Concordia is a year removed from arguably one of its most painful football losses in program history, a 15-14 defeat at Bethel last season. The Cobbers thought they had the game won, recovering a fumble as time expired. However, they were flagged for having players and coaches on the field while what looked to be the final play was in progress. The Royals then scored a touchdown and two-point conversion with no time on the clock to rally for the victory. The loss ultimately kept the Cobbers out of the playoffs.
A year later, that sequence of events still stings.
"I have never been more excited to play a football game in my entire life," said Cobbers senior nose guard Mark Wychor. "St. John's is supposed to be the biggest game of the year. But I've never wanted to beat a team more than I want to beat Bethel this year."
Saturday's game at Jake Christiansen Stadium should again have major Division III playoff implications. No. 5/8 Bethel (4-0, 2-0 MIAC) and No. 22/18 Concordia (4-0, 2-0) are the remaining two unbeaten teams in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
"I look at is at that was last year," Cobbers head coach Terry Horan said. "It was unfortunate for us. It was great for Bethel, but that was last year. This is this year. We are a totally different team. It's at a totally different venue. The stakes are about the same because we are both undefeated."