoring. Four of the touchdown drives covered six plays or fewer.
“The offensive line was blocking amazing again and the receivers were catching balls like always,” McGarvie said. “It was just an all-around team effort and everyone did great today … Wyatt (Ehlers)’s been helping me (acclimate to the starting role) and I have Jonah (Weyand) out there to always help me out and make sure I make the right reads. If I miss something, he’s always telling me what I can do better. They’re always looking out for me.”
Anderson caught five passes for 52 yards and a touchdown as McGarvie’s top target on the day. Schardt, who slipped a tackle on his receiving touchdown, finished with four grabs for 89 yards. Weyand bruised his way to 76 rushing yards on 18 carries.
The defense did not force any turnovers, but it was incredibly stout. Lane Napier paced the unit with eight tackles, including one of the bone crunching variety. Fellow linebacker Jorge Ochoa joined in on one of Cox’s sacks. At corner, Isiaha Conner was credited with two pass breakups. DWU quarterback Kiel Nelson threw for just 89 yards on 34 pass attempts.
Said Daberkow, “The best part about that was the hitting we saw. We had a really physical performance from our defense today. I think physicality always sets the tone. Whether it’s first-and-10 or fourth-and-one, we want a team that’s going to put a hat on somebody and play the game the way it’s meant to be played. It was a good win today.”
The first of back-to-back road trips will have the Bulldogs headed to North Dakota to take on Jamestown (2-3, 2-2 GPAC) next Saturday. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. CT from Rollie Greeno Field, where it will be homecoming for the Jimmies. Concordia has won two of three matchups with Jamestown since the Jimmies joined the GPAC beginning with the 2018 season.
Oct. 4, 2021
SEWARD, Neb. – The most productive day of DJ McGarvie’s young college career has led to him being named the GPAC/Hauff Mid-America Sports Offensive Player of the Week, as announced by the conference on Monday (Oct. 4). McGarvie is the first member of the Concordia University Football team to be honored by the GPAC this season and the program’s first GPAC Offensive Player of the Week since Jonah Weyand earned conference and NAIA national weekly awards in September of last year.
A true freshman from Valparaiso, Neb., DJ McGarvie has been given the keys to the Concordia offense. In last week’s 34-0 homecoming win over Dakota Wesleyan, McGarvie totaled five touchdowns (three passing / two rushing) and 309 yards of offense (210 passing / 99 rushing) while completing 14-of-19 passes in a starring performance. The Lincoln North Star product threw touchdown passes of 33 yards to Garrett Schardt, 13 yards to Luke Lang and 22 yards to Art Anderson. He also ran for scores from 28 and three yards out. McGarvie became the first Bulldog quarterback to total five or more touchdowns in a single game since Von Thomas in 2014.
Said Head Coach Patrick Daberkow following the win, “DJ is not easily flustered and I think that’s what makes him a great quarterback. He’ll sit in the pocket and deliver strikes – and he’s dangerous with his legs. He can really hurt you when he gets loose. I was very pleased to see how he played.”
On the season, McGarvie has completed 49-of-96 (.510) passes for 602 yards and 10 touchdown passes to go against four interceptions. He’s now produced 701 total yards and 12 total touchdowns this fall.
Up next, the Bulldogs (2-3, 2-3 GPAC) will play at Jamestown (2-2, 2-3 GPAC) at 1 p.m. CT on Saturday. Concordia will be seeking its first road win of the season.
Oct. 9, 2021
JAMESTOWN, N.D. – It’s never been a thing of beauty in three trips to Jamestown, N.D., since 2018. But the Concordia University Football team got it done on Saturday (Oct. 9) behind another hard-nosed outing from the defense. The Bulldogs held off the Jimmies, 24-17, behind a pair of touchdowns from Korrell Koehlmoos on a dreary, rainy day inside Hansen Stadium. Lane Napier collected 13 tackles and the Concordia defense sacked the quarterback five times.
Head Coach Patrick Daberkow’s squad has now won back-to-back games for the first time this season and moved to 3-3 on the year.
“First off, hats off to Jamestown. They’re a really tough team to beat,” Daberkow said. “Preparing for what they do is not like preparing for every team with the way they come out and just throw the ball every down. It presents a different challenge. I think Coach (Corby) Osten and staff did a great job of mixing things up and keeping their quarterback on his toes. It was good to see our pass rush start to work late in the game.”
When the two sides met in Jamestown two years ago, they played on a pit of mud in a four-overtime slog that ended with the Jimmies edging out the Bulldogs, 13-10. This matchup was played on turf, but still became somewhat of a slugfest. Jamestown attempted to complete a comeback from a 24-10 deficit. Down seven in the final minute, the Jimmies’ last gasp was thwarted by a third down sack by Logan Kreizel. While forgetting the down, Jamestown then spiked the ball on fourth down to seal the win for Concordia.
