Updated: December 2, 2012 2:13PM
1 p.m. Saturday
at Vago Field
Last week: Concordia defeated Rockford College 40-3; Aurora University defeated Lakeland 56-17.
Concordia outlook: The Falcons (5-3) are 4-1 in the Northern Athletics Conference and still have a chance to win the conference title. Two of Concordia’s three losses are by a combined seven points.
Quarterback Austin Damaschke loves to put the ball in the air and he’s good at it. Damaschke has completed 161 of 253 passes for 1,846 yards and 19 touchdowns with only five interceptions.
His top target is sophomore Garrett Wenzelburger who has caught 53 passes for 588 yards and seven TDs.
The Falcons will have to play pass defense since AU’s Jimmy Bevell is close to Damaschke with 132 completions in 218 attempts for 1,797 yards and 20 TDs, and Bevell isn’t afraid to throw to a list of at least six receivers.
The Falcons haven’t been able to run the ball much while Spartans have, at times, an excellent running game behind senior Brandon Trujillo.
AU outlook: The Spartans (4-4, 3-2) are definitely playing better than most people thought when the year started. The difference has been the improved blocking of the offensive line of tackles Jared Hilton and Ricky Retzinger, guards Zach Trisilla and Doug Ingold and center Joe McClaire.
“Coach (Jake) Topp has done a great job, not only in terms of technique, but in toughness,” AU head coach Mark Walsh said.
The rest of the coaching staff — defensive coordinator Luke Cutkomp, offensive coordinator Matt Kalb, special teams coach Brandon Sturman, defensive backs coaches Spenser Adams and Rich Swann, running backs coach Ryne Reder, wide receivers coach Macey Brooks, offensive line coach Tim Staffeldt, kicker coach Ryan Subick and offensive assistant Spencer Morrissey have also been keys to the success.
The young defense has battled through a ton of nagging injuries.
Quote: “Our theme all along has been it’s not how you start but how you finish,” Walsh said.
Next week: The Spartans close out the season when they travel to Rockford for a 1 p.m. kickoff.
— Bill Kindt