NAIA Game of the Week
No. 1 Marian (Ind.) (8-0, 4-0 MSFAE) at No. 5 Saint Xavier (Ill.) (7-1, 3-1 MSFAE)
Saturday, Nov. 3 | 1 p.m. CDT | Bruce R. Deaton Memorial Field | Chicago, Ill.
Live Video (Saint Xavier) | Live Audio (Marian)
Game Notes - Marian | Game Notes - Saint Xavier
• For the second time in as many years, the Mid-States Football Association Mideast League (MSFAE) crown comes down to a matchup of No. 1 Marian (Ind.) and No. 5 Saint Xavier (Ill.). A win by Marian propels the Knights to their second-straight MSFAE title, while a Saint Xavier victory means a three-way share of the league championship between the Cougars, Marian and Saint Francis (Ind.).
• Saint Xavier enters Saturday with a 5-1 lead in the all-time series. The Cougars' lone loss came in last year's regular-season finale, 27-9.
• The two sides last met in the 2011 NAIA Football Championship Series semifinals. Saint Xavier successfully avenged its regular-season loss with a 30-27 win, sealed by a Clayton Fejedelem interception of Marian quarterback Adam Wiese with eight second remaining. Saint Xavier quarterback Jimmy Coy finished with 287 yards on 25-for-33 passing and three touchdowns. Wide receiver Wes Gastel notched a team-best six catches for 109 yards, including the go-ahead touchdown with 13:01 remaining.
• The top-ranked Knights enter the 2012 meeting riding a NAIA-best eight game win-streak and are 1-of-4 unbeaten teams remaining. Marian extended its winning streak with a 34-7 thrashing of Menlo (Calif.) on Oct. 27. Running back Tevin Lake led the Knights with 184 yards on 29 carries and a touchdown, while Wiese went 20-for-27 for 234 yards and two touchdowns. Defensively, Marian held Menlo to 207 yards of total offense, including only 99 yards through the air.
• Lake continues to pace a potent offense that ranks eighth in scoring offense per game (39.4) and 12th in total offense per game (436.9). The sophomore running back boasts six 100-yard performances in seven games this season, including a stretch of three-straight with at least 180 rushing yards. Lake, who is top-five nationally in rushing yards per game (148.0), all purpose yards per game (182.6) and scoring per game (12.9), owns 1,036 rushing yards this season and 15 touchdowns. For a career, Lake has run for 2,280 yards in 20 games (114.0 yards per game).
• In addition to Lake, Wiese has continued to be consistent at the quarterback position, completing 73.1 percent (152-of-208) of his attempts for 1,813 yards and 20 touchdowns. He has only been intercepted three times in eight games. Wiese's best performances of the season came against Siena Heights (Mich.) on Sept. 8 when the senior registered 321 total yards, including 301 yards passing.
• Defensively the Knights rank amongst the top 10 in the NAIA in the following categories: rush defense per game (78.9), total defense per game (237.1), scoring defense per game (12.9) and opponent first downs (117). Defensive end Seth Vondersaar paces the squad with 46 tackles (15 solo), five tackles-for-loss and three sacks.
• Saint Xavier showcases the NAIA's second-best pass offense at 322 yards per game, while also ranking amongst the top 10 in total offense per game (486.4), first downs per game (24.4), total pass offense (2,576) and scoring offense per game (39.0).
• Last weekend, the Cougars scored 31 first quarter points en route to a 54-10 win against Concordia (Mich.). Saint Xavier's defense forced six Concordia turnovers and held the Cardinals to only 131 yards of total offense. Running back Joshua Hunter led the Cougars with a career-best 109 yards on 21 carries.