Earlier in the quarter, the Bulldogs got the insurance touchdown they needed when they took advantage of a short field set up by Carson Core’s 33-yard punt return. DJ McGarvie completions of 13 yards to Garrett Schardt and 20 yards to Koehlmoos put Concordia in the end zone and on top by two touchdowns with 12:52 left to play.
Both teams did the bulk of their offensive damage through the air. On the second play of the day from scrimmage, Koehlmoos raced 78 yards for a touchdown on a pitch forward by McGarvie. Schardt also caught a touchdown pass of 12 yards from McGarvie. It marked the second game in a row that McGarvie has thrown for three scores. McGarvie went 19-for-31 passing for 231 yards. Koehlmoos finished with six catches for 122 yards. Meanwhile, Schardt caught six balls for 64 yards and Cayden Beran snagged five receptions for 50 yards. Devin Zeigler led the team in rushing with 42 yards on nine carries.
The Bulldog defense has been rock solid now for the past five weeks. Jamestown was limited to 306 total yards and was just 6-for-21 on third downs. Concordia also forced and recovered a fumble at the Jimmie 34, setting up Schardt’s touchdown six plays later. Bulldogs to get in on the sack parade were Caydren Cox (2.0), Payton Stevens (1.5), Kreizel (1.0) and Jordan Kavulak (0.5).
Jamestown quarterback Cade Torgerson never gives in. He completed 26-of-52 passes for 253 yards and a touchdown. Once again, the run game was mostly nonexistent for the Jimmies (53 rushing yards on 32 attempts). Torgerson produced 33 of those yards on a single rush. The sledding is tough against Napier (two pass breakups) and the Concordia D. Kavulak and Jorge Ochoa were credited with eight tackles apiece.
Said Daberkow, “We came up here with a business mentality. That was not pretty, but we found a way to win. It’s good to come out of here with a happy bus.”
The Bulldogs moved to 3-1 all-time against Jamestown (2-4, 2-3 GPAC). Concordia also beat the Jimmies, 23-3, last season in Seward. Daberkow’s squad never trailed on Saturday. In addition to the two touchdowns by Koehlmoos and the one for Schardt, Daniel Cantu drilled a 41-yard field goal in the second quarter. As the punter, Koehlmoos averaged 41.4 yards per attempt on seven punts (two downed inside the 20).
The Bulldogs will venture north again next Saturday (Oct. 16) for their first-ever matchup on the gridiron with Mount Marty (0-6, 0-6 GPAC), a program that is in its first year of competition. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. CT from Crane Youngworth Field in Yankton, S.D. A former assistant at Kansas Wesleyan University, John Michaletti serves as head coach at Mount Marty.
Oct. 11, 2021
SEWARD, Neb. – The GPAC leader in sacks, Concordia University Football’s Caydren Cox has been chosen as the GPAC/Hauff Mid-America Sports Defensive Player of the Week, as announced by the league on Monday (Oct. 11). This marks the first career weekly honor for Cox, a senior linebacker. Teammate DJ McGarvie was recognized as the GPAC Offensive Player of the Week on Oct. 4.
A native of Beloit, Kan., Cox is enjoying his best collegiate season. In last week’s 24-17 win at Jamestown, Cox came up with four tackles and a pair of sacks and recovered a fumble that led to seven Bulldog points. Cox and the defense limited the Jimmies to 306 total yards. 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.
Concordia (3-3) will attempt to push its win streak to three on Saturday when it plays at Mount Marty (0-6). Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. CT from Yankton, S.D.
Oct. 16, 2021
YANKTON, S.D. – On its homecoming on Saturday (Oct. 16), Mount Marty pulled within three points late in the second quarter before the Concordia University Football team exerted control. The Bulldogs rattled off the next 28 points on the way to a dominant 38-7 victory over a Lancer program in its first season of varsity competition. Concordia enjoyed a plus-three turnover margin and got a defensive touchdown via Caydren Cox’s pick-six.
Head Coach Patrick Daberkow’s program has won three consecutive games for the first time since starting last season at 4-0. Just like last week at Jamestown, the Bulldogs (4-3) spoiled another opponents’ homecoming.
“I was really proud of the second half performance by the whole team,” Daberkow said. “I’ve been telling people all week that on paper Mount Marty may not look impressive, but on film it’s a completely different story. They play really hard and they have some good players at key positions. Today was really about trying to do the simple things right. I thought the offense performed well, especially in the second half. It was good to see us moving the football.”
Mount Marty actually outgained Concordia (145-141) in the first half, but the turnovers were a killer. The Bulldogs essentially put the game away early in the third quarter. Facing pressure, Lancer quarterback Davian Guajardo lost control of the football (hit by Payton Stevens), which ended up in the arms of Cox, who was credited with an eight-yard interception return for a touchdown at the 12:42 mark of the third quarter. Less than five-and-a-half minutes later, DJ McGarvie’s 17-yard scoring toss to tight end Garrett Schardt gave the Bulldogs a commanding 31-7 lead.
