DWU’s young secondary looking to avoid mistakes against Concordia todayConcordia football coach Vance Winter saw the first four plays that were run against Dakota Wesleyan University’s defense last week against Dakota State.
By: Luke Hagen, The Daily Republic
Concordia football coach Vance Winter saw the first four plays that were run against Dakota Wesleyan University’s defense last week against Dakota State.
This first series against the Tigers’ defense started with a DSU halfback pass for an 81-yard touchdown on the game’s opening play from scrimmage. The second series DWU forced the Trojans into third-and-7, where they connected on an 82-yard touchdown.
Four plays, 14 points.
“They cleaned things up after that, though,” said Winter, a Miller native whose team hosts DWU at 1 p.m. today in Seward, Neb. “It was a wild start, but they really tightened things up after that.”
Dakota Wesleyan (1-0) and Concordia (0-1) match up for their first Great Plains Athletic Conference games this season. DWU’s defense will look to fix early game mistakes it had last week to start league play off on the right step.
“We’re confident as a defense,” said Matt McManus, a junior safety and team captain who had his first college start last week. “But they’re going to try and get something on us. They saw the film, but I’m confident in our team that we’ll be able to stop it this time.”
McManus, an Alexandria native, was one of three players in the Tigers’ secondary last week to start his first college football game. When Dakota State opened with a pitch to the left that eventually went for seven points, DWU’s secondary looked young.
DWU cornerbacks Josh Thompson and Tanner Munk also had their first college football starts. The lone returner in the secondary is senior safety Dustin Bergmeier, a second-team all-conference selection last year.
After the Tigers gave up 163 yards in the first four plays in less than two minutes, they held Dakota State to 189 yards and scoreless for the remainder of the game.
“I could not have been more proud after that,” Bergmeier said. “We’ve got a lot of young guys on the team and they could have quit, but they didn’t.”
Concordia quarterback Von Thomas, a 6-foot-2 sophomore, will look to exploit DWU’s defense both on the ground and through the air.
He was 15-of-32 for 157 yards and two touchdowns in his team’s season-opening 45-37 loss to No. 23-ranked Benedictine on Aug. 25. Thomas also led his team in rushing with 69 yards on 11 carries with a touchdown.
Thomas’ top two receiving threats were Noah Smith and Colten Quinabo in Concordia’s first game. Smith caught five passes for 71 yards and Quinabo had four catches for 34 yards and a touchdown.
“I’m sure they’re scheming something up that we haven’t seen,” DWU coach Ross Cimpl said. “They’ve had two weeks to prepare for us.”
Winter said his team ran the option last year, but now has more of a balanced attack. He said, although it will be tough, his defense needs to try and shut down DWU quarterback Jon Bane, senior running back Josh Endres and wideout Anthony Muilenburg.
Bane, a junior and third-year starter, recorded 211 passing yards and two touchdowns last week, while Endres ran for 213 yards with three touchdowns on 24 rushes. Cimpl said Muilenburg, who is recovering from ankle surgery but has practiced sparingly since the start of fall camp, will be out for a second straight game.
For the past two years, DWU has had the luxury of playing at home against Concordia. The Tigers won both games handily, taking last year’s contest 40-17 and winning 56-0 in 2010.
“I always look forward to the trips to South Dakota,” Winter said. “But the past two years have not been kind to me. We’re definitely excited to host them and we’re excited to play a high-quality football game.”
Game notes and projected starters:
When/Where: 1 p.m. today in Seward, Neb.
Last meeting: Dakota Wesleyan beat Concordia 41-17 on Sept. 10 at Joe Quintal Field in Mitchell.
Coaches: DWU’s Ross Cimpl, first year; Concordia’s Vance Winter, fourth year.
Forecast: 76 degrees at time of kickoff with winds at 13 mph from the northwest.
Game notes: DWU opened its season with a 40-14 win over Dakota State Saturday at Joe Quintal Field. … This is DWU’s first game on the road this season. … This is both teams’ first Great Plains Athletic Conference game of the season. … Concordia opened its season with a 45-37 loss to No. 23-ranked Benedictine on Aug. 25. … Cimpl said All-American wideout Anthony Muilenburg is out. Muilenburg had surgery on his ankle before the season and did not play against Dakota State. Cimpl said Muilenburg’s status will be determined each week. Cimpl added that his team is pretty healthy besides the absence of Muilenburg, who did not practice Thursday. … This is the 13th meeting between these teams, with Concordia holding a 7-5 advantage in the series. … Concordia coach Vance Winter is a Miller native.
