2013-14 Stories of the Year (No. 2): Football advances to NCAA playoffs
MEQUON, Wis. - The 2013-14 athletic year at Concordia University Wisconsin saw many inspirational moments by student-athletes and countless victories on a variety of levels. The initial list of top stories was long, but was eventually narrowed after several difficult decisions (honorable mention and top five).
The list was compiled by the Athletic Communications Department and a committee of coaches, and like all lists is subject to debate. The list of top stories will be revealed over the next six weeks with a story being released each Tuesday.
Football advances to NCAA playoffs
The 2013 season was one to remember for the Concordia University Wisconsin Football program. The Falcons posted an 8-3 record and qualified for the NCAA playoffs for the first time since the 2007 season.
CUW advanced to the playoffs after dominating the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference portion of its schedule. The Falcons posted a perfect 6-0 record in league play, capturing their first NACC title in the six-year history of the league.
A main reason for the Falcons conference success was the play of its offense, led by NACC Player of the Year, junior quarterback Austin Damaschke (Bristol, Wis.). Damaschke and the rest of the offense scored 283 points in conference play and set numerous records along the way. The Falcons had four players named to the First Team All-NACC on the offensive side of the ball with juniors Garrett Wenzelburger (Hartland, Wis.) and Nick Smith (Cudahy, Wis.) and senior Wil Goodman (Waukesha, Wis.) joining Damaschke.
The Falcons also showcased their talents on the defensive side of the ball with three players earning First Team All-NACC honors. Seniors Taylor Witty (Milwaukee, Wis.) and John Palese (West Bend, Wis.) earned first team honors, as did sophomore Luke Scheuerlein (Thiensville, Wis.).
CUW had a few scares en route to its NACC Championship, including the opening conference game of the season against Benedictine. The Falcons trailed 27-21 before Damaschke and the offense went on an eight-play, 82-yard scoring drive, taking a 28-27 advantage with 1:03 left in the game. That win was voted the No. 1 win of the 2013-14 athletics season by CUWFalcons.com.
After that win the CUW offense hit its stride, scoring 45 points or more in the remaining five conference games. The Falcons had a couple of close calls, winning by a touchdown or less against Concordia Chicago and Aurora, but held on in those, finishing off the perfect conference season.
In the playoffs CUW ran into a strong UW-Platteville team, ultimately falling 54-20. Still with several talented players back in the fold, the Falcons look to repeat as NACC champions and make another run to the NCAA playoffs this fall.
Honorable Mention: Lacrosse breaks nearly every record
No. 5: Women's Golf continues recent success
No. 4: Baseball makes run to NACC title game
No. 3: Wrestling sends three to nationals