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Sept. 21 - Concordia - 35 vs. Bethel - 14

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The News
2002 Concordia Football at Bethel
Saturday, September 21, 1:00 
Concordia 35
Bethel 14

Recap: (Game Recap by Bethel SID)
Arden Hills, MN - Despite a Bethel touchdown in the closing minute of the game, Concordia proved to be too much for the Royals, as they fell to the Cobbers 35-14 on Saturday for their third consecutive loss to begin the season. The Cobbers capitalized on six interceptions on the day thrown by senior quarterback Tom Lachermeier (Maple Plain, Minn.), in for injured quarterback Scott Kirchoff (Hutchinson, Minn.).

Leading the Cobber offense were quarterback Ryan Hebrink (Jr., Sacred Heart, Minn.) and running back Robert Clark (Jr., Seeley Lake, Mont.) who combined for three touchdowns. Concordia rushed for 127 yards, compared to 36 by the Royals. 

Bethel wide receiver John Kilde (Fergus Falls, Minn.) provided one of the afternoon's few highlights with a 91-yard punt return for a touchdown in the first quarter. The Royals then went two quarters without scoring. As the clock ran out in the fourth quarter, Lachermeier hit senior wide receiver Joel Olson (Becker, Minn.) with a 16-yard touchdown pass.

Concordia plays Carlton College next Saturday at home.

The Teams
Athletics CC | Opp |
FB CC | Opp |
School Facts CC | Opp |
Team Facts CC | Opp |
Rosters CC | Opp |
Depth Chart CC | Opp |
Series CC 19-5 |
Last Year Beth 48-14 |
'02 Schedule CC | Opp |
'01 Rec CC 4-5, 5-5 |
'01 Rec Beth 8-1, 9-2 |
Coaches CC | Opp |
'01 Stats CC | Opp |
'02 Stats CC | Opp |
'02 Starters CC | Opp |
History CC | Opp |
| MIAC Race '02 | '01 |
Box Scores |
| 2001 | 2000
| 1999 | 1998 | 1997
| 1996 | 1995 | 1994
| 1993 | 1992 | 1991
The Setting
Sept. 21, 2002, 1:00
at Bethel
Broadcast Info:
- KVOX AM 1280 
    - Media - Links |
Contact: |
Cord SID Jim Cella
218 299-3194|
Bethel SID Greg Peterson

Game Summary -
Game Summary from College Sporting News
Written by Rich Mies
The second week of league play for the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference was highlighted by the reemergence of Concordia as a legitimate threat to win the league crown. Always competitive, the Cobbers last captured the MIAC title in 1995 (shared with Saint John’s). They also shared the championship in 1990 (with St, Thomas) and 1988 (with Hamline). Concordia’s last out-right title came in 1986, when they rolled through the MIAC unblemished. If Saturday’s game at Bethel is any indication, the Cobbers might want to consider finding a suitable place to display the championship hardware. Concordia totally shut down Bethel’s offense, forcing eight turnovers en route to a 35-14 thrashing of the two-time defending champs.

“We knew we were in for a tough game. We knew we’d have a big challenge in stopping [Mike] Johnson. It is a credit to our defensive coaches and players for the job they did,” said Concordia coach Terry Horan afterwards. “Our defense played hungry, and were playmakers. I’m proud of our kids, it was a great win for our program. We really worked hard, and our defense made it happen, forcing turnovers.”

Turnovers were one of the keys to the game. The Cobber defense forced eight Royal turnovers—six interceptions and two lost fumbles—while the Concordia offense executed flawlessly. The game’s tone was set on the third play when Josh Dietz picked off an errant pass by Tom Lachenmeier and ran it back 28 yards for a touchdown. Lachenmeier, who filled in for the injured Scott Kirchoff, ended up 14-of29 for the day, but was picked off five more times. The Cobber defense applied pressure on all of his passes, forced Lachenmeier out of the pocket half a dozen times and sacked him four times.

Leading the way for the Cobber “D” was Josh Vickerman, who hauled in two of the interceptions and recorded three solo tackles. Vickerman, who missed the 2001 season with a knee injury, showed he is back and in top form. “This was a big win for us. We knew they’d come out tough, especially after losing their first two games,” stated Vickerman. “We knew we had to shut their running game down, which we did. Once we did that, it set up opportunities for us that we took advantage of.”

That is exactly what happened on Bethel’s second possession. Two running plays resulted in a net loss of one yard. On third down, Lachenmeier dropped back to pass. Vickerman read the route beautifully and picked off the pass, returning it 19 yards to the Royals 28. Four plays later, quarterback Ryan Hebrink scampered in from the 8, and it was suddenly 13-0 Concordia.

One of the highlights of the game for Bethel was John Kilde’s return of the ensuing kickoff. Fielding the ball on the Royal 9-yard line, Kilde sprinted up field, for a 91-yard touchdown, pulling Bethel within striking distance, 13-7.

Once again, the Concordia defense stymied the Royal offense, setting up excellent field position at the Bethel 37. Two plays later, Hebrink kept the ball off the option and raced 34 yards for the score. With the successful two-point conversion, the Cobbers were up 21-7. “The defense did a great job getting us good field position all day,” commented Hebrink. “It set up our running game, and allowed us to use our play-action plays. We were able to execute them well; the offensive line did a great job. Our defense kept making the big plays for us.”

The Cobbers managed the clock well, eating up six minutes on a 13 play, 71-yard march that ended with a Bobby Clark 5-yard touchdown run, making it 28-7, which held till the fourth quarter when Hebrink hit Jake Olson for a 46-yard scoring strike, putting the game out of reach at 35-7. The Royals refused to fold, however. Taking possession with 2”43 left, they finally got their offense clicking. Lachenmeier was 4-for-4, including a 39-yard strike to Kilde that set up the game’s final play, a 16-yard touchdown pass to Joel Olson at the buzzer.

Bethel coach Steve Johnson was upbeat afterwards. “We’re discouraged, but we’re not destroyed. We’re really beat up, with one injury on top of another. Three losses puts a pall over our team, but we have confidence that we can bounce back. I was really pleased with our defense; we put them in some tough situations and they held well. Concordia is a good team; they are very physical, particularly up front. We’re faced with adversity, but we will just have to keep on pulling and going and things will hopefully work out for us.”

Bethel running back Mike Johnson was discouraged. Last year, Johnson led the MIAC in rushing and was the league’s MVP. The Cobbers limited him to 41 yards on 13 carries. “Concordia’s defense is always tough, and today was no exception,” said Johnson. “They looked good. They pressured us from the early going, and that was a key for them. I’m not getting past the linemen, into the linebackers like I want to. It’s so frustrating. But we’re playing with 6 of 11 guys on offense injured, which makes it harder. Hopefully, things will improve for us next week and beyond.”

Hebrink was 8-of-11 in the air, for 105 yards and the one touchdown. He also gained 53 yards rushing. Clark was the Cobbers’ workhorse, carrying the ball 20 times for 46 yards. Jeremy Hinderks racked up 48 yards rushing for Concordia. Derek Fisher, Zach Turpin and Scott Belseth added interceptions for the Cobbers. With the win, Concordia improves to 2-0 in MIAC play, and 2-1 overall. They are tied for first with St. Olaf and St. Thomas. Next up for the Cobbers is a home game with Carleton.

The loss dropped the Royals to 0-2 in league play, 0-3 overall. Bethel hosts Hamline next weekend as part of their Homecoming activities.

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