/playoffs/1974

1974 playoffs

Ron Schipper receives Walnut and Bronze
Central College coach Ron Schipper receives the Stagg Bowl trophy following the 1974 game.

Stagg Bowl II

Central 10, Ithaca 8
Dec. 7, 1974, in Phenix City, Ala.

By Steve Bergum
Enquirer Sports Writer

PHENIX CITY, Ala. — You can gasp, gawk and shake your head all you want over Central College’s win over Ithaca Saturday. But don’t talk upset.

To Dutchmen defensive tackle Mike Street the Stagg Bowl victory was nothing more than the final chapter to a plan he authored nearly seven months ago.

“From the word go we said we were gonna win it all.” Said a mud-covered, but happy Street after Saturday’s game. “When I went home to work after school last summer, the guys I worked with asked me if I played football. I told them, “Yeah, we’re gonna be national champions. Listen for us.”

It was a courageous prediction coming from a 210 pound defensive tackle from Humeston, Iowa (population 600). But when the scoreboard clock at Municipal Stadium blinked zero late Saturday afternoon, it contained the same clairvoyance that has made people like Jeanne Dixon famous.

Actually, the Dutchmen’s defense left nothing to the occult. They simply charged after Ithaca all afternoon in the same manner they’ve hounded opponents all year.

They stopped every part of Ithaca’s publicized offense, with the exception of an occasional draw play. And even those short bomber gains came as a result of Central’s over aggressiveness.

The only time all day the Dutchmen’s defense did falter came late in the game following a short Central punt.

Ithaca took the ball near midfield and drove down to Central’s six yard line before running into a fourth and one situation.

Right then, with just over a minute left to play, the classic confrontation which has been building up all week took place. Ithaca’s vaunted offense, which averaged 48 points a game during the regular season, needed only 18 inches for a first down inside the five.

Central, the tiny underdog college from Iowa, that no one gave a chance, had to make one more deciding defensive play.

When the ball was snapped every one of the spectators, coaches and players in Municipal Stadium knew who would get the ball – Dave Remick, Ithaca’s stocky fullback and leading rusher, who accounted for over 1,000 yards during the year.

Remick carried the ball. He made six inches. And Central College clinched its first national championship in the school’s history.

Dutchmen linebacker Al Dorenkamp, the most valuable player in the Iowa conference this year recalled the situation facing him and his teammates on the critical fourth down play.

“I told the guys in the huddle that this was the reason that we were here.” He said. “I told them the national title was riding on this play. That was all I said. Because I figured if that didn’t fire them up, nothing would.”

Street, looking back on his thoughts at that moment said, “I told myself, ‘This is it. This is what we’ve been working for all year. We’ve come too far to blow it now.”

The peculiar thing about the crucial play was that Ithaca selected Street’s side of the line to run against. That is like trying to tell Ernest Hemingway how to write an ending for A Farewell to Arms.

Street knew seven months earlier that Dave Remick couldn’t make 18 inches in that particular situation. There was no one going to ruin the ending to Mike Street’s story.

After the game, one of the Stagg Bowl officials shook hands with Street and said, “Congratulations, I hope to see you back next year.”

“Thank you.” Street replied politely, “But I’m a senior. I won’t be back next year.”

With Street, Dorenkamp, quarterback Gary Cutler and a horde of others gone, it’s unlikely that any of the Dutch will return next year. Or ever again for that matter.

But the fact remains that the elusive chance at a small college national football title did present itself for a brief moment to Central College.

And the Dutchmen, who were “too small to play with the big boys,” jumped on it like a loose fumble.

It just came naturally, like Mike Street said it would.

Playoff results

Semifinals
Central 17, at Evansville 16
Ithaca 27, Slippery Rock 14

Stagg Bowl II
Central 10, Ithaca 8, at Phenix City, Ala.

Scoring summary
Team    1 2 3 4  T
Central 3 0 0 7 10
Ithaca  0 3 3 2  8

Central — FG Street 25
Ithaca — FG Markowick 41
Ithaca — FG Markowick 27
Central — Cutler 1 run (Street kick)
Ithaca — Safety (Urbanek ran out of end zone)

Nov. 18: All times Eastern
Final
Husson 23, at Springfield 21
Video Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Berry 34, Huntingdon 20
Video Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Delaware Valley 35, Western New England 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Brockport 66, Plymouth State 0
Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
Frostburg State 35, at Wittenberg 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Mount Union 21, Washington and Lee 0
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Wesley 45, RPI 27
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Washington and Jefferson 31, Johns Hopkins 28
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Trine 63, Monmouth 24
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 50, Chapman 6
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Case Western Reserve 28, at Illinois Wesleyan 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at UW-Oshkosh 63, Lakeland 0
Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at St. Thomas 47, Eureka 8
Video Video Box Score Recap Photos Photos
Final - OT
at Wartburg 35, Franklin 34
Video Preview Box Score Live stats Photos
Final
at North Central (Ill.) 17, St. John's 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Linfield 27, Hardin-Simmons 13
Box Score Photos
Nov. 25: All times Eastern
12:00 PM
Wesley at Brockport
Video Preview Live stats Audio
12:00 PM
Case Western Reserve at Mount Union
Video Preview Preview Live stats Audio
12:00 PM
Frostburg State at Washington and Jefferson
Video Live stats Audio
12:00 PM
Husson at Delaware Valley
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Berry at St. Thomas
Video Live stats Live stats Audio Audio
1:00 PM
North Central (Ill.) at UW-Oshkosh
Live stats Video Live stats Audio Preview
1:00 PM
Linfield at Mary Hardin-Baylor
1:00 PM
Trine at Wartburg
Video Live stats
Nov. 25: All times Eastern
12:00 PM
Wesley at Brockport
Video Preview Live stats Audio
12:00 PM
Case Western Reserve at Mount Union
Video Preview Preview Live stats Audio
12:00 PM
Frostburg State at Washington and Jefferson
Video Live stats Audio
12:00 PM
Husson at Delaware Valley
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Berry at St. Thomas
Video Live stats Live stats Audio Audio
1:00 PM
North Central (Ill.) at UW-Oshkosh
Live stats Video Live stats Audio Preview
1:00 PM
Linfield at Mary Hardin-Baylor
1:00 PM
Trine at Wartburg
Video Live stats