NAIA Game of the Week
No. 4 Carroll (Mont.) (3-0, 2-0 Frontier) at No. 19 Rocky Mountain (Mont.) (3-0, 2-0 Frontier)
Saturday, Sept. 21 | 1 p.m. MDT | Herb Klindt Field | Billings, Mont.
• A renewed rivalry will be on display Saturday in the NAIA Football Game of the Week as No. 4 Carroll (Mont.) visits No. 19 Rocky Mountain in a key Frontier Conference showdown. Carroll and Rocky Mountain are currently tied atop the league with Montana Western. All three programs boast a 2-0 conference record.
• Carroll, a traditional powerhouse program in NAIA football, boasts an 80-15-2 all-time record against the Battlin’ Bears since the series began in 1949.
• Last season, the two sides split the season series with each team maintaining its home field advantage. Carroll, who entered the Sept. 15 meeting with a 1-2 record, returned to a .500 record with a 19-6 victory in Helena before Rocky Mountain played spoiler approximately seven weeks later. With the game tied 28-28 and Carroll’s playoff hopes hanging in the balance, Battlin’ Bears’ kicker Nick Knell connected on a decisive, 32-yard field goal with just over two minutes remaining. The victory for Rocky Mountain was its first against Carroll since the 2000 season.
• Carroll enters its fourth game of the season with an unbeaten record for the eighth time in the last 10 seasons, while Rocky Mountain is 3-0 entering week three for the second-straight season.
• The Fighting Saints return 12 starters – seven offensive and five on the defense – from a 2012 squad that finished 7-4 overall and 7-3 in the Frontier Conference.
• Senior quarterback Dakota Stonehouse headlines the returning letterwinners on offense for Carroll. Last season, his first year as a starter, Stonehouse accounted for more than 2,800 yards of total offense. He completed 141-of-222 passes (63.5 percent) for 1,987 yards and 24 touchdowns, while recording 873 yards and four touchdowns on the ground – second-best on the team. Stonehouse has carried that momentum through the Fighting Saints’ first three games this season. He averages a team-leading 228.7 yards of total offense and has thrown for five touchdowns, while rushing for another.
• With the graduation of Carroll’s all-time leading rusher and 2011 NAIA National Player of the Year Chance Demarais, question marks surrounded the Fighting Saint ground attack. However, junior running back Dustin Rinker has stepped up to lead a squad that ranks eighth nationally in total rushing offense (633 yards). Rinker, who played considerable time as a reserve during his freshman and sophomore seasons, boasts 279 rushing yards and three touchdowns on the year. His highlight performance came in Carroll’s 21-7 win against then-No. 7 Montana Tech, when he raced for 139 yards and two touchdowns.
• Defensively, Carroll ranks amongst the top 15 in eight categories – opponent fourth down conversion (0.0), scoring defense per game (5.7), opponent first downs (23), total defense per game (251.0), sacks (8.5), pass defense efficiency (81.2), opponent third down conversion (22.2) and rushing defense per game (99.0).
• Returning all-conference selections Sean Blomquist and Mike Siegersma headline the unit. Blomquist currently leads the team with 26 tackles (20 solo), including four tackles for loss and two sacks. Siegersma is fourth with 13 stops (11 solo).
• Defensive back James Dowgin paces the squad with three interceptions, which ranks second in the NAIA.
• The Fighting Saints have outscored opponents 103-17.
• Rocky Mountain returned to the Coaches’ Top 25 poll for the first time since resting at No. 22 on Sept. 17, 2012. The Battlin’ Bears were ranked No. 19 the previous week, but then dropped four-straight en route to a 6-5 record a year ago.
• Since 2011, Rocky Mountain is averaging 32.7 points per game at home and owns an 8-4 record in those contests.
• The Battlin’ Bears showcase one of the nation’s top offensive attacks, currently leading the NAIA in passing offense (1,214), while ranking third in scoring offense (125) and fifth in total offense per game (541.3).
• Junior quarterback Bryce Baker, who is in his third season under center for Rocky Mountain, ranks second in the NAIA with 1,028 passing yards this season. He boasts a 71.6 percent (73-of-102) completion percentage and has thrown nine touchdowns and four interceptions. Baker’s best passing performance of the year came against then-No. 14 Southern Oregon when he completed 34-of-51 attempts (66.7 percent) for 517 yards – the current NAIA 2013 individual game-high – and three touchdowns. He currently rests 16 yards shy of reaching 5,000 career passing yards.
• Six different players have at least seven catches and 120 yards receiving for Rocky Mountain, led by sophomore wide receiver Andre McCullouch. McCullouch boasts 19 receptions for 379 yards – third in the NAIA – and four touchdowns. He set a career-high with 177 yards receiving against Southern Oregon.