For the third straight outing, the blossoming McGarvie fired three touchdown passes. He connected twice for scores with Cayden Beran – once for five yards in the first quarter and once for 24 yards in the fourth quarter. Martin Solano also found the end zone on a six-yard rush just before halftime. With Jonah Weyand out of the lineup, Solano (13 attempts for 63 yards) and Devin Zeigler (11 rushes for 63 yards) split the majority of the carries. The offensive line did a solid job in paving the way for the team to average 4.7 yards per rush (166 rushing yards).
The final score may not have indicated it, but the Lancers (0-7 GPAC) made the Concordia defense labor. The Bulldog D was on the field for 80 plays and 36:00 in time of possession. On its only scoring drive, Mount Marty marched 82 yards on 21 plays while converting on a series of fourth downs. That sequence ended with Ka’ua Nishigaya scoring from a yard out. Nishigaya ran for 126 hard-earned yards on 35 carries.
It was tough sledding for most of the day for the Lancer offense. All-American linebacker Lane Napier enjoyed another fine day, compiling 20 tackles, one stop for loss and a forced fumble. The first Concordia touchdown came after safety Peyton Mitchell scooped up a fumble and took it 24 yards, setting the Bulldogs up at the Mount Marty eight-yard-line. The Concordia defense registered three sacks on the day. The reigning GPAC Defensive Player of the Week, Cox also made a tackle in the backfield.
Beran caught five passes for 67 yards and two touchdowns as McGarvie’s top target. Schardt hauled in three passes for 64 yards and a score and Korrell Koehlmoos made three grabs for 19 yards. Koehlmoos had a touchdown reception called back on a penalty. McGarvie completed 12-of-19 passes for 151 yards and three touchdowns.
Napier has moved his career tackle total to 495 with three games left in the regular season. No other player in the history of the GPAC had reached 400 tackles entering this season. Said Daberkow, “Lane’s such a good teammate. The guys give him a lot of grief for how much attention he gets, but you get 20 tackles and people pay attention to that. That’s pretty insane. We’re going to miss him whenever he hangs it up.”
The Bulldogs will return home next Saturday (Oct. 23) to host Midland (4-3, 4-2 GPAC). Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. CT from Bulldog Stadium. The two sides had last season’s meeting canceled as a ‘COVID-19 no contest.’ Concordia will attempt to defeat Midland for the first time since 2017. The Warriors had a bye this week.
Said Daberkow, “We’re going to focus on us and doing us right. I would like to see a cleaner game as far as penalties go. If we can get us right, the other things will take care of themselves.”
Oct. 18, 2021
SEWARD, Neb. – For the third week in a row, the Concordia University Football team has raked in recognition from the conference. On Monday (Oct. 18), the league honored receiver/punter Korrell Koehlmoos as the GPAC/Hauff Mid-America Special Teams Player of the Week and linebacker Lane Napier as the GPAC/Hauff Mid-America Defensive Player of the Week. Also during the month of October, Caydren Cox (Oct. 11) and DJ McGarvie (Oct. 4) garnered GPAC weekly awards.
Koehlmoos, a native of Pilger, Neb., was lauded for his efforts as a punter in last week’s 38-7 win at Mount Marty. Koehlmoos punted five times for an average of 43.4 yards per punt and landed two punts inside the opponent’s 20. Koehlmoos also returned a kick for 24 yards and caught three passes for 19 yards. He had a touchdown reception called back by a penalty. On the season, Koehlmoos has punted 35 times for an average of 35.9 yards per attempt. As a receiver, he’s caught 28 passes for 365 yards and four touchdowns this season.
The honors have piled up during Napier’s career. The native of David City, Neb., has earned four GPAC Player of the Week awards as a Bulldog. In the win over Jamestown, Napier compiled 20 tackles, one stop for loss, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. The performance marked the fifth time that Napier has reached 20 tackles in a single game. A Second Team All-American in 2020, Napier currently leads all NAIA players with 94 tackles in 2021. At 495 career tackles, Napier is on the cusp of becoming the first GPAC player ever to reach 500 tackles. He is a four-time First Team All-GPAC honoree.
The Bulldogs (4-3, 4-3 GPAC) will be back at home on Saturday to host Midland (4-3, 4-2 GPAC) with kickoff set for 1 p.m. CT in Seward.
Oct. 24, 2021
SEWARD, Neb. – Time after time, the Bulldog defense responded when Midland threatened to tighten the score in the second half. Safety Peyton Mitchell snared three of the team’s six interceptions as the Concordia University Football team toppled the rival Warriors, 21-7, on Saturday (Oct. 23) afternoon. The pick party paved the way for a plus-seven turnover margin for the Bulldogs, who returned to a gusty Bulldog Stadium for the first time since Oct. 2.
