An Ode To Presentation College Saints Football

ABERDEEN, SD ( – Over the last seven years, as the ‘Voice of the Saints’ I’ve had the incredible blessing and opportunity to broadcast Presentation College Football & be just a small part of that program. As the program now comes to a close, I’ve reflected on some of the most memorable moments and games that’ll I’ll never forget.

This is my list of the five most memorable moments for Presentation College Football, which I’ve called. Full disclosure, these games are from the years 2016 – 2022; I’m sure there were games that coaches, players and family members and PC alumni remember with great fondness.

For instance: the program’s first win against Martin Luther on October 1st, 2011, 28-6. The first NSAA win for PC, on the road against Dakota State on September 20th, 2014, 40-37. Or, playing in the Metrodome in Minneapolis against St. Scholastica.

But this is my personal list of games that I witnessed firsthand.

Without further ado & in no particular order, my top five Saints football games & some honorable mentions:

Game 1: September 10th, 2016 – Presentation College vs. Briar Cliff (Saints win 29-0).

This game will be remembered as “The Jeff Branch Game.” The 6’2 240 pound DE from Virginia Beach, VA completely took over the game. I haven’t seen a defensive player have such an impact on a game (until maybe 2022) like Jeff did that day. He was an absolute menace. He finished the day with 9 tackles, 3.5 tackles for a loss, 2.5 sacks, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery (for a TD) and a pick-6. He was just a man possessed by greatness. What a player.

The offense followed suit as Austin Eggl threw a pair of TD’s, one to Logan Weisser & another to Wayne Scatena. But for all intents and purposes, this was a day that belonged to the defense.

In addition to Branch’s big day, the Saints defense forced nine punts and held Briar Cliff to just 161 yards of total offense & forced six turnovers, three INT’s and three fumble recoveries. Two of those turnovers which led directly to TD’s by Branch.

For his efforts, Branch became the first player in program history to be named the NAIA defensive player of the week.

Audio of Branch’s pick-6:


Game 2: October 6th, 2016 – Presentation College @ University of Jamestown (Saints win 34-25 & spoil Jimmies Homecoming).

The Saints were coming off a 58-2 drubbing of Trinity Bible College in Ellendale, ND when they took their show up 281 to take on the Jimmies. Jamestown was 3-0 against PC in program history and I remember the buzz heading into this game. There was a sentiment in the PC locker room that Jamestown didn’t respect the Saints and felt that their 3-1 record might have been a tad fluky.

Presentation got down early, 9-0 and it might have felt like, “here we go again,” but Logan Weisser had other ideas. “Megatron” as he was dubbed, had himself a day. He lassoed six Austin Eggl passes for 165 yards and 4 touchdowns. Logan had a three game stretch against Dickinson State, Trinity Bible & Jamestown where he had 9 touchdowns in three games; the dude was seemingly unguardable.

Jeff Branch added three more sacks to his resume + the Saints defense picked off four Dylan Klatt passes (Jordan Taylor, Skyler Miller, Shaki Eaton & Bezhawn Hill). The bus ride back south was filled with smiles and it just felt like there was something special about that 2016 team. They went 7-3 and it would be the best year in program history from a wins and losses perspective.

Audio of one of Logan Weisser’s TD.


Game 3: September 25th, 2017 – Presentation College @ Dakota State University [from Howard Wood Field in Sioux Falls] (Saints win 22-21).

This was truly a unique experience. Two days prior, we traveled down to Madison for the road conference opener. On Saturday afternoon, about half an hour before kickoff (if memory serves correctly) there was lightning in the area and the players had to clear the field. Time kept passing by and the teams remained in the dressing rooms for what felt like an eternity. We did about an hour and a half worth of rain delay radio before they decided to call the game and move it to Monday.

I remember getting back to campus and Coach Chuck Miesbauer brought the team together in the Strode and said, “Alright fellas, just a little adversity, we like it like this, don’t we?” Little did he (and the defensive unit know) that was just the first part of the adversity they were about to face.

On Monday, we headed south to Sioux Falls for the game. Now, for anybody that doesn’t know, the offense travels in one bus and the defense travels in another; I was on the offensive bus that day. When we arrived at Howard Wood, we were the only ones who had arrived. The defensive bus BROKE DOWN en route to Sioux Falls. Come on! What more do we have to deal with for this game? It also was pouring rain that day, too.

The Saints got down 21-3 early and just slowly chipped away. A lot of times, especially in 2023 football, coaches really feel the need to ‘go for it.’ This day, Head Coach Chuck trusted his special teams and defense. Freshman kicker Jaiden Muchuca kicked five FG’s (a PC record) and the defense answered the bell in the second half.