• Defensively, the Battlin’ Bears are allowing 24.3 points and 412.3 yards of total offense per game.
• Senior linebackers Travis Bertelsen and Josh Johnson lead the unit with 25 tackles each. Johnson is also owns a squad-high 3.5 sacks.
Note – Portions of this information was provided by the Carroll and Rocky Mountain Sports Information Departments
This Week Around the Top 25
• This week (Sept. 16 – 22) features 19 Top 25 teams in action in addition to the two programs featured in the NAIA Game of the Week. Those contests include:
o No. 1 Morningside (Iowa) at Dordt (Iowa)
o No. 7 St. Ambrose (Iowa) at No. 2 Saint Francis (Ind.)
o No. 22 Robert Morris (Ill.) at No. 5 Saint Xavier (Ill.)
o No. 8 Baker (Kan.) at No. 14 Benedictine (Kan.)
o No. 9 Grand View (Iowa) at No. 16 Marian (Ind.)
o Saint Mary (Kan.) at No. 10 Tabor (Kan.)
o No. 15 MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) at No. 11 Missouri Valley
o RV Montana Western at No. 12 Montana Tech
o No. 13 Ottawa (Kan.) at Bethany (Kan.)
o No. 17 St. Francis (Ill.) at Trinity International (Ill.)
o No. 18 Doane (Neb.) at Hastings (Neb.)
o No. 20 William Penn (Iowa) at Truman State (Mo.) (NCAA Division II)
o Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.) at No. 21 Northwestern (Iowa)
o Reinhardt (Ga.) at No. 23 Faulkner (Ala.)
• Ranked teams finshed last week with a 10-10 record:
o No. 1 Morningside (Iowa) def. RV Nebraska Wesleyan, 48-10
o Wisconsin-Oshkosh (NCAA Division III) def. No. 2 Marian (Ind.), 34-13
o No. 18 Ottawa (Kan.) def. No. 2 Missouri Valley, 20-6
o University of Indianapolis (NCAA Division II) def. No. 4 Saint Xavier (Ill.), 51-20
o No. 5 Saint Francis (Ind.) def. No. 16 William Penn (Iowa), 31-13
o No. 6 Georgetown (Ky.) def. No. 9 Bethel (Tenn.), 33-14
o No. 12 Carroll (Mont.) def. No. 7 Montana Tech, 21-7
o No. 8 Cumberlands (Ky.) def. No. 21 Belhaven (Miss.), 41-17
o No. 17 Tabor (Kan.) def. No. 10 MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.), 21-13
o No. 11 St. Ambrose (Iowa) def. Taylor (Ind.), 48-37
o No. 20 Doane (Neb.) def. No. 13 Northwestern (Iowa), 34-27
o No. 15 Baker (Kan.) def. Saint Mary (Kan.), 41-40
o Kansas Wesleyan def. No. 22 Evangel (Mo.), 38-28
o Incarnate Word (Texas) (NCAA Division II) def. No. 23 Langston (Okla.), 24-0
o No. 24 Benedictine (Kan.) def. RV Friends (Kan.), 28-15
• In last week’s NAIA Football Game of the Week, No. 20 Doane (Neb.) knocked off No. 13 Northwestern (Iowa), 34-27. The two sides combined for 801 yards of total offense, including 408 from Doane. Northwestern overcame a 24-7 halftime deficit to tie the score 27-27 midway through the fourth quarter. However, Doane responded on its next possession with a 10-play, 84-yard drive to regain the lead. For the complete recap, click here.
• Morningside (Iowa) remained atop the NAIA Football Coaches’ Top 25 poll after starting the season 2-0 with wins over Valley City State (N.D.) and Nebraska Wesleyan. The Mustangs tallied 314 points and all 14 first-place votes en route to becoming the unanimous selection.
• Other notable movements within the Top 25 this week:
o Saint Francis (Ind.) jumped from No. 5 to No. 2
o Cumberlands (Ky.) jumped from No. 8 to No. 3
o Carroll (Mont.) jumped from No. 12 to No. 4
o Baker (Kan.) jumped from No. 15 to No. 8
o Grand View (Iowa) jumped from No. 19 to No. 9
• Six newcomers joined the poll this week: No. 17 St. Francis (Ill.), No. 19 Rocky Mountain (Mont.), No. 22 Robert Morris (Ill.), No. 23 Faulkner (Ala.), No. 24 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) and No. 25 Pikeville (Ky.)
• Preseason No. 9 Bethel (Tenn.), No. 14 Southern Oregon, No. 21 Belhaven (Miss.), No. 22 Evangel (Mo.), No. 23 Langston (Okla.) and No. 25 Cumberland (Tenn.) fell out of the Top 25.
• To view the most recent 2013 NAIA Football Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, click here.
