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Augustana Vikings - 1983 national champions

Vikings' first championship didn't come easy

Quarterback Jay Penney threw for 905 yards and 12 touchdowns in 1983. He connected with his former junior high teammate Norm Singbush for three game-winning scoring passes, including a 2-yarder in the Vikings' 21-17 Stagg Bowl win over Union.
One thing about that first championship - it wasn't easy.

It wasn't easy when quarterback Jay Penney had to drive his team 54 yards with less than two minutes to play and the Vikings out of timeouts to win a hard-fought 23-16 regular season game against Elmhurst.

It wasn't easy when Penney had to bring his team from behind in the first round of the playoffs on a mud-splattered Ericson Field. The Vikings beat Adrian 22-21 with Penney scoring the decisive two-point conversion with just 3:01 left in the game.

And it certainly wasn't easy when Penney had to rally his team from a 17-7 deficit late in the fourth quarter of the Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl. Augustana scored two late touchdowns to secure the NCAA Division III title with a 21-17 win over Union College in Kings Island, Ohio.

While there are a multitude of factors why Augustana won the 1983 national championship, one of the biggest reasons was a passing combination that dated back to junior high school. Penney, the cool, hardnosed veteran signal caller, hooked up with his former schoolboy teammate Norm Singbush every time things looked bleak.

It was Singbush who caught the seven-yard pass from Penney to pull out the Elmhurst game. It was Singbush who caught the seven-yard scoring toss from Penney to win the Adrian game. And yes, it was Singbush who hauled in the two-yard pass from Penney to win the Union game.

On a team that averaged 300 yards per game on the ground and boasted two 1,000 yard rushers (halfback Craig Allison and wingback George Velasquez), it was a quarterback who would pass for less than 600 yards and a tight end who would catch absolutely anything thrown his way that eventually made the 1983 Augustana Vikings the champions of NCAA Division III.

Reade's team went 12-0 on the year and for the third straight season put together an undefeated regular season. Reade was chosen national Coach of the Year and tackle Kurt Kapischke, linebacker Pete Kasap, runningback Craig Allison and defensive back Doug McCoy all earned All-American honors.

GAME-BY-GAME REVIEW

SEASON STATISTICS

SEASON REVIEW
Opponent Result
Carroll W, 42-14
Wheaton W, 47-12
Illinois Wesleyan W, 21-16
Carthage W, 28-7
Millikin W, 35-14
North Central W, 26-6
Olivet Nazarene W, 56-7
Elmhurst W, 23-16
North Park W, 35-16
Adrian W, 22-21
Wisconsin-La Crosse W, 21-15
Union W, 21-17

NCAA Division III National Champions

Row 1 - Jay Penney, Doug McCoy, Jeff Nicklas, Kurt Kapischke, Pete Kasap, Bob Clark, John Drizis, Steve Powers, John Bradford. Row 2 - Craig Allison, Jeff Hutchinson, Milo Decker, Kurt Thompson, Ben Pothast, Bob Barnes, Scott Reid, Tim Johnson, Greg King, Jeff Potter. Row 3 - Bob Hilt, Shane, McCormick, Bret Robinson, Dave D'Angelo, Joe Kiesewetter, Jeff Scarpinato, Larry Holstein, Nick Kasap, Joe Wheeler, Tim Hessing, Mark Long. Row 4 - Pete Asquini, Brad Price, Bill Martinez, Jeff Widdop, Guy Dierikx, Tim Holmstrom, Pat Fortune, Steve Sanders, Aaron Kennedy, Troy Bex. Row 5 - Rich Baumgartner, Scott Francis, Dave Sandercock, Tony Johnston, Don Anspaugh, Mark Lovdahl, Ed Herrera, Steve Richter, Bert Manson, Joe Mackay. Row 6 - Richard Nielsen, Larry Bickett, Tom Eckert, Kevin O'Rourke, George Velasquez, Brian Rashid, Tom Billups, Robert Woolridge, Tony Biciocchi. Row 7 - Troy Westerman, John Byrnes, Jim Huster, Jeff Grahovac, Jim Petropolis, Lynn Thomsen, Rick Zaehringer, Art Baker, Garrick Plagge, Dave Hedlin. Row 8 - Paul Hornick, Ron Nelson, John Guerrieri, Grant Etnyre, Greg Andsager, Paul Rashid, Tim Quagliano, Pat VanDeVelde, Barry Bodenbach, Ken Armstrong, Dan Allen. Row 9 - Brian King, Chris Maher, Bob Guerrieri, Tim Waeynaert, Bob Roche, Troy Hunzecker, Kirk Bednar, Dave Grodt, Alan Ross, Dave Lembas, John Leighton. Row 10 - Head coach Bob Reade, assistant coach Chuck McLeod, assistant coach Tom Schmulbach, assistant coach Vic Boblett, assistant coach Dennis Riccio, assistant coach Don Davis, assistant coach John Farwell, assistant coach Cecil Youngblood.

AWARD WINNERS

Most Valuable - Offense
Jay Penney and Craig Allison
Most Valuable - Defense
Pete Kasap
Most Valuable Freshman
Lynn Thomsen
All-Conference Selections
Craig Allison, RB; Greg King, OC; Kurt Kapischke, OT; Tim Johnson, DE; Bob Clark, DT; Pete Kasap, LB; Doug McCoy, LB
CCIW Defensive MVP
Pete Kasap
Kodak All-America
Kurt Kapischke
Pizza Hut All-America
Pete Kasap, Doug McCoy,
Craig Allison, Kurt Kapischke
CoSIDA Academic All-America
Ben Pothast and Steve Sanders
Captains
Jay Penney, Doug McCoy and
Craig Allison