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1981 Cobber Football

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Football team Shares National Title

Concordia's head football coach, Jim Christopherson, had thought the 1981 season would be one of rebuilding, having lost a number of experienced players  - to graduation.

If it was a "back-to-the drawing board" season  then Christopherson knows how to build a football team in a hurry He coached his players to a 9 0 1 season (8-0 in regular season conference play). The record earned the Cobbers the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) title. This was the first unbeaten season since 1969, the seventh conference title or share of the title in 13 years for Christopherson, and the second outright title.

Concordia clinched the MIAC title with a 17-3 win over Gustavus Adolphus on Nov 14 and advanced to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Division II playoffs for the first time since 1978 and the fourth time overall. The Cobbers won the NAIA Division II title in 1964 and 1978.

In quarterfinal action of the NAIA Division II playoffs with North Dakota College Athletic Conference winner Dickinson State on Nov. 21, the Cobbers tallied a 13-9 win. In semifinal competition, the Cobbers played Westminster College at New Wilmington, Pa., on Dec. 5, winning that contest 23 to 17. The championship game with Austin College will be played at Sherman, Texas, Dec.12.

As a result of the successful season, the Cobbers placed three players each (all seniors from Minnesota) on the offense and defense of the MIAC all-conference team.  Defensive - players named are: linemen Dwight Hintermeister, Rochester,  and David Rosengren, Plymouth; and defensive back Dan Olson from Buffalo Concordia players on the offensive team are linemen Bruce Rimmereid from Brainerd and Robert Vangerud, Roseville; and running back James Klug from Litchfield.

Cobber football team shares national title

In commenting on his team's 11-0-2 overall record, their perfect 8-0 standing in the MIAC and the first undefeated season in his 13 years as football coach, Jim Christopherson credited his team for their discipline in training and what he called a "sixth sense" - an ability to know how to win.

"Whenever we were behind," he explained, "the team did not lose their composure. They maintained their confidence, knowing a win could be salvaged."

The Cobber game in Sherman, Texas, on Dec. 12 with the Austin College Kangaroos for the NAIA Division II football crown is a prime example. When the Kangaroos marched 54 yards for an early 7-0 lead, the Cobbers began demonstrating the kind of adaptability referred to by Christopherson.

A field goal and a 34-yard touchdown pass gave Concordia a slim 10-7 lead. But Austin retaliated by scrambling 77 yards in seven plays to regain the lead, 14-10. An 80-yard drive put the Cobbers in front at halftime 17-14.

Concordia scored their final touchdown of the season in the third quarter to claim a 24-14 lead.  The fourth quarter, however, belonged to the Kangaroos, who rampaged with another 77-yard scoring drive, then tied the game 24-24 when Kangaroo Gene Branum kicked a playoff record 57-yard field goal with just 72 seconds left.

"I couldn't believe that kick," commented Christopherson. "We thought they might fake a field goal and go for a pass. The kick was kind of like a dream. But since the game ended in a tie, it is a compliment for two fine teams. It was a perfect ball game."

Following the championship game, Dwight Hintermeister, tri-captain for the Cobbers from Rochester, Minn., was voted the top defensive player in the game. Jim Klug, Litchfield, Minn., and David Rosengren, Plymouth, Mino., both seniors, were named to the second team NAIA Division II all-American squad. Hintermeister; Dan Olson, Buffalo, Minn.; and Robert Vangerud, Roseville, Minn., all seniors, received honorable mention. Christopherson's record as head football coach at Concordia stands at 96-31-3.

This is the second time Concordia has tied for a national championship. In 1964 the Cobbers tied Sam Houston State College, Huntsville, Texas, 7-7 in the NAIA Division I final. In 1969 the Cobbers lost to Texas A & I University, Kingsville, in the Division I playoffs. Concordia claimed an uncontested title in 1978 by defeating Findlay (Ohio) College 7-0 for Division II championship honors.