For the Record
• Rocky Mountain (Mont.) and Jamestown (N.D.) were the first college football teams to play a regular season game in 2013, as the two sides squared off August 23 at Connors Stadium in Miles City, Mont. Quarterback Bryce Baker tossed three touchdowns to rally the Battlin’ Bears to a 34-20 victory. Baker passed for 265 of Rocky Mountain’s 495 yards of total offense. He also rushed for one score.
• Three new programs made their NAIA debut in 2013: Oklahoma Baptist, who was playing in its first football season since 1940, and Warner (Fla.) are currently 0-3 on the season. Conversely, Reinhardt (Ga.) earned its first program victory last Saturday with a 19-14 win at Kentucky Christian to improve to 1-2 on the year.
• Future NAIA football programs are: College of Idaho (2014), Missouri Baptist (2014), Southeastern (Fla.) (2014), Arizona Christian (2014) and Lyon (Ark.) (2015). Since 2008, the NAIA has added 16 varsity programs (portions of this information from the National Football Foundation).
• Concordia (Mich.) earned its first-ever varsity program win when they knocked off NCAA Division III Alfred State (N.Y.), 35-21. The Cardinals began varsity football in 2011.
• Morningside (Iowa) head coach Steve Ryan notched his 100th career victory when his top-ranked Mustangs defeated Nebraska Wesleyan, 48-10. Ryan, who is in his 12th season, currently ranks 10th on the NAIA’s active coaching wins list with a 100-31 career record. Morningside returns to action on Saturday when they travel to Dordt (Iowa).
• Erik Brown of Ottawa (Kan.), Melvin Mason of Southern Oregon and Jordan Pedersen of Doane (Neb.) were named as this week’s NAIA National Football Players of the Week. To read the complete release, click here.
• Grand View (Iowa) and Pikeville (Ky.) earned week-one victories against NCAA Division I FCS opponents. Grand View, whose win is its first-ever against a NCAA Division I school, knocked off Drake (Iowa), 21-16. Viking quarterback Derek Fulton had a career day, completing 26-of-40 passes for 291 yards and one touchdown en route to the win. Propelled by 100-yard efforts by Seth Millar and Marquis Terrell, Pikeville took down Morehead State (Ky.), 13-10. Both sides finished with 300-plus yards of total offense, but three Morehead State turnovers played a key role in Pikeville’s season-opening victory.
• Seven individuals set 2013 individual game highs last week:
o Rushing Touchdowns – Cole Kelly, St. Ambrose (Iowa) – 4 touchdowns
o Passes Attempted – Bruce Reyes, Missouri Valley – 59 attempts
o Longest Pass – Kaler Ray, Dickinson State (N.D.) – 88 yards
o Receiving Yards – Kyle Schuck, Morningside (Iowa) – 202 yards
o Longest Reception – J.T. Keith, Dickinson State (N.D.) – 88 yards
o Longest Field Goal Made – Clarence Clark, Baker (Kan.) – 55 yards
o Longest Punt Return – Jared Mayernik, Carroll (Mont.) – 90 yards
National Statistics (through games played on Sept. 14)
• 2013 Team Offensive Leaders
o Scoring Offense per Game: Avila (Mo.) – 60.5 points per game
o Total Offense per Game: Morningside (Iowa) – 624.5 yards per game
o Rushing Offense per Game: Cumberlands (Ky.) – 373.0 yards per game
o Passing Offense per Game: Rocky Mountain (Mont.) – 404.0 yards per game
o Turnover Margin per Game: Three tied – 4.0 turnovers per game
o First Downs per Game: Morningside (Iowa) – 34.0 first downs per game
o Third Down Conversion: Morningside (Iowa) – 62.5 percent (15-of-24)
o Fourth Down Conversion: 9 teams tied at 100.0 percent
• 2013 Team Defensive Leaders
o Scoring Defense per Game: Trinity International (Ill.) – 3.0 points per game
o Total Defense per Game: Trinity International (Ill.) – 132.0 yards per game
o Rushing Defense per Game: Trinity International (Ill.) – (-17.5) yards per game
o Passing Defense per Game: MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) – 16.0 yards per game
o Sacks: Faulkner (Ala.) – 18.0 sacks
o Opponent Third Down Conversion: Missouri Valley – 7.7 percent (1-of-13)
o Opponent Fourth Down Conversion: Eight tied at 0.0 percent
• For a complete look at the 2013 NAIA statistical leaders, click here.
Looking Ahead to the National Championship
The 58th annual NAIA Football National Championship will take place at Barron Stadium in Rome, Ga., for the sixth-straight season. The 2013 championship will be contested Dec. 21 at 4:30 p.m. EDT. The NAIA Football Championship Series is scheduled for Nov. 23, 30 and Dec. 7 at campus sites.
NAIA Football National Championship Visitor Information – Click HERE