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Sunday Press Recap
A look at what the newspapers are saying about the Cobbers: Fargo Forum
By Heath Hotzler,The Forum
Published Sunday, October 31, 2004
The Concordia football team huddled at midfield for a giant group hug following its game against Augsburg.
“Together we will,” the Cobbers screamed in unison before they dispersed.
Together they did.
Concordia defeated the Auggies 31-6 to earn at least a share of the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference title and a berth in the NCAA Division III playoffs before 2,281 fans Saturday at Jake Christiansen Stadium.
“This is something we have been looking to do for four years,” said Concordia coach Terry Horan, a former standout receiver for the Cobbers. “To continue to climb the mountain every year and have it work out the way it has is incredible.”
The Cobbers (8-0, 7-0) last made the Division III playoffs in 1997 and have not won the conference crown since sharing it with St. John’s in 1995. Concordia’s last outright MIAC title came in 1986, when Horan was a sophomore. The Cobbers can stand alone as conference champions with a win against St. Olaf next week.
“I’m extremely happy for the coaches and the players,” Horan said. “All the hard work has finally paid off. It does not get much better than this.
“But we want to win the title outright.”
The Cobbers almost accomplished that feat Saturday.
St. Olaf handed defending national champion St. John’s its second conference loss of the season with a 21-19 victory.
However, St. Thomas -- which entered the week tied with the Johnnies for second in the conference -- beat Gustavus 10-7 in overtime.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling,” Cobber senior Andrew Passanante said. “We are finally breaking down that big wall in front of us.”
Concordia took a 7-0 lead on a 1-yard run by fullback Ed Oehlers in the first quarter.
Quarterback Brian Schumacher, who threw for 164 yards despite a steady rain and swirling wind, added a pair of touchdown runs in the second quarter to put the Cobbers ahead 21-0 at halftime.
“We don’t fear Schumacher throwing into the wind at all,” Horan said. “I have never seen a quarterback throw into the wind like he does.”
Passanante finished with six receptions for 135 yards. He had catches of 49 and 37 yards in the first half to help set up a pair of Concordia touchdowns.
The Cobber defense stifled the Auggies’ high-powered ground attack.
Augsburg quarterback Marcus LeVesseur, a two-time national wrestling champion, was held to 83 rushing yards on 33 carries.
The Auggies, who entered the game averaging more than 200 rushing yards, had just 96 against the Cobbers.
“Their defense was very fast and very aggressive,” LeVesseur said. “With the field conditions, we thought that might work to our advantage. We thought they might overplay a little.
“But they were very fundamentally sound.”
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