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Honor Our Heroes

This Saturday, Sept. 21 at 6 p.m., the Concordia football team will host St. Cloud State for Day of Heroes at Sea Foam Stadium. The game pits two of the NSIC's four remaining undefeated teams head-to-head, each with 2-0 records.

The event is Concordia's fifth annual Military Appreciation Day and, for the second straight year, will also honor local heroes from the fire and police force in addition to the country's military servicemen and women. Concordia's Military Appreciation Day has earned two NCAA Game Environment Awards in the previous four events.

The Golden Bears are off to the program's first 2-0 start in Ryan Williams' third year as coach, and the first 2-0 start since 2004. It's the seventh 2-0 start in the history of Concordia football dating back to 1969.

Concordia is 0-2 head-to-head against St. Cloud State in a series that opened with 2010's Military Appreciation Day at Sea Foam Stadium. The last meeting between the schools was in 2011 at St. Cloud State.

In the last meeting between Concordia and St. Cloud State, current starting quarterback Jared Russo received his first extended action under center as a redshirt freshman. Entering fall camp as the third quarterback on the depth chart that year, Russo quickly ascended into a backup role when starter Spencer Ohm was injured early in camp.

Russo received his opportunity as a starter when James Peterson left the SCSU game early in the second quarter with a season-ending injury. Russo proceeded to throw his first two career touchdown strikes, going 17-27 for 184 yards but five interceptions led to a defeat.

The next week, Russo earned his first career start on Military Appreciation Day against Northern State, guiding the Golden Bears to a 27-22 fourth quarter comeback victory with three touchdown passes against the Wolves.

The Golden Bears are coming off a dominant defensive victory to spoil Bemidji State's home opener last Saturday night, a 17-14 comeback win. In that game, Russo engineered a fourth quarter comeback win, throwing the game-winning touchdown strike with 46 seconds to play from 19 yards out to Gabe Boyce on a 4th-and-6 play.

Russo is now 3-2 as starting quarterback for the Golden Bears.