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NAIA Championship Game Notes & Trends

December 19, 2009

Dec. 19, 2009

• Sioux Falls kicker Braden Wieking hit three field goals today, which continues his hot streak of making at least two fields in each of his last three games.

• His three field goals was one shy of the Championship record.

• The two 40-plus yard field goals by Wieking is the first for a kicker to hit one field goal past 40 yards in Championship play since records are available since 1997.

• By passing for two touchdowns, Lindenwood’s Philip Staback now has tossed at least a pair of TDs this year 12 times, including his last six games.

• With a safety and a kickoff return for a touchdown today, Sioux Falls now has posted 96 points this year on defense and special teams. That point total is more than four NAIA teams have scored on offense this year.

• The 22 points allowed by Sioux Falls is the most since giving up 31 against Morningside (Iowa) on Nov. 15, 2008.

• The 91-yard kickoff return by Sioux Falls Adam Lopez in the third quarter was a first in the championship since Cougar Trey Erickson went 89 yards for a score during the 2006 title game.

• In the first quarter, the team safety recorded by Sioux Falls was the first such occurrence since 1998.

• The two teams scored a combined 22 points in the span of five-plus minutes to open the second half. They had scored 22 points total in the first 30 minutes of the game.

• The three-point margin of victory was the smallest since a 15-13 Carroll (Mont.) win over St. Francis (Ind.) in the 2004 championship.

• According to Tex Noel research, Sioux Falls finishes with the third-highest total ever among any level of college football scoring 775 points. Lindenwood tallied 744 total points, which ranks eighth on this list.

• The No. 1 versus No. 3 match-up was the first time that the top-two ranked teams did not meet in the National Championship since 2004.

• The battle between No. 1 and No. 3 marked the seventh time in NAIA history that this occurred. The last time was No. 1 East Central (Okla.) falling to No. 3 Central Arkansas in 1984. As the third ranked team, Central Arkansas is the only team on record that defeated the top-ranked team. No. 1 teams improve to 6-1 overall in Championship play when facing a No. 3-ranked team.

• With both teams sporting an undefeated record heading the game, both participants have now had an unblemished record heading into the last five National Championships.

• Sioux Falls breaks a streak of No. 1 teams falling to “underdogs” in recent memory. Before today, the last three years have seen the No. 1 team fall to the second-ranked program.

• With Sioux Falls winning the Championship today, it has either been Sioux Falls or Carroll (Mont.) taking the title since 2002. Georgetown (Ky.), who has three national trophies, won it all in 2001.

• Sioux Falls wins its fourth national title overall. The title ties them for fifth on the NAIA all-time list with Findlay (Ohio) for most championships won.

• Sioux Falls is 4-2 all-time when playing in the National Championship. This was Lindenwood’s first appearance in the National Championship.

• The Sioux Falls seniors have put together an impressive resume: 56-1 record, three national championships, a 44-game home winning streak (never lost a home game) and 43-game conference winning streak.

• After Sioux Falls quarterback Lorenzo Brown was named the Rawlings-NAIA Player of the Year on Friday, the team that the MVP has played on improves to 6-4. Before this year, the Player of the Year had been on the losing end in each of the last three Championship games.