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1997 Cobber Football Preview 8/17/97

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Pre Season Preview: 8/17/97

The 1997 Cobbers are coming off a 6-4 season, 6-3 and 4th pace in the MIAC. Cobber head coach Jim Christopherson will begin his 29th season with a 196-86-7 record

The Cobbers open September 6th, hosting the Crystal Bowl against visiting Moorhead State.

The Offense:
Good News: Quarterback, top receiver, and most of a good offensive line are back.
Questions: Cobbers without top three rushers lost to graduation.

Christopherson will begin the 1997 season with  his '96 starting quarterback, junior Ethan Pole, and two-time All-MIAC receiver and 1996 Cobber MVP Tory Langemo back.

Langemo led the '96 Cobbers with 943 yards on 44 catches and 577 yards on kick returns.  Langemo, an All-America candidate,  is one of the most dangerous receivers in the MIAC. He was second in the MIAC in receiving yardage in 1996. He goes into the 1997 season with 2002 career receiving yards. Tory, in his 4th year as a starter,  is also an excellent punt and kick-off return man.

Pole split starting quarterback duties early in his sophomore year and then emerged as the starting quarterback.  In ten games and seven starts he completed 101 of 187 passes (54%) for 13 TDs. He was 30th in the nation in NCAA Division III passing efficiancy (136.8) .   Senior quarterback Troy Wanless  also available as a very capable backup.
 
The Cobbers also return the entire starting offensive interior line with LT 72 Noah Caron (Sr, 6-6, 280), LG 64 Tom Fuchs (Sr, 6-3, 250), C  67 Bob Zacher (Jr, 6-1, 220), RG 66 Jed Seeger (Sr, 6-3, 265),  and RT 79 Abe Hinderaker (Sr, 6-4, 285) all back. That line helped the Cobbers finish second in the league rushing stats in 1996 with 203 yards per game. Caron earned second team All-MIAC Honors. Seeger is a 4-year starter and team captain.

The Cobbers did lose tight end Nathan Merseth (59 career catches and 8 TDs) to graduation. But last year's freshman MVP,  Mike Rydell (TE, So, 6-4, 215, Bismarck ND) looks to be a capable replacement there.

Top Three rushers missing:

The Cobbers graduated two-time All-MIAC first-team halfback Eli Schuff, (1995 MIAC rushing leader, third in 1996 with 960 yards, 2,331 career yards).  They also graduated  the potent fullback tandem of  Mike Halvorson and Michael Flinn who combined for 618 yards and 8 TDs in 1996.

Pole is the top returning rusher with 95 yards last year on 71 carries. Senior Dan Steinbeisser , a backup halfback last year, has the most experience of any of the returning running backs. He had 58 yards on 19 carries in 1996.
 

The Defense:

The Cobbers return two 1996 second team All-MIAC honorees on defense, linebacker Ryan Sannes ('98, Breckenridge) and defensive lineman Jeff Gronner ('98, Underwood). They also return a top linebacker in Craig Gilbert.

Gilbert, a senior from Belgrade MT, was leading the Cobbers in tackles through three games last year before a knee injury ended his season. Sannes, a 1997 team captain,  led the 1996 Cobbers in tackles with 72. Gronner was second in tackles with 66.

The Cobbers graduated 1996 All-MIAC first-team defensive tackle Jason Caron (213 career tackles, 22 sacks) and  second team All-MIAC defensive back  Tim Aadland .

Graduation losses in the defensive line present the most serious questions in the defense for coach Christopherson . In addition to Caron , the Cobbers graduated LE  Nate Prosser, DT Nathan Quale, and DT Jerid Shoeck .  Part time starter  Jon Jasken (DE, Sr, 6-3, 220,  Moorhead) is the most experienced defensive lineman.

The Kicking Game:
Except for the graduated Eli Schuff, who handled some of the kick returning in 1996, the entire cobber kicking game is back.

The Cobbers return  punter-kicker  Clayton Horgen (So, 6-2, 230, Fergus Falls) who had a 36.4 punting average, made 25 of 28 on PATs and two field goals.  Langemo returns as the top return man.