Head Coach Patrick Daberkow’s squad has won four-straight games and has improved to 5-3 (5-3 GPAC) heading into a bye week. The win streak has included triumphs over Dakota Wesleyan, Jamestown, Mount Marty and Midland.
“Hats off to the defense today,” Daberkow said. “Holy smokes. That ball was in the air and we capitalized on it. We made plays today, especially on defense. Man that was fun to see … Ultimately, I think our offensive staff did a really good job of making the right adjustments and taking what was there. I think we had them on their heels for a while there.”
The Warriors (4-4, 4-3 GPAC) did not manage a single point over the game’s final 57 minutes. They got the Concordia defense to bend, but it just wouldn’t break. The two-touchdown advantage felt nearly insurmountable with the way the Bulldogs were ball-hawking about in the secondary. The interceptions came from the following Concordia defensive backs (with two occurring in goal-to-go situations):
· Peyton Mitchell – 3rd-and-10 from the CUNE 35 (14:41 – second quarter)
· Peyton Mitchell – 3rd-and-goal from the CUNE 7 (4:05 – second quarter)
· Gabe Knisley – 2nd-and-goal from the CUNE 6 (0:02 – second quarter)
· Peyton Mitchell – 3rd-and-10 from the CUNE 24 (7:21 – third quarter)
· Isiaha Conner – 1st-and-10 from the CUNE 24 (3:32 – fourth quarter)
· Kam Baker – 4th-and-18 from the CUNE 41 (1:46 – fourth quarter)
Said Mitchell, “We’ve always had a pretty good mentality of bend, don’t break. We have the idea of, put the ball down. Put the ball down and wherever the ball is we’re going to get a stop. That’s kind of the thing that our defense lives by.”
While the secondary flew around and crushed any hopes of a comeback, All-American linebacker Lane Napier eclipsed an eye-popping milestone of 500 career tackles (school and GPAC record). Napier led all players with 13 stops for the day. Meanwhile, the defensive front got the job done while rotating is usual compliment of players. Devin Polley collected a pair of sacks, including a strip sack on a fourth down. Caydren Cox also posted a sack while making a couple of tackles in the backfield.
Quarterback DJ McGarvie and the offense did their part in putting together three separate touchdown drives that each covered at least 68 yards. The Bulldogs tied the score, 7-7, on Jonah Weyand’s two-yard touchdown rush in the second quarter. Late in the half, Concordia punctuated an 11-play, 80-yard drive with a wide receiver pass from Korrell Koehlmoos to tight end Garrett Schardt for a 15-yard scoring play. The Bulldogs then marched their opening possession of the second half 68 yards and crossed the goal line via McGarvie’s 14-yard toss to Cayden Beran.
McGarvie has thrown for 17 touchdown passes this season with Beran on the receiving end of six of them. Said Beran, “He’s a freshman but when you look at him on the field you don’t think that he’s a freshman. He’s confident in what he’s doing. He’s running the ball with his head down too. You don’t see that much from a freshman. He’s going to put the ball where you need it to be.”
Inefficiency at the quarterback position has been a season-long struggle for Midland, which has been picked off 20 times in eight games. The Warriors played without star receiver Kenneth Carr III, which had something to do with the quarterback combo of Jake Ashby and Hunt Boutin going a combined 24-for-54 through the air. Midland crossed the 50 six times in the second half, but bogged down due to its lack of running game (57 yards) and turnovers.
McGarvie finished 19-for-27 for 187 yards and a touchdown while adding 32 rushing yards. Weyand ran for 82 yards and a score on 21 carries. Beran hauled in five receptions for 75 yards and a touchdown while Schardt made seven grabs for 64 yards and a score. In addition, Art Anderson hauled in five passes for 26 yards.
Due to a COVID no contest, Concordia and Midland did not play each other in 2020. The Warriors won the 2018 and 2019 meetings. Mitchell became the first Bulldog to intercept three passes in a single game since current assistant coach D’Mauria Martin did the same in the 44-14 win over Midland in 2017.
Said Daberkow, “It feels very satisfying. Any time you beat any in-state rival, it’s big, especially since we haven’t played Midland in two years. They have a really good team. They’ve got some skilled guys. It’s a tall order. I was really proud of the guys and how they played today.”
After playing in each of the past eight weeks, Concordia will have a bye before hosting Doane on Saturday, Nov. 6. The Bulldogs will celebrate their senior day on that date. In last season’s season opener in Crete, Concordia dominated the Tigers, 24-7, while leaning upon the exploits of Weyand (169 rushing yards and two touchdowns).
Oct. 25, 2021
SEWARD, Neb. – For the fourth week in a row, the Concordia University Football team has earned a GPAC Player of the Week award. Following the 21-7 home win over Midland, senior safety Peyton Mitchell was voted the GPAC/Hauff Mid-America Sports Defensive Player of the Week, as announced on Monday (Oct. 25). Mitchell is the fifth different Bulldog to be honored with a GPAC weekly award this season. That group includes defensive teammates Caydren Cox and Lane Napier.
