1997 Cobber Football 

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Cobber Football Opponent - Carleton 
2:00 Friday, Nov. 7, Metrodome in Minneapolis  

11/8/97 Forum Story on Win over Carleton and End of Season  

11/7/97  Concordia wins 39-10 over Carleton in Metrodome to finish regular season 8-2, second in MIAC 

Concordia traded blows early with Carleton today before jumping out to a 33-10 lead at the half and then cruising to 39-10 win in their season finale. The win gave the Cobbers an 8-2 season record and  a tie for second in the MIAC race at 7-2

Augsburg's 56-22 win over bethel tonight prevented a share of the MIAC title for the Cobbers. 

Concordia's win today left Carleton at 1-8 iun the MIAC, 2-8 overall. See box score for game details. 

Game story by Eric Sieger, Carleton SID 


        Dan Steinbeisser and Len Crouse keyed a Cobber rushing attack that rolled up 345 yards as Concordia defeated Carleton 39-10 Friday afternoon in the Metrodome as part of the MIAC Showcase to end the season. 
        Concordia (8-2, 7-2 MIAC) rushed 56 times on the evening, as Steinbeisser had 147 yards on 22 carries and one touchdown while Crouse carried 20 times for 127 yards and two touchdowns. Cobber quarterback Ethan Pole also gained 52 yards on the day, finishing with 32 net yards after taking a negative 20 yards on two sacks. Pole was also five of nine passing for 133 yards and two touchdowns, both to Mike Rice. 
        Carleton (2-8, 1-8) opened the scoring on their second drive of the game. Going 81 yards on 13 plays, the Knights marched all the way down to the Cobber two-yard line. Two running plays netted minus-one yard, and an incomplete pass forced James Adducci (Soph./DeKalb, Ill) to come in and boot a 20-yard field goal, giving Carleton the lead 3-0. The Cobbers answered two plays later, as Pole and Rice hooked up for a 62-yard scoring play. The ensuing kickoff was taken by Carleton's Dan Reider (Fy./Blaine, Minn.) at his own 13-yard line. He cut back against the grain, found a hole and was off to the races for an 87-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. 
       Again, the Cobbers responded. Marching 63 yards on nine plays, all on the ground, Steinbeisser scored his lone touchdown of the game from three yards. Two drives later the Cobbers mounted another drive that culminated in Crouse's first score of the day, this one from one-yard. The Cobbers moved exclusively on the ground.Carleton's Matt Maas (Sr./Faribault, Minn.) forced a Steinbeisser fumble, but an alert Chris Howell recovered the ball for Concordia, keeping the drive alive. The Cobbers next drive produced another touchdown by Crouse from seven yards, set up by Pole's 50- yard pass to Howell. The Cobbers added their fifth score of the afternoon as Pole found Rice for a 12-yard scoring strike with only 36 seconds remaining in the half. 
        The third quarter was scoreless, as neither team threatened the other's end zone. At the end of the quarter, the Knights began a drive that went into the fourth period, going 77 yards on 15 plays, keyed by two C.G. Shoap (Sr./Blaine, Minn.) completions on third-and-long. After getting inside the ten-yard line, three passes and one run netted four yards, and the Knights' hope of a comeback ended as they turned the ball over on downs. The Cobbers marched to their final touchdown on the following drive, going 97 yards in nine plays, all on the ground, capped by Pole's 14-yard scamper. Carleton made one last-ditch effort, but Shoap's pass in the end zone for Eric Vincent (Jr./Hibbing, Minn.) was intercepted and Concordia ran out the clock for its eighth win of the year. 
        Individually, Carleton was led by Skye Flanagan's (Sr./Hamilton, Mont.) 89 yards on 27 carries, giving him 1,066 yards on the year. He is the third player in school history to rush for over 1,000 yards in a single season. Shoap ended a solid career by going 12 of 29 for 157 yards and one 
interception. Senior Steve Gorka (Northfield, Minn.) caught seven passes for 79 yards to end his career, and became one of the few players in school history to start 40 games in a career. Mike Turpin (Jr./Bettendorf, Iowa/Assumption) added four catches for 47 yards. Seniors Shawn Granner (St. Louis Park, Minn./Hopkins) and Matt Hodges (Blaine, Minn.) capped off superb senior seasons by recording 13 tackles each. J.J. Franz (Northfield, Minn.) showed the future of Carleton football, as the first-year player totaled seven tackles, two for losses, while adding two sacks. Josh Carter (Jr./St. Louis/Parkway Central) added eight collections, while Ben Miller (Soph./Ely, Minn.) had six stops for the Knights. 

The Carleton Football Home Pages are very complete. Check them out for Carleton info.  

