Despite a final home-game loss of 29 – 30 against Methodist University, the Captains will be heading to Alliance, Ohio to open the NCAA tournament against Mount Union College.
Mount Union has yet to be defeated this season, and the program has a record of ten National Championship wins. The teams will face off on Saturday, Nov. 17 at noon.
“[Mount Union] looks good on film and is very good, but they can be beaten,” said junior defensive tackle Matthew Arrington. “We believe all of our hard work can lead us to a victory. Our head coach has told us all season we can beat any opponent as long as we block and tackle better.”
In addition to the CNU game, fourteen other games will be played that day all over the country.
The Salisubry University Sea Gulls (8 – 2), the first team the Captains played against this season, will also be competing in the first round, defending their home turf in Maryland against Rowan University (7 – 2).
Several other teams come into the tournament with undefeated seasons, such as the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, Coe College, Linfield College, and the University of St. Thomas (Minnesota).
If the Captains are able to win against Mount Union, they will still have many challenges to face to get to the top. With many players being USA South standouts, such as five-time chosen Offensive Rookie of the Week Paul Dukes or senior Tyshawn Harris who was has been awarded Defensive Player of the Week in the past, CNU has solid players that can obviously perform on the field. But the team will have to prove that they can work together both offensively and defensively if they hope to come out with a win.
Arrington explained, “Our special teams will have to set the tone of the game from the beginning, and the offense and defense will be able to feed off of that momentum.”
The Captains are excited for this chance to prove themselves, and have been working hard all season to win a conference championship and have the opportunity to go to the playoffs.
“We may be the underdog,” said Arrington, “but this team has a lot of heart and believes we can succeed against any opponent.”