Mitchell enjoyed a performance that equaled a school record. His three interceptions of Midland quarterbacks tied a Concordia best for a single game best. Mitchell is the first Bulldog to accomplish that feat since current assistant coach D’Mauria Martin did the same in a 44-14 win over Midland on Oct. 14, 2017. Each of Mitchell’s picks thwarted Warrior drives in Concordia territory. In addition, the native of Waverly, Kan., notched four tackles. A two-time Second Team All-GPAC honoree, Mitchell has collected 17 pass breakups and eight interceptions over 34 career games as a Bulldog.
As a team, Concordia picked off six passes in last week’s win. That number 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 and the Bulldogs (5-3) will have a bye this week while preparing to host Doane on Saturday, Nov. 6. Concordia will ride a four-game win streak into that matchup.
Three interceptions, one game (program history)
10/23/21 – Peyton Mitchell vs. Midland
10/14/17 – D’Mauria Martin vs. Midland
1979 – Andy Schwich vs. Doane
1951 – Marlin Zobel vs. Nebraska ‘B’ Team
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)
Nov. 6, 2021
SEWARD, Neb. – A matchup between two strong defensive-minded rivals played out about as one could have expected on a warm fall senior day Saturday (Nov. 6) inside Bulldog Stadium. A 43-yard pass play to tight end Garrett Schardt and a pick-six by linebacker Jorge Ochoa altered momentum as the Concordia University Football team came from behind for a 20-13 victory over Doane. The defense for the Bulldogs was just a notch better than that of the Tigers.
The tide has turned in this series in recent years. Patrick Daberkow owns a record of 3-2 versus Doane in his head coaching tenure. Concordia has won back-to-back meetings over the nearby Tigers and has moved to 6-3 overall this season (five-game win streak).
“Any time you can beat a rival at home on senior day it’s a good feeling,” Daberkow said. “If you can’t get going for that, then you probably can’t get going. That was fun to see. It’s exciting to see ‘Ocho’ make that interception and return it for a touchdown. That was obviously the difference in the game at the end there. I’m just really proud of the team for staying together.
“Doane is really sound defensively and they fly around and cause problems. To be able to score 20 points and beat them – we’ll take a win no matter how ugly it is.”
Leading 13-7 in the fourth quarter, Doane (5-5, 5-5 GPAC) was pinning its hopes on riding out a defense led by the four tackles for loss from Mason Krause. Schardt and the Bulldogs had other ideas. Facing third-and-eight from its own 27, Concordia came to life thanks to a 43-yard connection from quarterback DJ McGarvie to Schardt. Seven players later, McGarvie whirled a bullet of a back-shoulder touchdown toss to Cayden Beran on fourth and goal. At that point, 10:21 remained on the clock.
Then came the day’s most consequential play. With first-and-10 at its own 20, Doane was victimized when Ochoa hauled in a pass thrown right at him and took it 23 yards to the end zone. Over the final nine minutes, Concordia used its suffocating defense to polish off the victory and preserve the seven-point advantage. A plus-one turnover advantage for the Bulldogs was a key against an opponent that entered the contest leading the NAIA in interceptions.
There’s something about playing Doane that has brought out the best in Concordia running back Jonah Weyand, who had the advantage in a rushing dual opposite a fine player on the other side. Weyand rushed for 112 yards and a touchdown on 26 carries. Star Tiger back Frazzie Wynn ran for 87 yards on 21 attempts, including one that went for 41 yards. Most of the afternoon, Wynn had nowhere to go.
The Crete High School product Weyand rushed for 169 yards and two touchdowns in last season’s win at Doane. He found holes on Saturday thanks to the help of a solid day for the offensive line. Said Weyand, “I don’t know what it is, but they’re always a circled game on the schedule for me. I think our offense matches up to their defensive scheme. Obviously having two weeks of preparation helped … For me personally, this will be my first (winning season) ever. The locker room’s just super excited. We have a good thing going right now.”
This may have been the finest performance of the season for the Concordia defensive line. Jordan Kavulak was all over Doane quarterback Vaughn Martinez, racking up 2.5 sacks while also recovering a fumble. At defensive end, senior Payton Stevens collected an impressive 11 tackles, made 1.5 sacks and forced the fumble that was recovered by Kavulak. The Bulldog defense limited Doane to 264 total yards and created three takeaways – one of which came on Lane Napier’s second career interception. Napier topped all players with 14 tackles for the day.
“Before the game, I was telling a bunch of the seniors – this one’s for them,” Kavulak (a Seward High School product) said. “We’ve worked super hard this season and those guys always step up. I came in and they take a lot of us under their wing and show us how it’s done.”
