#11 - 1977 - Abilene Christian
It appeared that the
Wildcats might be in a rebuilding mode, coming off a 9-2 season and losing
all-time greats Wilbert Montgomery, Johnny Perkins and Ova Johansson to the
NFL. But, ACU opened the season with 4
straight wins before ending Texas A&I's 42 game
winning streak with a 25-25 tie in an LSC
classic. They would lose the following
week 14-21 to Angelo State, before taking the next 7 games
and winning their second NAIA title in 5
years. ACU outscored their opponents
405-210, and won their two playoff games by a combined
score of 59-14, beating Wisconsin-Stevens
Point 35-7 and Southwestern Oklahoma 24-7.
QB John Mayes threw for 2,539 yards and
15 TDs in his first year as a starter.
His leading WR was Cleotha Montgomeray,
who caught 57 passes for 1,168 yards
and 10 TDs.
Kelly Kent took over for Wilbert Montgomery at RB
and rushed for a team record (until 2001) 1,184 yards and 14 TDs.
All-Americans - 1st team DB Chuck Sitton - Honorable Mention WR Cleotha Montgomery, DB Harold Nutall, and TE Kirby Jones
Montgomery played in the NFL from
1980-1985 primarily as a kick and punt returner. He averaged 20.5 yards on 132 kick returns
8.9 yards on 70 punt returns, with a TD
in 1984 while with the Raiders.
#12 - 1968 - Texas
Perhaps motivated by the playoff snub in
1967, the Javelinas set out to prove the doubters wrong in 1968. A 27-35 loss to East Texas
State in week 5 was the only blemish in
the regular season. In fact, the
Javelina defense allowed just 44 points in the other nine contests,
outscoring the opposition by a 316-86
margin heading into the playoffs. In
the semifinals, A&I beat Northern State 20-0, racking up
an impressive 6th shutout on the
season. In the NAIA championship game,
Troy State would prove to be too much, edging A&I 43-35.
QB Karl Douglas threw for 1,685 yards and
16 TDs, WR Dwight Harrison had 47 catches for 921 yards and 11 TDs to lead
All-Americans TE Dwayne Nix picked up
first team honors, LB Butch Riley was second team, and QB Karl Douglas, WR
Dwight Harrison, and
WR Ray Hickl were honorable mention.
NFL Draft Picks - WR Ray Hickl 9th Round
NY Giants, LB Butch Riley 12th Round Baltimore Colts
#13 - 1980 - East Texas State Lions
The Lions won their
first 6 games, before struggling to a 1-2-1 finish. They still made playoffs and made the most
of the opportunity,
beating #1 Central Arkansas 27-21 on a
late fourth quarter TD in the quarterfinals. The following week Elon College snuck away with a 14-6 decision in
Seven turnovers and a roughing the punter
were the difference, as ET suffered their first postseason loss ever. Elon would go on to
win the national championship the
Quarterback Wade Wilson and linebacker
Danny Kirk were All-Americans. Wilson
threw for 1978 yards and 19 TDs and Cary Noiel
ran for 862 yards and 12 TDs. The defense allowed just 14.7 points per
NFL Draft - Wilson would go on to play in
the NFL for 18 years, finishing his
career with more than 17,000 yards passing and 99 TDs. He was selected
to play in the Pro Bowl after the 1988
season, when he threw for 2,746 yards and 15 TDs, both career highs.
#14 - 1979 Angelo State Rams - Angelo State was not dominant during the regular season, losing two conference games, and winning four others by one score, including back-to-back one point wins the last two games of the regular season. For the season, they were outgained by opponents 288-276, but outscored them 217-154.
Once in the playoffs, the Rams played their best ball, soundly defeating Wisconsin-River Falls 31-7 in the quarterfinals, which set up a rematch with Texas A&I (who beat ASU 24-8 five weeks prior) in the semis. The Rams narrowly missed out on back-to-back national titles, dropping a 22-19 thriller in Kingsville, giving up the game winning TD with just 1:23 in the game.
Clayton Weishuhn led team with 120 tackles, while Anthony Johnson paced the offense, rushing for 719 yards and 6 TDs.
NFL Draft - Weishuhn, drafted in the 3rd round (60th overall) by the New England Patriots in 1982, played 5 seasons in the NFL, starting 26 games in his first threes seasons before a knee injury wrecked his career. He still holds the Patriots' single season record with 229 tackles in 1983.
#15 - 1980 Angelo State Rams (8-2-1) - The Rams won their first 7 games, including a 33-16 win over defending national champion Texas A&I in week 7. The followed that up with a 1-1-1 finish to the regular season and make the playoffs in the LSC's final season in the NAIA.
School records are usually a good thing, especially in the postseason. However, the record in this case was for interceptions thrown in a game. Doug Kuhlmann threw seven against future LSC foe Northeastern State, as the #4 Redmen beat the #6 Rams by a 10-7 margin in the national quarterfinals. The loss marked an end to the best 3 year stretch in ASU history, and one of the best for any LSC team. Anthony Johnson rushed for 1,003 yards and 10 TDs, Kuhlmann threw for 1,533 yards and 10 TDs and Weishuhn had 96 tackles.
All-Americans - Linebacker Clayton Weishuhn, defensive back David Knowles and running back Anthony Johnson garnered All-American honors.