June 20, 2019

1976 DSC Trojan SDIC football team heads to DSU Hall of Fame - Daily Leader Extra : Sports

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1976 DSC Trojan SDIC football team heads to DSU Hall of Fame

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Posted: Thursday, May 30, 2019 3:55 pm

The 1976 Dakota State College football team had one of the most successful campaigns in history with an 8-2 overall record. The Trojans were ranked No. 9 in the final NAIA Division II Football national poll.

The Trojans won their second consecutive South Dakota Intercollegiate Conference (SDIC) title and their third conference title in four years under Coach Joel Swisher.

The 1976 team will be inducted into the Dakota State University Hall of Fame on Saturday at the Dakota Prairie Playhouse, along with five individuals: Clay Amick, Bruce Johannes, Bill Nelson, John Nyhaug and Todd Payer.

The Trojans opened the 1976 season with a 20-6 win over Northwestern (Iowa).

DSC rolled to its second victory by thrashing Southwest Minnesota State 35-14. Jeff Rodman ran for a school-record 279 yards with five touchdowns. Dakota State then faced Black Hills State in the SDIC opener and won 28-20. A rugged BHSU defense held Rodman to just 62 yards, but Marcus Willard caught seven passes for 158 yards and three touchdowns.

DSC returned home to battle Huron College. Dakota State, ranked No. 6, held the No. 12-ranked Huron squad to only 13 points while scoring twice in the final stanza to down the Tribe 28-13. The win lifted DSC's overall record to 4-0.

Dakota State suffered its first loss of the season 49-24 to Northern State. The Trojans were ranked as high as No. 2 in the NAIA Division II national poll prior to that setback.

The Trojans bounced back with a 40-24 rout of the University of South Dakota/Springfield. The Trojans scored every time they got the ball, with one exception in the second half. Terry Kasperbauer threw a school-record five touchdown passes. Rodman broke the single-season rushing mark, gaining 221 yards for a total of 1,034.

Dakota State celebrated its homecoming with a 35-0 shutout of South Dakota Tech and assured themselves of at least a share of the SDIC Football Conference title. The Trojan defense limited the Hardrockers to just 102 rushing yards and 42 passing yards.

Next, DSC had a 22-6 lead over longtime rival Dakota Wesleyan, but the Tigers outscored the Trojans 20-0 in the second half for a 26-22 victory.

Dakota State shared the SDIC football conference title with DWU.

The Trojans whipped the Sioux Falls College Braves 43-7 in DSC's final home game. Dakota State racked up 22 first downs, completed 14 of 23 passes for 318 yards, and rushed 57 times for another 176 yards while holding Sioux Falls to just six first downs and 140 yards of total offense.

Dakota State concluded its season with a 24-14 victory at Wayne State (Neb.), finishing the season with an 8-2 overall record.

Swisher commented that the key to the Trojans' success was the close-knit relationship of the entire team, along with the excellent leadership of senior co-captains Rodman, Kasperbauer and John Nyhaug.

The 1976 team smashed 23 school records, including four team marks and 19 individual bests. The team records included most points scored (299), most first downs (159), most rushing yards (2,052) and most total offensive yards (3,701).

Five Dakota State football players were named to the 1976 All-SDIC team, while six others gained honorable mention.  Rodman was a repeat from the 1975 season at running back while sophomores Perry Scott and Willard were named at offensive tackle and wide receiver, respectively. Mike Freidel gained a linebacker spot on defense, as did Jody Boline at defensive end. Named as honorable mention picks were Lee Threadgold, Kasperbauer, Bill Gartland, Rick Rodman, Russel Schwartz and Lynn Schuett.

Willard set the DSC single-game record of 158 receiving yards. Brian Lux had a single-season school record of 23 PAT extra-point kicks, while the rest of the records belonged to Rodman and Kasperbauer.

Jeff Rodman, listed in the 1976 DSC Football Preseason Fact Sheet at 5-11 and 195 lbs., shattered 10 school records. He was named to the NAIA Division II Football All-American First Team. He led the NAIA scorers with 21 touchdowns for 126 points and was third in the nation in rushing with 136 yards per game (six yards per carry).

Kasperbauer shared the most valuable athlete trophy with Rodman while passing for 1,515 yards. Kasperbauer had 262 completions for 4,044 career yards along with five touchdown passes in one game (twice). He threw a single-season record 21 touchdown passes and 49 career touchdown passes.

Assistant coaches were Cliff Anderson, Bruce Bresee, Dick Heiberger, Gary Schumacher, Tom Weatherford, Al Weisbecker and Steve Withorne.

Members of the 1976 DSC football SDIC championship team were Rob Albaugh, Spencer Albin, Joe Arthur, Clark Baker, Jody Boline, Tim Butler, Jerry Comerford, Steve Cunningham, Kevin Dahl, Larry Deming, Greg Doctor, Gene Esser, Doug Freidel, Mike Freidel, Marv Engels, Bill Gartland, Jon Gonsor, Dan Haugland, Bill Hurley, Randy Janssen, Mark Jensen, Dennis Jewett, Terry Kasperbauer, Mike Kerns, Doug Lather, Todd Leuer, Brian Lux, Dale Martin, Bill McQueen, Kim Mebius, Mark Merrigan, Kim Nelson, Tom Newman, John Nyhaug, Bob Osterday, Todd Payer, Jim Poss, Kevin Rave, Jeff Rodman, Rick Rodman, Dan Schutt, Lynn Schuett, Russ Schwartz, Dave Scott, Perry Scott, Jim Sedlacek, Tom Starr, Mike Stevenson, Gregg Struwe, Greg Swanson, Lee Threadgold, Rick Tibbetts, Jim Valentine, Randy Voss. Marcus Willard and Todd Zeller.

DSC athletic trainer was Kathie Courtney.

The Hall of Fame banquet is open to the public. RSVP by calling 256-5229 or e-mailing carla.sudenga@dsu.edu. Tickets are $25 per person and may be purchased at the door. The social begins at 5:30 p.m., dinner at 6:15 p.m. and the program at 7 p.m.

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