Trailing 21-19 in the fourth quarter and the Saints defense with their backs against the wall, senior Skyler Miller was assigned to blitz, instead saw something out of the corner of his eye – he dropped back into coverage and picked off Trojans QB Jacob Giles at the goal line.

“I had an x-factor moment where I just went rogue,” Miller said, “The call was for a blitz, but I read the QB’s eyes and followed the flow of the play. Next thing I know I’m in a perfect position to impact the game. Plus I was overdue for an INT vs. Dakota State.”

Skyler Miller’s INT at the goal line: 


The Saints drove down and Muchuca did the rest, drilling the go-ahead FG and the Saints defense would make another goal line stand to win 22-21. Not a bad (work) day at the office.

Muchuca’s game winner against Dakota State: 


Game 4: September 29th, 2018 – Presentation College @ Valley City State Univ. (Saints win 37-30).

Austin Eggl’s masterpiece & “The Butler did it”.

This might have been the best day a quarterback has ever had for Presentation College Football and what made it particularly impressive was the way the entire team responded after what’d happened the week before.

The Saints began their North Dakota two step in Dickinson the week prior and nothing went right & I mean nothing went right. PC lost 59-0 and we were going to figure out what this team was made of the next week.

PC was 0-5 against Valley City State and it felt like the two prior years when the two teams hooked up, the Saints were coming off wins and feeling good about themselves, this time it was the exact opposite.

After spotting VCSU a 13-0 first quarter lead, Austin Eggl brought the rain. He would finish the game going 36-45 for 391 yards and 5TD’s and 0INT’s. He threw three touchdowns to Weisser, who eclipsed the 100 yard plateau + threw TD’s to “The Space Cowboy” (Maurice Whiters – for those of you who are new to the program) & DP, Dylan Paulson – who brought his spoons to North Dakota. Don’t ask.

The Saints put up 24 second quarter points and in the second half, the defense nearly pitched a shutout, only allowing a FG. At halftime, after having surrendered 27 first half points, PC essentially scrapped their defensive game plan and put together a second half clinic.

With a 37-30 lead and the Vikings driving just past midfield, VCSU QB Jalen Pfiefer, who had always played well against the Saints, would throw the games deciding pass. Rolling to his right and throwing it that way, CB Aaron Butler reached out with one hand and picked off the pass to basically end the game. He ran a few yards and out of bounds (to the Saints sideline).

I’ll never forget, as soon as he intercepted the pass, Coach Chuck ran probably his fastest 40-time. He sprinted down the sideline celebrating & I think he ran further than Butler did on the return. It was an incredible moment.

That would be the first and only time Presentation College would beat Valley City State University, it was an incredible afternoon.

Audio of Aaron Butler’s INT:


Game 5: November 2nd, 2019 – Presentation College @ Mayville State University (Saints Win 51-35).

Steve Heimann’s first win.

2019 was a bit of a transition year for the program. Head Coach Steve Heimann came to Aberdeen late in the summer, his staff was hired late in the summer and felt like they were just playing catch up all season long; but when they caught up, boy did they catch up.

They won the game against Mayville that day, but it really felt like they had captured something special up in Dickinson just two weeks prior. Let’s be frank, going to west river North Dakota hasn’t been kind to Presentation College Football, but Coach Heimann’s young team didn’t care. The Saints lost to the Bluehawks 42-21, but the performance was something the team built off of.

Trailing the juggernaut Bluehawks 21-14 and with the Saints driving, they turned it over on downs in DiSU territory. To this day, I still believe Melvin Covin made the 1st down on 4th and 1 and the spot was terrible. But mentally – the switch had been flipped, this team could compete.

They rolled into Mayville with one goal: win. Offensively everything just clicked. Young QB Hunter Giffrow delivered arguably his best passing day as a Saint: going 25-34 for 329 yards and 3TD’s, two of them to Marshal Chace. On the ground, Preston Jones found the endzone for his first collegiate touchdown(s) & Trey Pajimula would do likewise, even carrying a Comet across the goal line for one of his scores, “carrying him like a rag doll, let’s go for a ride, son,” is what I said on the air. It was a unique display of power and will to score.

Defensively, Langford native, Mason Hanse picked off a pair of passes. George Jones added two sacks, including the final play of the first half, which gave the Saints momentum into halftime.

Audio of Mason Hanse’s INT

It was a day that the new coaching staff and players were building to and they met the moment.

Audio of Coach Heimann’s first win.


Honorable mention: September 2nd, 2017 – Presentation College @ Lawrence University (Saints win 40-10).

Coach Chuck’s first victory on the sidelines in green & gold as the Head Coach.

