Monday, June 1, 2015

All-Time Greatest LSC Football Teams - #11-15 NAIA

#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 and  8.9 yards on 70 punt returns, with a TD in 1984 while with the Raiders.

#12 - 1968 - Texas A&I 
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 the offense.

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 the semifinals. 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 following week.

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 game.

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.

1 comment:

Javfan '81 said...

Please keep the the "Count Down" coming the history of the LSC is alive!

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