On their way to the national contest, Concordia defeated Gustavus Adolphus College 17-3 on Nov.14 to keep their perfect 8-0 record and ensure their seventh MIAC title. In the national quarterfinals, Concordia defeated Dickinson (N.D.) State College 13-9 and upset Westminster College, New Wilmington, Pa., 23-17 in the semifinals before tying Austin College for a share of the national championship.

Concordia was presented with the Theodore Roosevelt Trophy, given annually by the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame to winners of the Division II championship.

Christopherson was named 1981 Coach of the Year.

Hard work on the part of the team members was the key to this year's successful season, according to Christopherson  "As soon as the 1980 season finished all the guys went right to work preparing for this year. My hat is off to those guys, the tri captains and the seniors who provided initiative to the younger players," he said.

Tri captains this year were Rosengren, Hintermeister and Klug. There were no major injuries until midseason when halfbacks Dave Blaske, a sophomore from Princeton, Minn., and Greg Richardson, a sophomore from  South Brunswick, N.J., were lost to the lineup with knee injuries and quarterback Ron Rasmus, a junior from Forest Grove, Ore., was injured. Craig  Samuelson,  a senior from Pelican Rapids, Minn. finished  the season at the quarterback position. Samuelson was the team's 1980 starting quarterback but was replaced by Rasmus when he suffered a broken leg

Two mid-season victories over St. Thomas on Oct 17 and St. John's a week later were the turning point, according to Christopherson. "I knew then we were going to be contenders he said.

Christopherson experienced a personal season highlight during the Cobbers' Nov. 7 game at St. Olaf. During that game, his son Reid, a freshman, went into the game to gain 243 yards, scoring -three touchdowns. With the 42-13 win over St. Olaf, Concordia retained possession of the Norwegian troll - the trophy is awarded to the winner of the "Lefse Bowl."

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1981 Cobber Football Schedule

  1981 Concordia Football

      Opponent           W/L  CC OPP

      Eau Claire, WI      W   23   7

      Moorhead State      T    3   3

     *Hamline University  W   24   6

     *Macalester College  W   47   0

     *Bethel College      W   31  17

     *St. Thomas College  W   17   3

     *St. John's College  W   17   7

     *Augsburg College    W   20  14

     *St. Olaf College    W   42  13

     *Gustavus Adolphus   W   17   3

      Dickinson State     W   13   9

      Westminster         W   23  17

      Austin              T   24  24

    Record: 11-0-2     National Co-Champs

    MIAC Record: 8-0, 1st

    Coach:  Jim Christopherson - voted National

            coach of the year in MIAC and NAIA



      1st Team- Jim Klug, Bob Vangerud, Dwight

                Hintermeister, Bruce Rimmereid,

                Dave Rosengren, Dan Olson

    Outstanding Stats: Second Team selections

      for the NAIA division II All-American

      Team: Jim Klug and Dave Rosengren.