Doane’s strong pass defense did provide some problems. McGarvie went 13-for-31 for 131 yards and a touchdown (in addition to two turnovers). Beran caught five passes for 32 yards and a touchdown. In addition, Schardt reeled in three receptions for 59 yards (all on the same drive) and Korrell Koehlmoos caught three balls for 44 yards.
The Tiger (5-5) completed their season on Saturday. Doane broke a 7-7 halftime tie with two third quarter field goals from Caden Theis. The Tigers got very little out of their passing game as Martinez went 19-for-130 for 129 yards (two picks). Concordia waited until the fourth quarter to make up the difference. Added Daberkow, “I thought our focus was good the entire game today.”
The Bulldogs hope to complete a 3-0 run against in-state opponents when they play at Hastings (2-8, 2-7 GPAC) at 1 p.m. CT next Saturday. The Broncos are led by former Doane head coach Matt Franzen. Concordia has won back-to-back games against Hastings.
Nov. 8, 2021
SEWARD, Neb. – Make it five-straight wins and five-straight game weeks with a GPAC Player of the Week for the Concordia University Football program. On Monday (Nov. 8), the conference recognized senior linebacker Jorge Ochoa as the GPAC/Hauff Mid-America Sports Defensive Player of the Week courtesy of his performance in last week’s win over Doane. During the win streak, the Bulldogs have totaled six GPAC Player of the Week awards.
Concordia has reeled in the GPAC Defensive Player of the Week honor following each of its past four wins. Ochoa follows Caydren Cox (Oct. 11), Lane Napier (Oct. 18) and Peyton Mitchell (Oct. 25). A native of Beaumont, Texas, Ochoa made the game’s most significant play last week when he intercepted a pass and took it 23 yards for a fourth quarter touchdown, lifting the Bulldogs to the 20-13 victory over Doane. Ochoa also collected nine tackles, including one for loss, broke up a pass and was credited for a quarterback hurry. The Concordia defense limited Doane to 264 total yards and created three takeaways. On the season, Ochoa has totaled 39 tackles, four tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks and an interception.
Ochoa and the Bulldogs (6-3) will go for their sixth-straight win on Saturday when they play at Hastings (2-7) in the season finale. Concordia has a chance to sweep its in-state opponents this season.
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)
Nov. 8 – Jorge Ochoa (Defensive)
Nov. 13, 2021
HASTINGS, Neb. – Color the state of Nebraska in Bulldog Blue. The Concordia University Football team completed a sweep of GPAC in-state rivals on Saturday (Nov. 13) in a contest characterized by another stout defensive performance. Lane Napier and the Bulldogs allowed only 233 total yards while smothering Hastings, 17-7, on a chilly, misty day in Hastings. Jonah Weyand and Art Anderson found the end zone for the victors.
Head Coach Patrick Daberkow’s squad will head into the offseason with plenty of momentum thanks to an active six-game win streak. Concordia finishes at 7-3 (tied for third in the GPAC) and has beaten Doane, Hastings and Midland in the same season for the first time since 1970.
“It’s a cool thing to sweep the state,” Daberkow said. “Ultimately, that’s a byproduct of some bigger goals that we have that we hope to achieve down the road. I think this senior class really helped push us to get closer to that, but sweeping the state is fun. We have big goals in mind for this program and hopefully we can build on sweeping the state and do more in the conference.”
The Bulldogs have no problem slugging it out in cold weather games. Led by Napier and his team high 13 tackles, the Concordia defense punished the Bronco offense. Star running back Tyree Nesmith was limited to just 45 yards on 17 carries and corner Carson Core and linebacker Jorge Ochoa came away with an interception apiece. In addition, Linebacker Caydren Cox added to his sack total (8.5 this season) as part of a stellar campaign, Logan Kreizel broke up two passes and Devon Polley notched a sack of his own.
It was a slow start for the Concordia offense, but it finally got something going early in the second quarter with a nine-play, 63-yard drive that was capped by Weyand’s four-yard touchdown rush. On the ensuing scoring drives, Daniel Cantu converted a 24-yard field goal (nine-play, 49-yard drive) and Art Anderson crossed the goal line on a seven-yard strike from DJ McGarvie (six-play, 56-yard drive). The latter touchdown came with 13:56 left in the fourth quarter and essentially put the game away (the Bulldogs led 17-0).
Napier and his defensive teammates were not going to allow Hastings to score three times. Said Napier, “I think it showed what a lot of us seniors have put into this program. We haven’t had a record like this in a while. The last couple years have been kind of down. It shows that when you put the work in, you can be one of the top teams.”
There wasn’t anything particularly pretty about Saturday’s game, but it was an embodiment of what it means to play defense at Concordia. The pooch punting of Korrell Koehlmoos (four of eight punts downed inside the 20) consistently put the Broncos (2-8) in tough positions offensively. There was no consistency in either the pass or run game of Hastings. A large chunk of its offense came on its one scoring drive – 79 yards on 10 plays. But it was too little, too late.