• Quarterback Jimmy Coy ranks 12th in the NAIA in passing yards per game (249.9). He is 141-for-223 for 1,749 yards and 24 touchdowns this season, including a season-best 426-yard performance against Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) in the Cougars' season opener on Sept. 1. Coy has thrown for more than 6,000 yards in two seasons at Saint Xavier, including 4,261 yards in 2011. He was named the 2011 Russell Athletic-NAIA Football National Championship Outstanding Offensive Player of the Game after recording 294 yards of total offense, with 216 coming through the air. He tossed one touchdown and found the end zone with his legs once.
• Wide receiver Shane Zackary, who was recently named as 1-of-15 recipients of the 2012 National Football Foundation's National Scholar-Athlete Award, leads a talented Saint Xavier receiving corps with 685 yards on 48 catches and eight touchdowns.
• Defensively, Zach Dolph leads Saint Xavier with 71 tackles (40 solo), including 16 tackles-for-loss. He also boasts 3.5 sacks and four pass breakups in 2012.
• As a unit, the Cougar defense ranks eighth in scoring defense per game (15.1), 14th in rushing defense per game (102.8) and 16th in total defense per game (281.5). Saint Xavier has held its opponent under 14 points in 5-of-8 games this season.
Note: A special thanks to the Sports Information Departments at Marian and Saint Xavier for providing portions of this information.
Fan Vote - NAIA Football Game of the Week
The NAIA Football Game of the Week is selected by fans via the official NAIA Facebook page - Play NAIA. Game of the Week voting will begin on Monday evenings after the Top 25 announcement with the winner posted Wednesday morning. Click HERE to visit the Play NAIA Facebook page.
NAIA National Championship Note
The date and time of the 2012 Russell Athletic-NAIA Football National Championship has been changed to Thursday, Dec. 13 with a kick-off at 6:30 p.m. EST. The change was made in order to ensure national television exposure for the participating schools and the NAIA on the CBS Sports Network.
Conference Championship Watch
Frontier Conference - Standings
Montana Tech enters the weekend with a one-game lead over Southern Oregon and Carroll (Mont.) in the Frontier Conference standings. The Orediggers have already beaten both Southern Oregon and Carroll once this season, but have a rematch at Southern Oregon on Nov. 10.
Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) - Standings
With their Oct. 27 win against Dordt (Iowa), Morningside (Iowa) assured itself at least a share of the 2012 GPAC championship. The Mustangs hold a two-game lead in the league standings over Northwestern (Iowa) and Hastings (Neb.). With a win Saturday, Morningside will be the outright conference champion for the second-straight year.
Heart of America Athletic Conference (HAAC) - Standings
Similarly to Montana Tech, Missouri Valley controls its own destiny as the only unbeaten team remaining in the HAAC. The Vikings currently hold a one-game lead in the conference standing over Evangel (Mo.) and MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) with two games to play. Despite Missouri Valley's consistent play this season, an opportunity for a shared conference title remains as the Vikings travel to Evangel on Saturday.
Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference (KCAC) - Standings
Kansas Wesleyan, Ottawa (Kan.) and Tabor (Kan.) are tied at the top of the standings with one loss each. The three sides have already played each other this season, which maintains the opportunity for a shared title in the KCAC.
Mid-South Conference East - Standings
With a win on Saturday, Georgetown guarantees itself at least a share of the Mid-South Conference East championship with either current second-place Cumberlands (Ky.) or Kentucky Christian. Cumberlands and Kentucky Christian play Saturday to define an outright second place team entering the final week of the season.
Mid-South Conference West - Standings
Similarly to the east, Bethel (Tenn.) can assure itself at least a share of the conference championship with a win on Saturday. Belhaven (Miss.) is currently one-game back. The two sides close the regular-season in Jackson, Miss. on Nov. 10.
Mid-States Football Association Mideast (MSFAE) - Standings
The MSFAE title is on the line for Marian (Ind.) on Saturday when they travel to Saint Xavier (Ill.). The Knights hold a one-game lead over the Cougars and Saint Francis (Ind.) and with a win would claim their second-straight outright conference crown. A Marian loss would cause a three-way share of the league championship.