Remember earlier when the Saints beat the Trojans and had to deal with weather? That was actually the second time that had happened in 2017. To open the year, Presentation College went east to Appleton, WI to battle the Vikings of Lawrence University.

PC opened the game & the season with a stellar touchdown drive called by new offensive coordinator, Neil Linhart (who is now the new Head Coach of NCAA-DII, William Jewell) consisting of a nice run and pass mixture. Ten players later, Logan Weisser had his first touchdown of the year.

After exchanging barbs for much of the first half, we hit halftime and the Saints led 14-10 and coming out of the locker room, some nasty weather arrived. Both teams had to deal with about a 30 minute lightning delay and PC made some terrific adjustments and never looked back. They dominated Lawrence 26-0 in the fourth quarter and Coach Chuck got the Gatorade bucket celebration for the first time.

It was an unseasonably cold September day, but the bath felt great for Coach Chuck:

Audio of Coach Chuck’s first win.


Honorable mention: August 25th, 2018 – Presentation College @ Trinity International University (Saints [technically] Lose 53-46)

In the opening game of the 2018 season, both teams left their defenses in 2017.

You want to talk about a shootout? This game was a shootout in every sense of the word; there was a combined 1,272 yards of total offense and it felt like the play clock turned into the shot clock. It was hot, it was humid, it was muggy and both teams left it all out on the grass in Deerfield, IL that day.

Austin Eggl threw for 388 yards and 5TD’s, four of them to Logan Weisser and John Oldenkamp averaged 9.1 yards per carry. Yeah, defense was optional.

The Trinity International QB was 49-68 for 732 yards and six touchdowns. Yes, you read that right, the dude passed for over seven hundred yards, an NAIA record. Again, to this day, I contend that James Jones-Smith was held on the games’ deciding TD pass (on a screen), but that’s neither here, nor there.

Audio of TIU’s game winning TD pass…

It was just a memorable game, even if the Saints lost; or did they?

In a bizarre twist of fate, a few weeks later, it was revealed that Trinity played an ineligible player in the game. So, the Saints actually won. That’s right, Presentation technically won on opening day. Word came out during the PC bye week. You know how you joke that a team can’t win or lose during a bye? Well, Presentation College proved that old adage not always true. The Saints gained a win during a bye week. I’ll be darned.

On a personal note: this was also a day a bunch of my friends came to Deerfield (which is close to where I grew up) and we had our very own PC tailgate. Just about all my friends left to beat the heat by the second half, but my then girlfriend (now wife) stuck it out in the heat and humidity all day with my parents for the full game – it was maybe the first time I realized, hey – she could be a keeper. I also met my future mother-in-law that day. It was just memorable.


Honorable mention: October 20th, 2018 – Presentation College @ Waldorf University (Saints win 44-38)

Oh man, I think there still might be some players and coaches thawing out from this one. In late October, the Saints took their show on the road to Forest City, IA and if you were watching the game, you’d think: what a beautiful & crisp autumn day. The sun was out, the leaves were changing colors, but on the field, it was brutal.

At kickoff, it was 39 degrees and winds were steady at 32 miles per hour, gusting up to about 40mph; it felt like about 27 degrees with the wind chill. Translation? It was cold and whoever battled the wind better was going to win.

PC (with the wind at their back) jumped out to a 16-0 first quarter lead and then Waldorf responded (with the wind at their back) in the second quarter going on a 21-0 run and a 21-16 lead. Truly, this was such a unique game.

Driving against the wind (if memory serves correctly) Austin Eggl drilled a fast ball over the middle and it was deflected by a pair of Warriors DB’s but it landed fortuitously into the hands of Dylan Paulsen for a 24 yard TD pass. It was a historic pass, too. It was Eggl’s 100th career TD pass & as you’ll hear in the audio cut below, I was a little excited for the moment.

Audio highlight of Eggl to Paulsen 100th TD:

Paulsen made a heck of a grab, but it would be something later he did in the game that would be more important and have a bigger impact.

Late in the game, with the Saints driving, a Warrior fell and didn’t get up. Safety MaCoy Yeakel had badly injured his neck. If memory serves correctly, he cracked a vertebra or two, it truly was a scary moment. Play stopped for what felt like an eternity.  While he was being attended to by the trainers, Dylan Paulsen took his helmet off and ran to the Warriors sideline.

Full disclosure: there was a lot of trash talk during this game and when he started running to their sideline, I didn’t know what he was doing or what was about to happen, but what transpired was nothing short of amazing.

Paulsen got down on a knee and organized a prayer circle with the Warriors team. Much of the Saints sideline also joined in and prayed for the injured player. It was magnificent. I remember getting choked up on the air and as I type this, I can feel a tear welling up in my left eye. It felt like it was a moment that only a Saint was capable of. He knew what to do in that moment and it moved me.

