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Quotes from 2010 Russell Athletic-NAIA National Championship (Dec. 18)

December 18, 2010

Dec. 18, 2010

Sioux Falls

Head Coach Jed Stugart: (Opening remarks) I’m real proud of this football team. I told them after the game, like I told them before the game, this is a team I would go into a dark alley with. They have my back and I have theirs. There’s really nothing you can say to comfort a team like this that has won so much. We are obviously disappointed, but you can’t take away what they did this year through adversity and through change. We figured out a way to get back to the national championship game and I am proud of my players and coaches.

Jon Eastman: Carroll played really well today. We just never really got that fire lit and got our momentum going. I tip my hat to Carroll and that is part of the reason we didn’t get things going because they are such a good defense and they make you earn everything.

Jon Ryan: It has been a great career. What I’ll miss most are the guys on the team – the camaraderie that we have. Carroll just beat us today. They are a classy group of guys and played so well today.

Jon Ryan: I’m just glad we had a shot [at the end of the game]. That’s what fans want to see, that’s what you want to see – to have that shot at the end of the game.

Alex Anderson: [Our defense] was on the field way too long and didn’t give our offense the ball enough. We couldn’t seem to get them stopped until they got into the red zone. We should have gotten off the field a lot quicker than we did, but we didn’t and that’s why our offense couldn’t put up the points that they normally do.

Alex Anderson: (On Wagner’s TD) We schemed on that draw play for the last two weeks and we felt that we were right there. We knew it was coming we just weren’t able to make the play.

Jed Stugart: (On Carroll’s physicality) Carroll is a good football team to beat this team. You can tell how well coached and disciplined they are. I don’t know that there is a team tougher than ours, but Carroll kind of leans on you.

Carroll

Coach Mike Van Diest: The score tells it all – it was a great battle. I felt our offensive line really controlled the line of scrimmage and Gary kept the plays alive. We are very excited. We talked about climbing the mountain a long time ago during two a days. It was one step at a time and we never wanted to look back. It was a terrific ball game and my hats off to Sioux Falls for their tremendous run, but they are leaving and we are 4-1 against them.

Gary Wagner: (On TD run) We had Bubba and John in there and they both did a tremendous job blocking. Corey Peterson stuck his block and those are the only reasons I ended up scoring. I just tried to run as fast as I could – I’m sure it wasn’t the prettiest form, but I don’t care. I am so excited to be a part of this opportunity. I was in the right place at the right time and the right play was called and we scored a touchdown.

 

Mike Van Diest (On Yaremko FG): Tommy has never had to win a football game for us, but today he did and he deserved it. I am pretty hard on kickers and in spite of me, he went out and put it right through and that was the game winner and he is a hero in Portland, Oregon tonight.

Mike Van Diest (On stadium): This was a big time game today, a big time atmosphere. The atmosphere was unbelievable – the stadium, the field. The Central-Carroll band behind us was like a bowl game. The crowd was great both sides. I just thought this was big time. This wasn’t any different than the Orange Bowl or the Rose Bowl. What the NAIA did, what Rome did, what Shorter did, my hats off to them. Nothing beats this in terms of atmosphere. I am really proud to be a member of the NAIA and what took place here today. People who watched the game saw a great product on CBS.