Mid-States Football Association Midwest (MSFAW) - Standings
Grand View (Iowa) and William Penn (Iowa) are currently both unbeaten in conference play. The two sides square off to close the regular-season on Nov. 11. However, do not count out St. Ambrose (Iowa) who rests one-game back with two remaining, including a matchup against William Penn on Saturday.
This Week Around the Top 25
• This week (Oct. 29 - Nov. 1) features 23 Top 25 squads in action, in addition to the two teams featured in the NAIA Game of the Week. Those contests include:
Union (Ky.) (3-6) at (2) Georgetown (Ky.) (8-0)
(3) Missouri Valley (8-0) at (15) Evangel (Mo.) (7-2)
Concordia (Neb.) (5-3) at (4) Morningside (Iowa) (8-0)
Taylor (Ind.) (3-5) at (6) Saint Francis (Ind.) (6-2)
Montana Western (2-6) at (7) Montana Tech (7-1)
(8) Cumberlands (Ky.) (8-1) at Kentucky Christian (6-3)
Iowa Wesleyan at (9) Grand View (Iowa) (7-2)
(11) St. Ambrose (Iowa) (7-1) at (10) William Penn (Iowa) (8-1)
(12) MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) (6-2) vs. Peru State (Neb.) (4-5)
(13) Baker (Kan.) (6-2) at (18) Benedictine (Kan.) (6-3)
(14) Southern Oregon (6-2) at Eastern Oregon (4-4)
(16) Carroll (Mont.) (6-3) at Rocky Mountain (Mont.) (4-5)
(17) Northwestern (Iowa) (7-2) at (25) Hastings (Neb.) (6-2)
Friends (Kan.) (6-3) at (19) Ottawa (Kan.) (6-2)
(20) Tabor (Kan.) (6-2) at Southwestern (Kan.) (4-5)
(21) Bethel (Tenn.) (6-3) at Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) (3-6)
(22) Robert Morris (Ill.) (8-1) at Valley City State (N.D.) (6-3)
McPherson (Kan.) (3-4) at (23) Kansas Wesleyan (6-3)
(24) Doane (Neb.) (5-3) at Dordt (Iowa) (1-6)
• Last week's (Oct. 22 - 28) Top 25 Results:
(1) Marian (Ind.) (8-0) (H) def. Menlo (Calif.) (4-4) (V), 34-7
(3) Missouri Valley (7-0) (H) def. Peru State (Neb.) (4-5) (V), 67-13
(4) Morningside (Iowa) (8-0) (H) def. Dordt (Iowa) (1-6) (V), 41-0
(5) Saint Xavier (Ill.) (7-1) (H) def. Concordia (Mich.) (0-8) (V), 54-10
(19) Southern Oregon (6-2) (H) def. (6) Carroll (Mont.) (6-3) (V), 52-49
(7) Saint Francis (Ind.) (6-2) (H) def. Siena Heights (3-6) (V), 31-7
(8) Montana Tech (7-1) (H) def. Montana State-Northern (2-6) (V), 21-13
(9) Grand View (Iowa) (7-2) (V) def. (17) St. Francis (Ill.) (5-4) (H), 23-16
(10) Cumberlands (Ky.) (8-1) (V) def. Campbellsville (Ky.) (2-7) (H), 62-19
(11) William Penn (Iowa) (8-1) (V) def. Trinity International (Ill.) (3-6) (H), 36-25
(12) St. Ambrose (Iowa) (7-1) (V) def. Waldorf (Iowa) (4-5) (H), 48-21
(13) MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) (6-2) (H) def. Graceland (Iowa) (4-5) (V), 55-0
(14) Baker (Kan.) (6-2) (V) def. Culver-Stockton (Mo.) (1-8) (H), 29-9
(15) Evangel (Mo.) (7-2) (V) def. Central Methodist (Mo.) (2-7) (H), 49-16
(16) Northwestern (Iowa) (7-2) (V) def. (25) Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.) (5-3) (H), 41-13
(RV) Doane (Neb.) (5-3) (H) def. (18) Hastings (Neb.) (6-2) (V), 48-16
(RV) Bethel (Tenn.) (6-3) (H) def. (20) Cumberland (Tenn.) (6-3) (V), 32-30