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1981 MIAC Football Race


 SCHOOL            W   L   T

 Concordia         8   0   0

 St. John's        6   2   0

 St. Thomas        6   2   0

 Gustavus          5   3   0

 Augsburg          3   5   0

 St. Olaf          2   6   0

 Hamline           2   6   0

 Bethel            2   6   0

 Macalester        2   6   0

 Concordia - 12th Championship

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1981 Cobber Season Stats

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1981 Cobber Football Roster

 7 SAMUELSON, CRAIG Sr. OB 6'2" 185 Pelican Rapids, MN
 8 FULLER, NEIL So. QB 6'3" 185 Roseburg, OR
 9 CHRISTOPHERSON, REID Fr. RB 6'1" 185 Moorhead. MN
 12 RASMUS, RON Jr. OB 6'1" 185 Forest Grove, OR
 19 RASMUS, BRAD Jr. DB 6'1" 190 Crookston, MN
 20 JORGENSON, RANDY Sr. RB 5'11" 180 Pelican Rapids, MN
 22 OLSON, DAN Sr. SS 5'11" 175 Buffalo, MN
 23 PRATT, JON So. K 6'S" 195 Mayville, ND
 26 MICHAELSON, BOB So. RB 5'10" 185 Lake Park, MN
 27 KUBALL, KENT Fr. DB 5'8" 160 Mapleton, MN
 29 SHELDON, SCOTT So. FS 511" 175 Fargo, ND (North)
 34 DAVIES, MARK Jr. RB 5'10" 183 Crosby-Ironton, MN
 35 ROTTO, NELSON So. FB 6'1" 205 Bemidji, MN
 36 šKLUG, JIM Sr. FB 6'3" 215 Litchfield, MN
 40 ARNDT, KEVIN Jr. LB 6'2" 205 Willmar, MN
 41 REDEMSKE, MARK Sr. FS 6'1" 180 Staples, MN
 42 SOLHEIM, JOHN Jr. CB 6'1" 175 Barnum, MN
 43 *ROSENGREN, DAVE Sr. DE 6'3" 220 St. Louis Park, MN
 44 LORENZ, RICH Sr. CB 5'11" 185 Alexandria, MN
 45 SAMUELSON, PAUL So. CB 5'1O" 165 Minot, ND
 47 BORCHARD, DAVE Jr. CB 5'1O" 187 Redfield, SD
 51 ANDERSON, MARK So. C 6'2" 208 Fargo, ND (North)
 52 PETERSON, BRAD Jr. LB 6'0" 207 Brainerd, MN
 53 BROLSMA, GREG Sr. C 6'0" 220 Dunnell, MN (Sherburn)
 54 KIRKHORN, BRIAN Sr. DE 6'2" 190 Great Falls, MT (Russell)
 56 BURNS, JOHN Sr. LB 6'1" 200 Wadena, MN
 60 LINDAHL, ROGER So. LB 6'2" 210 Belgrade, MN
 61 MERGENS, EARL Jr. DT 6'2" 215 Staples, MN
 62 WANNER, MARK Sr. OG 6'1" 220 Willmar, MN
 63 RIMMEREID, BRUCE Sr. OG 6'0" 220 Brainerd, MN
 66 SCHWARTZ, DAVE Sr. DE 6'1" 206 Billings, MT (Central)
 67 TEELING, JOHN Jr. MG 6'1" 200 Billings, MT (West)
 68 GADBERRY, JON So. OG 5'11" 180 Moorhead, MN
 69 GILBERT, GARY Jr. OG 6'0" 212 Hermantown, MN
 70 TOMMERDAHL, MARK Jr. OT 6'3" 230 Fergus Falls, MN
 71 McMILLAN, DOUG Jr. DT 6'2" 225 Absarokee, MT
 73 HINTERMEISTER, DWIGHT Sr. MG 6'1" 225 Rochester, MN (Mayo)
 74 WINTER, BRUCE Fr. DT 6'3" 205 Fargo, ND (South)
 75 LAHREN, KRIS So. OT 6'2" 225 Fargo, ND (North)
 76 CRUM, LEE Fr. OG 6'2" 220 Grand Forks (Hettinger)
 78 VANGERUD, BOB Sr. OT 6'2" 225 Roseville, MN
 79 MERGENS, MIKE Fr. OT 6'S" 221 Staples, MN
 80 SIMMONS, CRAIG So. TE 6'3" 205 Fertile, MN
 82 SHEPLEY, TOM So. WR 6'1" 190 Redwood Falls, MN
 83  BERGLUND, DOUG Sr. K 6'3" 185 Carrington, ND
 85 ROEN, DAVE Jr. DE 6'3" 215 Lake Park, MN
 86 HOFSTEDT, MITCH Jr. TE 6'2" 215 St. Louis Park, MN
 88 ANDERSON, DAVE Jr. WR 6'2" 182 Rugby, ND
 89 GOTTA, JOE Jr. WR 6'2" 178 Moorhead, MN
 * Captains

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1981 Box Scores


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