Late in the fourth quarter, the Saints held the lead and got into their five minute offense and a six point lead. The offensive line sold out on that drive and John Oldenkamp borrowed a page from Marshawn Lynch’s book and went ‘beast mode.’ On a particular carry on the drive, he reached the second level and lowered his shoulder and drove the LB back and he pushed and pushed; the offensive line continued to move ‘The Cougar’ forward, like a rugby scrum. That play broke the Warriors spirit and Presentation earned their first ever win in Forest City.

Audio of John Oldenkamp’s game icing run:


Honorable mention: September 3rd, 2022 – Presentation College @ Luther College (Saints win 29-6).

In the words of one of my favorite songs by Gentlemen Hall, “it was a long time coming.”

Unfortunately, the Saints were heading to Decorah, IA on a 23 game losing streak. It was a dark cloud that was looming over them, but you know something? Sometimes that’s how lightning strikes. There felt like there was a confidence among the guys that on Saturday, that streak would come to close. I remember breakfast that morning, the guys were walking around with their heads high and they knew something special was going to happen.

We arrived to Legacy Field at Carlson Stadium on a gorgeous late summer day. If you didn’t know, Legacy Field is one of only three blue college football fields in the country. *Insert the more you know sound effect, ha*

It was just a game where everything went right. Offense was crisp, defense was lights out & special teams were solid. QB Kaeden Frazier never put the ball in harm’s way and tossed a TD pass over the middle to Laurenz Plummer for the first points of the game, they never looked back. All told, the offense would click on the ground & in the air to the tune of 443 yards of total offense. For his work, Frazier was named NSAA Offensive player of the week.

On defense, Isiah Lawson turned back the Norse, twice; he picked off a pair of passes (including one in the endzone) and freshman Teagen Severe added a pick-6 to start up the second half and after that, it was all but over.

The losing streak was over. The Saints traveled 473 miles to put it to bed. Man, it was great. Seeing the guys celebrate on that blue turf and seeing Coach Heimann get the ice bath was sweet. Kicker Luiz Ferreira lifted him off his feet and I thought he was going to snap him in half, he hugged him so tight. They earned it, they deserved it and finally they’d exorcised the demons of yesteryear.

Audio of Coach Steve Heimann’s reflections:


Honorable mention: October 29th, 2022 – Presentation College vs. Mayville State University (Saints win 21-0 on SENIOR DAY).

We didn’t know it at the time, but it would be the final win in program history & what a special day it was for everyone involved.

After thirty minutes of stalemate football and a 0-0 halftime score, I said on the broadcast, “maybe something on special teams perhaps can get this scoring going,” and that’s exactly what happened. Billy Nelson was on the cusp of something special on multiple times during the season on special teams and this would be the play where he’d finally find the Promised Land.

Audio of Billy Nelson’s KOR-TD

I couldn’t believe they kicked to him; he was too dangerous with the ball in his hands. He got some great blocks and hit the acceleration button and cut back into the field and the house came calling. The Saints led 7-0 and if PC didn’t score another point, they’d have still won the game.

Co-Defensive Coordinator Blake Mudd always told me, “They can’t win if they don’t score.” That’s exactly what happened. Presentation’s defense shut the lights off on the Comets offense. On senior day, Sam Motzkus had a day reminiscent of “The Jeff Branch Game.”

17 tackles, four sacks (a PC single game record) and 4.5 tackles for a loss. He also had a stretch where he had his hand in three straight sacks. Are you kidding me? He became the second, and final, Saint to be named NAIA National Defensive player of the week. The Comets had no answer for “the big fundamental” that day.

A few passing TD’s from Tim Evitt later and the scoreboard hit all four zero’s and that was it. A senior day shut out win from the green & gold and Coach Heimann’s Hero’s finally had that elusive home victory. It was the first time in program history the Saints had shut out a conference opponent.

Again, the guys had battled over the years to win on their home turf, but fell short in some heartbreakers. Think about it like this: you’re shaking up a can of soda and you keep shaking it, what eventually happens?…When that top is pulled off, it’s going to explode. On that Saturday afternoon, that can exploded.

Audio of Coach Heimann’s thoughts on SENIOR DAY win HERE.


Well, there you have it; some of my thoughts & musings over the years as the “Voice of the Saints” when it comes to Presentation College Football. There were up’s and down’s, but the memories will forever last a lifetime.

The school may be closing down, but its legacy will be forever etched in NAIA history and the school will live on with those who are moving onto other school’s to coach & play. It lives on in our hearts, our minds and our souls.

“Ever onward, always forward & never backward” and always remember, “Once a Saint, ALWAYS a Saint.”

God bless,

David Tukesbrey