(21) Benedictine (Kan.) (6-3) (V) def. Avila (Mo.) (2-7) (H), 45-42
(22) Robert Morris (Ill.) (8-1) (H) def. Haskell (Kan.) (0-8) (V), 58-0
(22) Tabor (Kan.) (6-2) (H) def. Bethel (Kan.) (0-8) (V), 75-6
(24) Ottawa (Kan.) (6-2) (H) def. Bethany (Kan.) (2-7) (V), 56-20
• Then-No. 19 Southern Oregon held off a furious second half comeback by then-No. 6 Carroll (Mont.) en route to a 52-49 upset victory last Saturday in the NAIA Football Game of the Week. The Raiders, aided by a 21-point second quarter, held a 35-19 lead at the break, however Carroll was determined to make it a game. The Fighting Saints outscored Southern Oregon 30-17 in the second half, but it was not enough to overcome the potent Raider offense. The two teams combined for 1,417 yards of total offense, including 719 yards by Southern Oregon. Raider quarterback Austin Dodge set a new school record for single-game passing, completing 27-of-38 pass attempts for 526 yards and two touchdowns. For Carroll, quarterback Drew Stonehouse led the team with 19 carries for 206 yards and a score, while also throwing for 248 yards and four touchdowns.
• Three higher ranked teams fell last week: then-No. 19 Southern Oregon def. then-No. 6 Carroll (Mont.), 52-49; Doane (Neb.) def. then-No. 18 Hastings (Neb.), 48-16; Bethel (Tenn.) def. then-No. 20 Cumberland (Tenn.), 32-30.
• For the fifth-straight week, the top four teams remain unchanged in the NAIA Football Coaches' Top 25 Poll. This is the longest such stretch for a Nos. 1 - 4 since fromer-NAIA member Sioux Falls (S.D.), Carroll (Mont.), former-NAIA member Lindenwood (Mo.) and Saint Francis (Ind.) held strong for eight-straight polls in 2009 (April 20 - Oct. 19). Carroll dropped the farthest this week, falling from ten positions from No. 6 to No. 16. No. 21 Bethel (Tenn.), No. 23 Kansas Wesleyan and No. 24 Doane (Neb.) returned to the Top 25.
• For this week's NAIA Football Coaches' Top 25 Poll, click here.
• For a complete look at the 2012 NAIA football schedule, click here.
|Top 25 Consecutive Poll Leaders (Poll No. 8)|
|1. Saint Francis (Ind.)||164|
|2. Carroll (Mont.)||149|
|3. MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.)||77|
|4. Morningside (Iowa)||70|
|5. Saint Xavier (Ill.)||59|
|6. Missouri Valley||37|
|T7. Marian (Ind.)||34|
|T7. William Penn (Iowa)||34|
|9. Georgetown (Ky.)||28|
|10. Benedictine (Kan.)||23|
|No. 1 Poll Leaders (Since 2000)|
|1. Carroll (Mont.)||56|
|2. Sioux Falls (S.D.)||55|
|3. Georgetown (Ky.)||23|
|4. Saint Xavier (Ill.)||14|
|5. Northwestern Oklahoma State||11|
For the Record
• Edward Waters' (Fla.) 66-34 victory over Point (Ga.) marked the third-consecutive season that two NAIA schools have combined for 110 points in a game. (information provided by Tex Noel, Intercollegiate Football Researchers Association)
• Marian (Ind.), Georgetown (Ky.), Missouri Valley and Morningside (Iowa) are tied for the NAIA's longest winning streak at eight games. All four teams are 8-0 on the season and will be in action on Saturday.
• Four programs are searching for their first win of the season.