During the six-game win streak, the Bulldogs held each of their foes to 17 points or less. Four of those opponents failed to put more than seven points on the board. Said Daberkow of the latest defensive effort, “It was phenomenal how they pinned them down when they needed to. The one drive Hastings had I thought we had some things happen that were atypical for us. We always focus on what we can control and have a ‘put the ball down’ mentality. We said as a coaching staff in pregame when it was raining, we’re going to win this game on field position. That was the gameplan going in and I was proud of how the guys executed it.”
McGarvie finished a solid true freshman season going 18-for-39 for 182 yards and a touchdown at Hastings. Cayden Beran caught six passes for 77 yards while Art Anderson made eight grabs for 63 yards and a score. Both Beran and Koehlmoos have moved into the top five of the program’s career receptions list. In the run game, Weyand churned out 128 tough yards on 33 carries. It marked his second 100-yard rushing game in a row.
Napier completes his career an eye-popping 535 tackles. His 13 tackles on Saturday moved his 2021 season total to 124 stops, a number that should make him a virtual lock to be named First Team All-GPAC for a fifth-straight year. Why did he come back for a fifth season? “Winning and being with the guys,” Napier said. “That’s been the major thing. We’re always doing stuff together. I wouldn’t trade that for the world.”
The 7-3 record isn’t likely to lead to a playoff berth for the Bulldogs, who did not receive votes in this week’s NAIA coaches’ poll. However, it signals the program’s best record since 2016 and marks the 18th time Concordia Football has won at least seven games in a single season.
Nov. 15, 2021
SEWARD, Neb. – Strong defense and the punting of Korrell Koehlmoos played a key role in last week’s 17-7 win at Hastings in the season finale for the Concordia University Football team. On Monday (Nov. 15), the conference honored Koehlmoos as the GPAC/Hauff Mid-America Sports Special Teams Player of the Week. It marks the second time this season that Koehlmoos has received the award. As a team, the Bulldogs raked in seven GPAC Player of the Week accolades in 2021.
A native of Pilger, Neb., Koehlmoos’ pooch punting often put the Broncos in bad field position. Four of his eight punts last week were downed inside the 20. In those instances, Hastings was pinned back at its own 18, 7, 10 and 3, respectively. Koehlmoos also returned a kickoff for 23 yards and caught two passes for 29 yards. On the season, Koehlmoos averaged 36.3 yards per punt on 58 attempts with 14 of them downed inside the opponents’ 20. As a receiver, Koehlmoos hauled in 35 receptions for 471 yards and four touchdowns this season. On the program’s all-time lists, ranks sixth for both career catches (126) and career receiving yards (1,870).
Head Coach Patrick Daberkow’s Bulldogs concluded the 2021 season at 7-3 overall and with six-straight wins. For the first time since 1970, Concordia defeated Doane, Hastings and Midland in the same season.
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)
Nov. 8 – Jorge Ochoa (Defensive)
Nov. 15 – Korrell Koehlmoos (Special Teams)
Nov. 17, 2021
2021 GPAC Football All-Conference Teams
First Team: Lane Napier (Defensive Player of the Year), Johnny Robinson III, Garrett Schardt
Second Team: Caydren Cox, Peyton Mitchell
Honorable Mention: Jorge Ochoa, Payton Stevens
SEWARD, Neb. – For the second time in program history, a Concordia University Football player has been named the GPAC Defensive Player of the Year. The honor has been bestowed upon All-American linebacker Lane Napier, one of the greatest players to ever don Bulldog colors. As announced on Wednesday (Nov. 17), Napier was one of seven players to represent Concordia on with 2021 all-conference accolades. Napier is joined on the first team by center Johnny Robinson III and tight end Garrett Schardt.
A pillar of consistent excellence, Napier returned to the program for a fifth year in 2021 and has been rewarded with a fifth-straight First Team All-GPAC award. The David City Aquinas High School alum shattered school and GPAC records for career tackles last season and ended his five-year run (45 career games) with 535 tackles. According to NCAA record books entering this season, only six players in NCAA football history have reached that lofty tackle total. Napier was named to at least one All-America list in 2018, 2019 and 2020. The American Football Coaches Association chose him as a second team All-American in 2020.
This past season, Napier totaled 134 tackles (No. 1 in the GPAC and No. 2 in the NAIA), three pass breakups, 2.5 tackles for loss, two fumble recoveries, one sack, one interception and one forced fumble. In addition to his 535 career tackles, Napier has notched career totals of 36.5 tackles for loss, 11.5 sacks, 10 pass breakups and two interceptions. He led all NAIA players in 2018 with 142 tackles and produced three seasons of at least 100 stops.
A four-year starter at center, Robinson III has served as an anchor along the offensive line. The native of Houston, Texas, moved up to First Team All-GPAC this season after being selected as a second team honoree in 2020. Throughout Robinson’s time as a Bulldog, the offense has improved steadily, helping pave the way for a 7-3 overall record in 2021. Robinson and the line helped pave the way for Jonah Weyand to collect First Team All-GPAC accolades in 2020.
