Coach: Tim Mannigel (3-27 in fourth season)
Key game: Aug. 23 vs. North Side: Concordia Lutheran has “won” its season opener just once under Coach Mannigel, and that came via a forfeit in 2010. The Cadets showed improvement last season in notching two victories in the SAC for the first time since 2009. A win in Week 1 over a solid yet rebuilding North Side team would put everyone on notice that Concordia is continuing its upward trend.
Key players: David Morrison, Sr., QB (152-of-325 passing, 1,839 yards, 15 TDs, 15 INTs); Jake Minich, Sr., WR (37 receptions, 364 yards, 5 TDs); Jon Poore, Sr., WR/DB, (4 catches, 118 yards, 27 tackles); Tony Perugini, Sr., OL/LB (48.5 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, 1 sack); Marquis Alexander, Sr., OL/DL (26.5 tackles, 6.5 TFL, 1.5 sacks); Billy Fairfield Sr., OL/LB (57 tackles, 11.5 TFL, 2 sacks); Conner Batchelder, Sr., OL/DL (9.5 tackles).
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Pig says: Remember when former coach Dean Doerffler had the Cadets a consistent threat in 3A for deep runs in the postseason? Concordia Lutheran has been a doormat for SAC teams in recent years, but with a pair of conference wins in 2012, perhaps the Cadets are beginning to turn it around. The offense has proved that it can score points, but if the defense cannot do its job, this will be another long season waiting for basketball to start.