• Saint Francis (Ind.) head coach Kevin Donley extended his lead to three games over Dickinson State (N.D.) head coach Hank Biesiot on the all time wins list when the Cougars downed Siena Heights (Mich.), 31-7, on Oct. 27. Donley currently owns a 260-118-1 career record, while Biesiot is 257-108-1. Both coaches are in action on Saturday.
• Benedictine (Kan.) head coach Larry Wilcox became only the fifth NAIA football coach to eclipse the 230 career win plateau with a 59-6 thumping of Sterling (Kan.) on Sept. 1. Wilcox is currently third amongst active coaches with a 235-129 all-time record.
• Bill Cronin of Georgetown (Ky.) claimed his 150th career win when his then-No. 4 Tigers knocked off Bethel (Tenn.), 63-21, on Sept. 29. Cronin owns a 153-35 record in 15 seasons at Georgetown, which ranks fifth amongst active NAIA coaches.
• There are four programs making their NAIA varsity debut in 2012: Lindenwood-Belleville (Ill.), made famous by the bright-red turf of its new field, Point (Ga.), Bluefield (Va.) and Wayland Baptist (Texas). Lindenwood-Belleville (4-5) won its season opener, 43-37, against Avila (Mo.) on Sept. 1, while Wayland Baptist (2-5) claimed its first victory, 27-23, against NCAA Division III Howard Payne (Texas) on Sept. 15. Point (1-7) earned its first win on Oct. 27 in a 48-14 thrashing of The Apprentice School. Bluefield (0-9) remains in search of that elusive first victory.
• A pair of long-time Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference rivals played for the 100th time when then-No. 24 Kansas Wesleyan traveled to Bethany (Kan.) on Sept. 22. The Coyotes won a thriller, 33-31, over the Swedes to improve to 8-4 against Bethany since 2000. Bethany leads the all-time series with a 55-40-5 record.
National Statistics (Through Oct. 31)
• Southern Oregon quarterback Austin Dodge leads the NAIA in total offense through week eight with 3,372 yards - 622 yards more than second place Brandon Large of Dakota State (S.D.). Dodge also boasts an NAIA-best 3,289 passing yards.
• Derek Lear of Montana State-Northern set a 2012 NAIA single-game high with 606 yards of total offense in the Lights' 46-39 victory against Montana Western on Sept. 22. Lear, who accounted for more than 80 percent of the Montana State-Northern offense, finished the game 32-for-45 (71 percent) for 532 yards and seven touchdowns.
• Bryce Baker of Rocky Mountain (Mont.) set the NAIA game-high in passing yards with 544 in the Battlin' Bears' 52-30 victory against Southern Oregon on Sept. 8.
• Terrance Cobb of Cumberlands (Ky.) leads the NAIA with 1,472 rushing yards in nine games - 163.6 rushing yards per game. Cobb ran for a NAIA individual game-high 327 yards in the Patriots, 62-19, victory against Campbellsville (Ky.) on Oct. 27. The performance earned Cobb NAIA National Football Offensive Player of the Week honors.
• Colin Amsler of Southern Oregon is currently the NAIA's highest scoring kicker with 83 points. He enters the week 12-for-17 in field goals and 47-for-51 in PATs.
• Evangel's (Mo.) Jesse Vaughn leads all NAIA receivers with 1,137 yards on 47 receptions, while Daniel Beals of Trinity International (Ill.) is first with 77 catches.
• Eastern Oregon linebacker Howard McDonald owns an NAIA-best 16.6 tackles per game average, while Dexter Davis of Friends (Kan.) leads the way with 13.0 sacks each. Davis set a career-best and NAIA game-high with five sacks on Sept. 15 against NCAA Division II Southern Nazarene (Okla.).
• Adrian Hightower of Cumberlands (Ky.) leads the NAIA with eight interceptions, including two multi-interception performances against Cumberland (Tenn.) on Sept. 8 and Pikeville (Ky.) on Sept. 22.
