KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Morningside (Iowa), Reinhardt (Ga.), Saint Francis (Ind.) and Southern Oregon each punched tickets to semifinals with wins in quarterfinal action of the 2017 NAIA Football Championship Series (FCS) Saturday. Saint Francis and Reinhardt both advanced out of the quarterfinals last season.
Semifinal action will be played out on Saturday, December 2, on the campuses of Saint Francis and Reinhardt. The Cougars also hosted the round of four last season.
Since 1997, host schools own a 222-69 record in the FCS, including a 61-22 mark in the quarterfinals.
The 62nd annual NAIA Football National Championship is scheduled for Saturday, December 16 at 6 p.m. EST in Daytona Beach, Fla. The City of Daytona Beach hosts the event at Municipal Stadium for the fourth-straight season.
2017 NAIA FCS Semifinal Pairings
Game 1 – #3 Morningside (Iowa) (13-0) at #1 University of Saint Francis (Ind.) (12-0), Noon
Game 2 – #5 Southern Oregon (12-0) at #2 Reinhardt (Ga.) (12-0), TBA
2017 NAIA Football Championship Series – Quarterfinal Notes
- Defending national champion University of Saint Francis, which is looking to become the first team to take home back-to-back banners since former member Sioux Falls (S.D.) accomplished the feat in 2008 and 2009, downed Northwestern (Iowa), 30-3, to extend its NAIA-best winning streak to 21-straight. It was also the 200th victory in the program’s 20-year history making it Kevin Donley’s 200th win as head coach at USF.
• The USF win was No. 314 for Donley tying him with Amos Alonzo Stagg (Springfield(1890–1891), Chicago(1892–1932), Pacific (CA) (1933–1946) and Roy Kidd (Eastern Kentucky (1964-02) for No. 9 on the college coaches winningest coaches list.
• Saint Francis’ Justin Green once again proved to be a difference maker, as the junior raced for 180 yards and one touchdown (29 yards). Green also scored on an 8-yard pass from QB Nick Ferrer raising his season scoring total to USF single-season record 168 points.
• Sophomore Dan Ricksy’s 111 yards receiving moved him over the 1,000 yards plateau to 1,060. He was chosen NAIA Offensive Player of the Game scoring on a 14-yard pass from Nick Ferrer late in the first half and on a 30-yard strike from Ferrer in the third quarter lifting USF to a 24-3 lead.
• In nine career playoff games, Green has ran for 1,649 yards (183.2 per game) and 14 touchdowns. It was his eighth 100-plus yards game in nine NAIA FCS contests.
• The Cougars reach the FCS semifinals for the third-straight season and the ninth time in program history, the ninth time in the last 15 years.
• The win over NC improved USF to 9-6 in NAIA FCS Quarterfinals, 8-0 at home; USF is 4-4 in semifinal games, 3-1 at home; USF is 29-15 in the NAIA FCS, Donley is 33-20.
• Reinhardt (Ga.) advances to it’s second-straight semifinal with a 17-10 win over Georgetown (Ky.). The Eagles are now 2-0 all-time in the round of eight.
• Reinhardt’s top-ranked defense was on display today, as the Eagles held Georgetown to only 198 total yards – more than 200 yards below the Tigers’ season average.
• Morningside (Iowa) improved to 6-6 all-time in the FCS quarterfinals with a dominant 52-7 victory over Saint Xavier (Ill.). Quarterback Trent Solsma led the Mustangs’ high-powered offense with 335 passing yards and four touchdowns. Wide receiver Chad Berg was Solsma’s favorite target on the day with six catches for 112 yards and two scores.
• Morningside set a new program record with nine sacks, including three by defensive lineman Chase Reis.
• Running back Rey Vega scored on a 6-yard run with 47 seconds left in the game to give Southern Oregon a 34-29 victory over Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) and punch the Raiders’ ticket to the semifinals for the third time in the last four seasons.
• Southern Oregon and Lindsey Wilson combined for 848 total yards, including 427 by the Raiders. Quarterback Tranner Trosin was impressive once again, passing for 279 yards and two touchdowns and running for a game-high 58 yards. Ten different Southern Oregon receivers caught a pass on the afternoon, as Trosin completed 25-of-38 attempts (65.8 percent).
• All four of the semifinal teams are unbeaten – Saint Francis (12-0), Reinhardt (11-0), Morningside (13-0) and Southern Oregon (12-0).