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Football Championship Series First Round Recap

November 20, 2011
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Six of eight hosts were on the winning end today, including top-ranked Marian (Ind.), in the 2011 NAIA Football Championship Series (FCS) First Round. The quarterfinal pairings, which will be played on Nov. 26, will be announced at 10 a.m. CST on Sunday.

With a 6-2 record today, the hosts are now 68-24 since 2000. Last year, the home clubs went 5-3, while the 2009 First Round hosts went 8-0 for the first time since 1997.

Defending national champion Carroll (Mont.) blanked Valley City State (N.D.) (9-2), 47-0, to improve to 37-13 all-time in the FCS. That win total sets an all-time record as the Fighting Saints (11-1) surpassed the 36 victories of former NAIA member Sioux Falls (S.D.). In its 12th-straight FCS, Carroll is now 24-6 in home playoff contests. In the past 12 years, the Fighting Saints have advanced to the Quarterfinals.

Marian (11-0) posted the other shutout on the day with a 31-0 victory over newcomer Grand View (Iowa). Hosting their first-ever playoff game, the Knights' defense held the Vikings (8-4) to just 41 yards of total offense, including 21 on the ground, in earning their fifth shutout of the season. Marian entered the contest first in the NAIA in total defense (202.7 yapg).

Road teams, St. Francis (Ill.) and Saint Francis (Ind.), spoiled the home turf advantage for Morningside (Iowa) and Missouri Valley. St. Francis (10-2) halted Morningside’s (9-2) three-game home First Round winning streak as the Fighting Saints won 21-17. Quarterback E.J. White delivered a 69-yard touchdown strike to Lexus Jackson for the game-winner with 6:56 left in the game. Saint Francis (9-2) out-lasted Missouri Valley (9-2) in Marshall, Mo., 28-14 and won its ninth-straight First Round affair.

With 28 combined playoff appearances between Georgetown (Ky.) and Benedictine (Kan.), the contest was won by Georgetown’s defense. After giving up a first-quarter score, the Tigers limited Benedictine (9-3) to 278 total yards of offense and compiled two interceptions. Improving to 11-0 on the year, Georgetown escaped with a 21-7 victory.

Ottawa (Kan.) (9-3) had its nine-game winning streak ended after a 49-26 loss to Azusa Pacific in Azusa, Calif. The Cougars’ (9-2) offense churned out 587 total yards, including 371 yards on the ground. The offensive output was the seventh this year (in 11 games) over 500 yards.

MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) advanced to its third-straight Quarterfinal after a 40-28 win against Southern Nazarene (Okla.) (9-3). In a rematch from an Oct. 15 meeting, in which MidAmerica Nazarene won 41-17, the Pioneers (10-1) held on despite coughing up three fumbles.

Saint Xavier (Ill.) improved to 11-1 overall after wiping out Bethel (Tenn.), 51-13. The Cougars sprinted out to a 35-13 halftime advantage and never looked back. Bethel (8-3) was appearing in just its third FCS and had won it two previous First Round contests (2006 and 2007).

The 56th Annual Russell Athletic-NAIA Football National Championship is scheduled for Dec. 17 in Rome, Ga. Rome-Floyd County and Shorter (Ga.) University will host the event at Barron Stadium for the fourth-straight year. The event will be televised live on CBS Sports Television with kickoff slated for 4:30 p.m. EST.

2011 FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES QUICK FACTS
• Defending national champion Carroll (Mont.) holds six NAIA National Championships, which ties former NAIA member Westminster (Pa.) for the second-most all-time. The seventh title would tie Texas A&I for the most in FCS history. Carroll is the only team that has won at least three-straight titles, winning four in-a-row from 2002-05.
• Marian and Georgetown improved the NAIA’s longest active win streak with 11-straight wins as they head into the Quarterfinals.
• There are three teams from 2010 that are playoff regulars that did not earn a trip this year: Cumberlands (Ky.) (played in last four-straight playoffs), Dickinson State (N.D.) (played in 15 overall playoffs) and Northwestern Oklahoma State (played in 12 overall playoffs).
• There are five repeat Quarterfinalists that played in the 2010 FCS Quarterfinals.
• Three teams in this year’s FCS have won at least one National Championship: Azusa Pacific (Calif.) (1), Carroll (6) and Georgetown (Ky.) 3).
• The FCS has four of the top-five active coaching wins leaders, including Saint Francis’ (Ind.) Kevin Donley. In his 33rd season, Donley is now 255-116-1 and tied active wins leader, Hank Biesiot of Dickinson State (N.D.).
• Carroll (12) holds the longest active streak of postseason appearances, followed by Morningside (Iowa) (8) and Mid-America Nazarene (Kan.) (5).
• With the First Round victory today, Carroll earned its 37th postseason win and set the all-time mark. In 19 all-time trips, Carroll is 37-13.
• Four teams made a trip to the Football Championship Series for at least the 10th time.
• Carroll, Georgetown (Ky.) and Saint Francis are this year’s qualifiers with at least 10 wins all-time in the Football Championship Series.
• Of the teams that have made at least one previous trip, St. Francis (Ill.) was the only program searching for its first victory. The Fighting Saints defeated Morningside, 21-17.
• The Mid-States Football Association Mideast Division (MSFA – Mideast) and Heart of America Athletic Conference (HAAC) landed the most squads in the 16-team field. The MSFA – Mideast is represented by Marian, Saint Francis and Saint Xavier (Ill.). Playing from the HAAC is Benedictine (Kan.), MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) and Missouri Valley.
• Two teams finished the regular season with an undefeated record, Georgetown and Marian. That is the fewest since 2002.