• Team Offensive Leaders
o Scoring Offense per Game: Southern Oregon - 54.4 points per game
o Total Offense per Game: Southern Oregon - 653.9 yards per game
o Rushing Offense: Cumberlands (Ky.) - 3,134 yards (348.2 yards per game)
o Passing Offense: Southern Oregon - 3,591 yards (448.9 yards per game)
o Turnover Margin per game: Tabor (Kan.) - 3.5 turnover margin per game
o First Downs per Game: Southern Oregon - 30.6 first downs per game
o Third Down Conversion: Saint Francis (Ind.)/Marian (Ind.) - 54.3 percent
o Fourth Down Conversion: Ottawa (Kan.) - 83.3 percent
• Team Defensive Leaders
o Scoring Defense per Game: Morningside (Iowa) - 7.1 points per game
o Total Defense per Game: Bacone (Okla.) - 225.3 yards per game
o Rushing Defense per Game: Morningside (Iowa) - 54.8 yards per game
o Passing Defense per Game: Bacone (Okla.) - 129.4 yards per game
o Sacks: Northwestern (Iowa) - 39.0 total sacks
o Opponent Third Down Conversion: Morningside (Iowa) - 20.5 percent
o Opponent Fourth Down Conversion: Sterling (Kan.) - 12.5 percent
• For a complete look at the NAIA statistical leaders, click here.
List of NAIA Schools Participating in Football - Click HERE
NAIA Football Winningest Active Coaches - Click HERE
NAIA Football All-Time Winningest Coaches - Click HERE
NAIA Regular-Season Record Book - Click HERE
Looking Ahead to the National Championship
The 57th annual NAIA Football National Championship will take place at Barron Stadium in Rome, Ga., for the fifth-straight season. The 2012 championship will be contested on Dec. 13 at 6:30 p.m. EST. The NAIA Football Championship Series is scheduled for Nov. 17, 24 and Dec. 1 at campus sites.
NAIA Football National Championship Information - Click HERENational Championship Superlatives
|Most Postseason Appearances|
|1. Carroll (Mont.)||20||39-14||2011|
|T2. Georgetown (Ky.)||17||24-14||2011|
|T2. Westminster (Pa.)*||17||31-11||1997|
|4. Sioux Falls (S.D.)*||16||36-12||2010|
|T5. Dickinson State (N.D.)||15||6-15||2010|
|T5. Northwestern (Iowa)||15||20-13||2006|
|T5. Pacific Lutheran (Wash.)*||15||24-12||1996|
|T5. Lindfield (Ore.)*||15||16-12||1994|
|T9. Findlay (Ohio)*||13||21-9-1||1997|
|T9. Central Arkansas*||13||12-10-2||1992|
|Most Wins in Football Championship Series|
|1. Carroll (Mont.)||39-14|
|2. Sioux Falls (S.D.)*||36-12|
|3. Westminster (Pa.)*||31-11|
|T4. Pacific Lutheran (Wash)*||24-12|
|T4. Georgetown (Ky.)||24-14|
|6. Findlay (Ohio)*||21-9-1|
|T7. Northwestern (Iowa)||20-13|
|T7. Carson-Newman (Tenn.)*||20-6-1|
|9. Saint Francis (Ind.)||19-12|
|T10. Linfield (Ore.)*||16-12|
|T10. Texas A&I*||16-1|
|Programs with Most National Championship Titles|
|1. Texas A&I*||1959, 69-70, 74-76, 79||7|
|T2. Carroll (Mont.)||2002-05, 07, 10||6|
|T2. Westminster (Pa.)*||1970, 76-77, 88-89, 94||6|
|4. Carson-Newman (Tenn.)*||1983-84, 86, 88-89||5|
|T5. Findlay (Ohio)*||1979, 92, 95, 97||4|
|T5. Sioux Falls (S.D.)*||1996, 2006, 2008-09||4|
For the complete NAIA Football National Championship Record Book – Click HERE