Red Raiders Qualify For Postseason Play

November 17, 2019 9:25pm

Northwestern College is playoff bound for the third straight year as they earned a spot in the 2019 NAIA Football Championship Series as announced by the national office earlier this evening.

Ranked eighth in the final coaches' poll, Northwestern received the first of the four at-large bids into the Championship Series field and will host No.9 Saint Xavier (Ill.) in a first round matchup on Saturday, Nov. 23. Kickoff time will be noon (CST).

This will be the Red Raiders third straight and 21st overall appearance in the Football Championship Series and the second consecutive year they will host. They are 21-18 all-time in the postseason and are 14-6 in first round match-ups (note: the 1987 season was the first the NAIA went to a 16-team format for the championship; from 1978 - 1986, the NAIA had an 8-team championship field, prior to that, it was four-team championship; therefore, the 14-6 record in the first round accounts for the FIRST game played in the postseason by the Red Raiders, whether it be the round of 16, 8 for 4.)

This year's field includes 12 automatic qualifiers one from each conference and four at-large selections. Automatic berths were given to teams that won their conference regular-season title and were ranked within the top 20 of the final regular-season NAIA Football Coaches' Top 25 Poll. At-large bids were given to the next highest ranked teams that did not claim an automatic spot.

The Cougars are making their third straight and 13th overall appearance in the NAIA FCS, owning a 32-16 all-time record in the postseason. They have reached the national quarterfinals the last two years, losing to Morningside in the round of eight both seasons. Saint Xavier won the Mid-States Football Association Midwest Division Championship with a perfect 6-0 record, earning the leagues auto bid into the 16-team NAIA FCS field. They have won seven straight games, ending the season with a 29-27 victory over St.Francis (Ill.) on the road, for an 8-2 overall record. Longtime coach Mike Feminis, in his 21st season as the head of the Cougars' football program, owns a 73% win percentage and is fourth among active coaches with 175 wins.

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