Dakota Wesleyan projected starters
Position: Name, year, height, weight, hometown
QB: Jon Bane, Jr., 6-4, 185, Temple, Texas
HB: Josh Endres, Sr., 6-2, 215, Ethan, S.D.
WR: Arthur Brown, So., 6-1, 200, Rosemead, Calif.
WR: Dimitri Fahey, So., 6-2, 165, Rapid City, S.D.
WR: Mike Brown, Jr., 5-9, 190, Palmdale, Calif.
TE: Trevor Schroeder, Fr., 6-3, 200, Canistota, S.D.
C: Eric Witte, Jr., 6-0, 270, Huron, S.D.
LT: Nathan Little, Sr., 6-3, 290, Aberdeen, S.D.
LG: Kyle Hencke, So., 6-3, 260, Sturgis, S.D.
RG: Skyler Eriksen, Jr., 6-0, 260, Presho, S.D.
RT: Spencer Bloch, So., 6-8, 320, Scotland, S.D.
DL: Eric Gruis, Jr., 6-2, 265, Baltic, S.D.
DL: Matt Tuttle, Jr., 6-2, 290, Ethan, S.D.
DL: Craig Henglefelt, Jr., 6-6, 250, Alexandria, S.D.
LB: Jeff Maassen, So., 6-2, 225, Brandon, S.D.
LB: Mike Barnaud, Sr., 5-10, 220, Belle Fourche, S.D.
LB: Anthony Cervantes, So., 6-1, 210, Burbank, Calif.
LB: Brady Bonte, Fr., 6-2, 205, Garretson, S.D.
DB: Tanner Munk, Fr., 5-10, 160, Dell Rapids, S.D.
DB: Dustin Bergmeier, Sr., 6-0, 190, Omaha, Neb.
DB: Matt McManus, Jr., 6-0, 175, Alexandria, S.D.
DB: Josh Thompson, So., 5-10, 170, Lead, S.D.
K: Dan Porter, Fr., 6-0, 185, Plattsmouth, Neb.
P: Derek Carlson, Sr., 6-4, 205, Sioux Falls, S.D.
Concordia projected starters
Position: Name, year, height, weight, hometown
QB: Von Thomas, So., 6-2, 190, Miami, Fla.
HB: Aaron Gillory, Jr., 5-11, 230, Houston, Texas.
FB: Will Cox, Sr., 6-3, 240, Paducah, Ky.
WR: Colten Quinabo, Sr., 6-0, 190, Wailuku, Hawaii.
WR: Jeff Balz, Sr., 5-11, 180, Elkhorn, Neb.
TE: Jimmie Bunting, Jr., 6-3, 240, Brock, Neb.
C: Dylan Klassen, Jr., 6-1, 275, Humphrey, Neb.
LT: Charlie Oberkrom, So., 6-3, 310, Jefferson City, Mo.
LG: Adam Faulstich, Sr., 6-2, 275, Concordia, Mo.
RG: Josh Powell, So., 6-0, 265, Kennesaw, Neb.
RT: Micah Pomerenke, Sr., 6-3, 270, Seward, Neb.
DL: Michael Voelker, Sr., 6-3, 265, Linn, Kan.
DL: Cody Hawk, Jr., 6-2, 270, Dodge, Neb.
DL: Alex Melius, So., 6-3, 245, Lincoln, Neb.
LB: Tom Malander, Sr., 6-0, 215, Fullerton, Neb.
LB: Dylan Heithoff, Jr., 6-5, 250, Elgin, Neb.
LB: Kyle Little, Sr., 6-2, 235, Brock, Neb.
LB: Langston Jones, Jr., 6-2, 225, Loveland, Colo.
DB: Darnell Woods, Jr., 6-4, 210, Phoenix, Ariz.
DB: Derek Blessing, Jr., 5-11, 205, Ogallala, Neb.
DB: Drew Baxter, Jr., 5-11, 205, Rockwall, Texas.
DB: Ryan Coffey, Jr., 6-0, 190, Columbus, Neb.
K: Kenny Zoeller, Sr., 6-1, 185, Spring, Texas.
P: Joseph Marshall, Jr., 6-0, 195, Malcolm, Neb.