11/2 Concordia, 7-2 overall, 6-2 in the MIAC, takes on a 2-7 Carleton team Friday in the Metrodome at 2:00 that is 1-7 in the MIAC and has struggled mightily this year. Concordia needs a win and a loss by Augsburg to Bethel later that day to claim a share of the MIAC title.  The Cobbers also are playing for an outside shot at the NCAA playoffs. See the Nov. 3 Regional Poll 
11/3 Carleton Football Press Release 
by Eric Sieger, Carleton SID 

Coaching records 
Jim Christopherson is 203-84-7 in his 29th season at Concordia-Moorhead 
Carleton's Bob Sullivan is 97-88 in his 19th season. 

Concordia last week 
The Cobbers rebounded after two tough losses to pound a hot Hamline team 45-19. Running back Dan Steinbeisser returned from a knee injury that kept him out the past two weeks to rush 17 times for 65 yards and two touchdowns, while quarterback Ethan Pole was 14 of 18 for 224 yards and two scores. The Cobbers gained an amazing 7.4 yards per play. The win kept the Cobbers MIAC title hopes alive, as well as their faint NCAA playoff hopes. They need a win over Carleton and then a Bethel win over Augsburg to share the MIAC title three ways. 

Concordia vs. Carleton 
The Cobbers lead the series between the two schools 10-5-0. The two head coaches, Christopherson and Sullivan, have been around for the last 14 of those match-ups, with Christopherson winning ten of them and Sullivan taking four contests. The Cobbers currently own a four-game winning streak over Carleton, including last year's 36-26 win. The last time the Knights beat Concordia was in 1992 when they beat the Cobbers 26-24 at Laird Stadium. Carleton would go on to win the MIAC title that year. 


        Trailing only 3-0 with only 21 seconds remaining in the half, the demons that have tormented Carleton all season long reared their ugly head once more and turned the momentum. 
        Attempting to simply run out the clock, Carleton fumbled the ball and when Gustavus's Drew Quitschau recovered it at the Carleton 44-yard line, there was a feeling of 'here we go again'. Following the script perfectly, Gustavus's Bob Southworth connected on two passes, the second a 30-yard touchdown to wide receiver Chris Swansson, and with only one second remaining in the half, Carleton saw a seemingly close game shift - and not in their favor. "It should have been 7-3 at half time," said head coach Bob Sullivan. The Knights blew a golden scoring opportunity early in the first half when a halfback option pass from Skye Flanagan (Sr./Hamilton, Mont.) to a wide open Steve Gorka (Sr./Northfield, Minn.) was dropped. Gorka had no one between him and the end zone, but uncharacteristically muffed the catch. 
        The momentum stayed squarely on the home team's side in the second half. After Carleton took the opening kickoff and drove to midfield, another fumble recovery by Quitschau put Gustavus back in business in Carleton territory. Six plays later, Southworth rushed for the first of his two rushing scores, and Carleton was in a 17-0 hole. 
        The Knights were able to respond on the following drive, as C.G. Shoap (Sr./Blaine, Minn.) hit Steve Gorka (Sr./Northfield, Minn.) for a 
39-yard pickup. After two incompletions and a two-yard run by Shoap, the Knights face a fourth down and eight yards to go. They converted, as Shoap hooked up with Gorka for 11 yards down to the Gustavus 11-yard line. After Skye Flanagan (Sr./Hamilton, Mont.) picked up nine yards on two carries. Dan Reider (Fy./Blaine, Minn.) bullied in from two yards out, cutting the deficit to 17-6 after the PAT was blocked by Gustavus. But that would be the extent of Carleton's scoring the rest of the rainy afternoon. The next five drives would produce 27 points for Gustavus, keyed by three Carleton interceptions. 
        The game started out on a positive note for the Knights. With the wind blowing strongly from the north end zone, the early part of the game was a battle of field position, with Carleton firmly in control. A Flanagan 55-yard punt backed the Gusties up to their own seven-yard line, and after gaining a first down, they were forced to punt the ball back to Carleton. The Knights were also able to withstand two missed field goal attempts by Ryan Boutwell of Gustavus, who leads the nation in field goals made. His first attempt from 41 yards into a strong wind was well short, and an attempt early in the second quarter from 24 yards hit the right upright, keeping the game scoreless at that point.  "They forced out of our game plan," said Sullivan. "The second half was the worst half of the year - we 
lost our poise in the third quarter." 
        The Knights offense was ineffective all day, managing to get into Gustavus territory only twice outside of their touchdown drive. Carleton was plagued by injuries to their starting running backs, as Flanagan and Jeff Gunia (Sr./Blaine, Minn.) saw limited action. Gunia played only one 
down, while Flanagan was in and out of the ball game all afternoon with injuries. He carried the ball only 15 times for 64 yards. Gorka played well, catching six passes for 91 yards. The only other bright spot was Shoap passing Ted Kluender in the Carleton record book for most passing yards in a career. Shoap's 124 yards gave him 5,113 yards for his career, and also made him the 25th quarterback in Minnesota collegiate history to surpass the 5,000-yard barrier. Josh Carter (Jr./St. Louis/Parkway Central) led the Carleton defense with 19 tackles, a season and team high. 