A native of Davenport, Neb., Schardt has developed into not only the best tight end in the GPAC, but one of the best in the NAIA. Schardt is a first team choice for the second year in a row. While starting all 10 games this fall, Schardt produced 32 receptions for 504 yards (most on the team) and five touchdowns. He caught at least one pass in all but one game on his way to posting career highs across the board. Over four seasons, Schardt has accumulated career totals of 72 receptions for 1,188 yards and nine touchdowns.
Also a fifth-year member of the program, linebacker Caydren Cox rose to stardom this fall while earning Second Team All-GPAC honors. Cox led the team in both tackles for loss (13.5) and sacks (8.5) while adding 55 tackles, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and one interception. Cox returned a pick eight yards for a touchdown in the win over Mount Marty. Following his two-sack performance at Jamestown, Cox was voted the GPAC Defensive Player of the Week. He also recorded 2.5 tackles for loss in the win over Briar Cliff.
Safety Peyton Mitchell has landed on the All-GPAC second team for a third year in a row. The native of Waverly, Kan., played through injury this season and finished with 17 tackles, three interceptions, two pass breakups, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. All three of his picks came in the victory over Midland. As a result, Mitchell was named the GPAC Defensive Player of the Week. Initially a receiver, Mitchell has amassed 18 pass breakups and eight interceptions in his career at Concordia.
Jorge Ochoa teamed up with Cox and Napier on an experienced and ultra-productive linebacker core. The native of Beaumont, Texas, was tabbed Honorable Mention All-GPAC after he put up 43 tackles, four tackles for loss, two interceptions, 1.5 sacks and two pass breakups this fall. A major highlight for Ochoa this season was his 23-yard pick-six that proved to be the game winner versus Doane. Ochoa garnered GPAC Defensive Player of the Week accolades following that victory.
Finally, Payton Stevens served as a stalwart up front and was also recognized as Honorable Mention All-GPAC. The Polk, Neb., native registered 35 tackles, six tackles for loss, three sack, 3.5 sacks, seven quarterback hurries and two forced fumbles from his defensive end position this season. Stevens enjoyed a particularly impressive performance versus Doane when he piled up 11 tackles and 1.5 sacks and forced a fumble.
Head Coach Patrick Daberkow’s squad concluded the 2021 season on a six-game win streak. The 7-3 overall record marked the program’s top record since 2016. In addition, the Bulldogs defeated Doane, Hastings and Midland in the same season for the first time since 1970.
Napier career honors
· 2021 GPAC Defensive Player of the Year
· AFCA NAIA All-America awards: Second Team (2020); Honorable Mention (2019); Honorable Mention (2018)
· 2018 Associated Press NAIA First Team All-American
· Five-Time First Team All-GPAC (2017-21)
· Two-time Omaha World-Herald All-Nebraska Defensive Honorary Captain (2018, 2019)
· Three-time Omaha World-Herald All-Nebraska First Team (2017, 2018, 2019)
· Four-Time GPAC Defensive Player of the Week
Nov. 18, 2021
2021 CoSIDA Academic All-District Football Teams
SEWARD, Neb. – For the second year in a row, Jonah Weyand has found his way onto the 2021 Academic All-District® Football Team, as selected by College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) and announced on Thursday (Nov. 18). Weyand appeared on the All-District 3 team, which covers the states of Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wisconsin. The Concordia University Football program has landed at least one student-athlete on the all-district teams in each of the past nine years.
The 2021 Academic All-District® Football Teams, selected by CoSIDA, recognize the nation’s top student-athletes for their combined performances athletically and in the classroom. The CoSIDA Academic All-America® program separately recognizes football honorees in four divisions — NAIA, NCAA Division I, NCAA Division II and NCAA Division III.
A First Team All-GPAC running back in 2020, Weyand has led the Bulldogs in rushing in back-to-back years. The Crete High School product rushed for 595 yards and three touchdowns on 143 carries this past season. Weyand rushed for more than 100 yards in each of the final two games of the 2021 season. He ran 625 yards and nine touchdowns the previous year. In his career, Weyand has totaled 1,339 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns. A two-time NAIA Scholar-Athlete, Weyand garnered Academic All-America honors from CoSIDA last season. He majors in Psychology and Strategic Communication.
First-team Academic All-District® honorees advance to the CoSIDA Academic All-America® ballot. First-, second- and third-team Academic All-America® honorees will be announced in mid-December.
Concordia Football All-District Honorees
Mitchell Cherney (2012)
Le’Dontrae Gooden (2016)
Dylan Heithoff (2013)
Hallick Lehmann (*2015, *2016, *2017)
Adam Meirose (2014, 2015)
Aaron Rudloff (2019)
Zac Walter (2018)
Jonah Weyand (*2020, 2021)