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Augustana Vikings - 1984 national champions

The kids win with seven sophomores in the starting lineup

Ron Nelson ran for 1,001 yards and 16 touchdowns in 1984, earning All-CCIW honors as a senior. He was named the MVP of the Stagg Bowl win over Central after gaining 155 yards and scoring all three Vikings touchdowns.

There was no logical reason why Augustana should have repeated its national title in 1984. Head coach Bob Reade started seven sophomores and had 11 first year starters in the lineup when the season kicked off in September.

Win the national championship is exactly what the Vikings did, however. They compiled a perfect 12-0 record for the second consecutive season.

They did it with a fearsome defense despite the fact that seven of the starters on that unit were new.

They did it with a bruising, ball control offense despite the fact that four of the starters were sophomores.

But mostly they did it because they had fun playing the game as Reade so succinctly pointed out. "We ere just a bunch of young kids who listened well and played hard all of the time."

Oh, there were some veterans like All-Americans Greg King, Norm Singbush, Ron Nelson and Joe Wheeler, but mostly it was the performance of sophomores Brad Price, Kirk Bednar, Mike Gray, Lynn Thomsen and Troy Westerman who spearheaded the charge.

The new faces in the lineup proved to be invaluable in keeping the rest of the team from resting on its laurels of a year before.

It took a while for the defense to get the hang of things but in the last six games the Vikings allowed just 38 points. After breezing though the regular season with a 9-0 record, the fourth straight dating back to 1981, the Blue & Gold beat Dayton 14-13 in a slugfest in the first round of the playoffs. In the second round the Union Dutchmen came into Rock Island looking for revenge from the 1983 championship game. Instead of revenge, Union got a 23-6 dismantling as an aroused Augustana defense intercepted a school record seven passes.

In the Stagg Bowl, Nelson gained 155 yards and scored three touchdowns. The defense allowed just 18 yards rushing as Augustana
defeated Central of Iowa 21-12 and the Vikings were champions once again.

Nelson was the workhorse of the offense from his fullback position and Price added a breakaway threat from his halfback position. They both wen over 1,000 yards on the season. Senior Joe Wheeler was the leader from his linebacker position and won the CCIW Most Valuable Defensive Player award. Center Greg King was selected as the CCIW's Most Valuable Offensive Player despite playing on the offensive line.

GAME-BY-GAME REVIEW

SEASON STATISTICS

SEASON REVIEW
Opponent Result
North Park W, 47-6
Carroll W, 31-0
Wheaton W, 45-14
Illinois Wesleyan W, 35-21
Carthage W, 56-7
Millikin W, 19-16
North Central W, 28-0
Illinois Benedictine W, 28-7
Elmhurst W, 21-0
Dayton W, 14-13
Union W, 23-6
Central W, 21-12

NCAA Division III National Champions

Row 1 - Phil Hagen, John Guerrieri, Joe Kiesewetter, Ron Nelson, Jeff Scarpinato, Norm Singbush, Tim Hessing, Larry Holstein, Nick Kasap, Jeff Potter, Joe Wheeler, Greg King, Paul Rashid, Aaron Kennedy. Row 2 - Tony Johnston, Jeff Widdop, Ted Bond, Tim Holmstron, Brian Batemen, Geno Sellers, Mike Gray, Mark Long, George Velasquez, Troy Bex, Robert Woolridge, John Leighton, Rich Baumgartner, Pat Fortune. Row 3 - Steve Sanders, Scott Francis, Dave Sandercock, Robin Goldin, Joe Mackay, Tory Westerman, Brad Price, Carlton Beasley, Don Anspaugh, Mark Lovdahl, Al Ross, Kevin O' Rourke, Bret Clark, Jim Knetch. Row 4 - Pat VanDeVelde, Dennis Fraikes, Bob Roche, Bob Guerrieri, Tom Billups, Lynn Thomsen, Brian King, Bill Martinez, Pat Heupel, Mike Ricketts, Paul Dunn, Jim Olsen, Doug Ely Row 5 - Jeff Baillen, Brian Linstrom, Cory Sanders, Tyrone Singleton, Doug Pannier, Cory Brown, Ricky Beard, Dan Krause, Shane McCormick, Scott Zoromski, Randy Weidner, Rich Basile, Dave Jahnke, Matt Krull. Row 6 - Jeff Mairs, Brian Grimes, Brian Wegley, Tony Ippolito, Eric Welgat, Tom Kula, Dan Duffy, Tim Wightman, Mike Akiyoshi, Dennis Viehweg, Matt Szatkiwiecz, Rick Federighi, Rod Dillard. Row 7 - Rick Nielson, Kurt Kreiter, Mike McGhee, Bill Clay, Cary Hinze, Matt Holcomb, Chip Johnson, Jim Maas, Mitch Bugno, Jay Hatch, Mike Saturnia, Tom Eckhardt. Row 8 - Val Boyd, Jeanette Hodgkinson, Jo Shairer, Terry Becker, Don Davis, Vic Boblett, Tom Schmullbach, Dennis Riccio, Bob Reade.

AWARD WINNERS

Most Valuable - Offense
Ron Nelson
Most Valuable - Defense
Joe Wheeler
Most Valuable Freshman
Mike McGhee
All-Conference Selections
Ron Nelson, RB; Norm Singbush, TE; Steve Sanders, OT; Tim Holmstrom, OG; Greg King, OC; Robert Woolridge, DE; Lynn Thomsen, DT; Joe Wheeler, LB; Mark Long, DB; George Velasquez, RS; Paul Rashid, MG; Brad Price, RB; John Leighton, P
CCIW Offensive MVP
Greg King
CCIW Defensive MVP
Joe Wheeler
Kodak All-America
Greg King
Pizza Hut All-America
Greg King and Joe Wheeler
CoSIDA Academic All-America
Steve Sanders and Tony Johnston
Stagg Bowl MVP
Ron Nelson
Captains
Greg King and Joe Wheeler