        Carleton ends its 1997 season by facing the Concordia Cobbers in 
the Metrodome this Friday. The Cobbers enter the game at 6-2 in the MIAC, 7-2 overall. Concordia is coming off a 45-19 blowout of Hamline University. 
        "Physically, they're the biggest and strongest team in the league,"  Sullivan pointed out. "They're loaded with big, tall people." 
        In Saturday's win, quarterback Ethan Pole had his best game passing the football in his career. Pole went 14 of 18 for 224 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions. Senior running back Dan Steinbeisser returned from a knee injury that kept him out the past two weeks to rush 17 times for 65 yards and two touchdowns while catching three passes for 37 yards. 
        The Cobbers have had an up-and-down season. Following a big win over the University of St. Thomas, it appeared that they were the team to beat for the conference title. St. John's and Augsburg took that to heart, hanging consecutive defeats on the Cobbers and ending their hopes of winning the conference crown outright and advancing to the NCAA playoffs. 
        The Cobbers rely on a ball-control offense and stingy defense. The Cobbers have allowed only 9.6 points per game, and have out-rushed their opposition by an average of 108 yards pre game. Their leading rusher is Steinbeisser, who has run for 690 yards and six touchdowns in only seven games. First-year player Len Crouse filled in nicely when Steinbeisser was injured, and has 378 yards and three touchdowns this season. Pole is an efficient quarterback, throwing for 1,286 yards and completing 54 percent of his passes. He is also a dangerous running threat, carrying 83 times for 181 yards and four touchdowns. His favorite targets are Mike Rice and Tory Langemo. Rice has 24 receptions for 451 yards and two touchdowns, while Langemo has caught 23 balls for 361 yards and three touchdowns.  

Senior linebacker Ryan Sannes spearheads the defense with 86 tackles, four sacks and six pass break-ups. Senior defensive end Jeff Groner anchors the defensive line, collecting 49 tackles and seven sacks. Senior strong safety Eric Kragel patrols the secondary, gathering three interceptions and 20 tackles. Junior defensive end Lance Larson leads the team with eight sacks. 
        "We match up well with them, for whatever reason," Sullivan said. "But we have to play better, especially on offense." He went on to say that 
the Cobbers are not a complex team, but line up with a very simple game plan. "They don't surprise you. They say we're going to do this, and try to stop us. They're a class program - well-coached, solid and no mistakes." 
The Knights will probably have to play without the services of Gunia, who has neck and wrist injuries, and Matt Mass (Sr./Faribault, Minn.) who suffered a partially dislocated shoulder. Gorka and Flanagan, who suffered concussions against Gustavus, are expected to start. 

Carleton's preseason Preview 

It's safe to say that the Carleton Knights, along with spending a lot of time in the weight room, used the off-season to search for a rabbit's foot or a lucky horseshoe. The Knights suffered two painful one-point losses early on in the '96 season which set the tone for the rest of the year. 

According to head coach Bob Sullivan, in his 18th year, the 1996 Knights had "zero luck". Carleton's missed extra-point conversion in the final seconds in a 28-27 loss to Bethel and an unsuccessful two-point conversion attempt in a 55-54 loss to St. Thomas were the prime examples of a disappointing campaign. 

With the return of its core offensive skill players and a solid nucleus on defense, Carleton figures to be in the hunt for the conference crown in 1997. The offense will rely on the arm of C.G. Shoap, legs of Skye Flanagan and hands of Steve Gorka. Tim Moran and Chuck Van Nostrand provide strength up front on offense. The defensive line should also be strong with all four defensive linemen back. The Knights need to replace their entire starting linebacker corps from 1996, though. A critical three week stretch in the schedule, beginning with Bethel on Sept. 20th, then at St. Thomas and finally home against St. John's is crucial for Carleton's championship hopes. 

Carleton returns seven starters on offense (28.0 ppg/441.0 ypg) and six on defense (29.11 ppg/381.67 ypg). 

Coach Sullivan believes that if a team can "beat St. John's and Concordia", they'll win the title and if they split, that team will be in the hunt.

Cobbers on  

Box Scores  
| 1997
| 1996 | 1995 
| 1994 | 1993 
| 1992 | 1991 |  
| 1990 
Metrodome press box No. 612-677-1636 

 Broadcast Info: 
- 1280 AM Radio, Larry Knutson with play by play and Craig Samuelson with color commentary. 
Pregame show begins at 1:40. 

- The game will also be broadcast live in Southern Minnesota by by KYMN Radio 
1080 AM, beginning at approximately 1:45 p.m.