1997 Cobber Football Quick Facts
Coach: Jim Christopherson, 29th Year
Record: 196-82-7

1996:6-4 overall, 6-3 MIAC, 4th Place
1997 Schedule: 10 games,
Open Sept. 6 Home vs Moorhead St.
1997 Captains:
SLB 80 Ryan Sannes Sr, 6-2, 210
RG 66 Jed Seeger Sr, 6-3, 265

Returning Starters:Eleven
  Offense:Seven
  Defense:Six
  Kicking Game: six of seven

Concordia-Moorhead Quick Facts 



    Location : Moorhead, MN 

    Founded : 1891 

    Enrollment: 2970 

    President : Dr. Paul Dovre 

    AD : Dr. Armin Pipho 

    Phone : 218-299-4434 

    SID : Jerry Pyle 

    SID Phone : (218) 299-3194 

    Fax No. : (218) 299-4189 

    Conference: MIAC, 

    Minnesota Intercollegiate 

     Athletic Conference 

    NCAA : Division III 

    Team Name : Cobbers 

    Colors : Maroon and Gold 

    Logo: The Chicago "C"
Returning Starters on Offense:

QB 13 Ethan Pole  Jr, 6-2, 190

Slt 8 Tory Langemo Sr, 5-11, 188

LT 72 Noah Caron Sr, 6-6, 280

LG 64 Tom Fuchs Sr, 6-3, 250, 

C  67 Bob Zacher Jr, 6-1, 220,

RG 66 Jed Seeger Sr, 6-3, 265

RT 79 Abe Hinderaker Sr, 6-4, 285
Returning Starters on Defense

LE  88 Jon Jasken Sr, 6-3, 220

RE  97 Jeff Gronner Sr, 6-4, 235

SLB 80 Ryan Sannes Sr, 6-2, 210

FS   5 Eric Stenehjem Sr, 6-0, 165

LB  40 Craig Gilbert, Sr, 6-2, 215

CB   9 Jarad Ziebarth Jr, 5-10 175
Kicking Game
P/K  90 Clayton Horgen So, 6-2, 230
PTSN 32 Aaron Boll Sr, 6-0, 200
FGSN 67 Bob Zacher Sr, 6-1, 220
H    43 Jeremy Zirbes Sr, 5-9, 180
PR    8 Tory Langemo Sr, 5-11, 188
KR    8 Tory Langemo Sr, 5-11, 188


1997 Cobber Football Schedule

Click School name for box scores, series records, links and previews
H/A Date   Opponent    Time

 H   9/6    Moorhead St 1:35 Sat Crystal Bowl  

 H   9/13   Gustavus    1:00 Sat 

   A 9/20   St. Olaf    1:00 Sat Lefse Bowl 

   A 9/27   Macalaster  1:00 Sat 

 H   10/4   Bethel      1:00 Sat Homecoming

   A 10/11  St. Thomas  1:00 Sat 

 H   10/18  St. John's  1:00 Sat 

   A 10/25  Augsburg    1:00 Sat 

 H   11/1   Hamline     Noon Sat @ Fargodome   

   A 11/7   Carleton    Metrodome 2:00
1997 Cobber Football Junior Varsity Schedule

H   9/7   Moorhead St.  2:00 Sun
H   9/14  UM-Crookston  2:00 Sun
H   10/5  Jamestown     2:00 Sun
  A 10/12 UM-Crookston  2:00 Sun
  A 11/2  Moorhead St.  2:00 Sun


1996 MIAC Race - Final


Click School Name to see their football Homepage

  11/30/96    MIAC   Season

 St. John's   9-0   11-1

 Bethel       8-1    9-1

 St. Thomas   7-2    8-2

 Concordia    6-3    6-4

 Carleton     4-5    5-5

 Hamline      4-5    5-5

 Augsburg     2-7    3-7

 Gustavus     2-7    2-8

 Macalester   2-7    3-7

 St. Olaf     1-8    2-8



See 1996 MIAC Schedule and results
1996 Cobber Football 



 A 9/7   Moorhead St. L 14-31 Crystal Bowl

 A 9/14  Gustavus     W 31-6   

H  9/21  St. Olaf     W 20-7  

H  9/28  Macalester   W 34-7   

 A 10/5  Bethel       L  7-41  

H  10/12 St. Thomas   L 24-42 

 A 10/19 St. John's   L 34-39 

H  10/26 Augsburg     W 30-14 

 A 11/2  Hamline      W 27-26 

 N 11/9  Carleton     W 36-26 

Record: 6-3 MIAC, 6-4 Overall
Football Home Page 1997 Football

See Also:
- Fargo Forum 8/20/97 Preview by Eric Peterson
- Fargo Forum 8/20/97 Article by Mike McFeely on Dale Hertel
- WDAY TV News Script 8/20/97 on Cobber Football
 
 

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