2019 NAIA Football Game of the Week No. 9
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) announced that the NAIA Football Game of the Week for November 9 will be No. 2 Marian (Ind.) at No. 25 Marian (Ind.). The game was selected by fans across the country in an online vote.
The first historical meeting between the two teams on senior day figures to be a thrilling one as the two Mid States Football Association Mideast Division teams will meet on the home field of underdog Indiana Wesleyan in Marion, Ind.
It is just year No. 2 for Indiana Wesleyan football, and the program is already turning heads in perhaps the most daunting division in NAIA Football. 2019 represents the first season the Wildcats are playing in the Mid States Mideast, which features five, NAIA Top 25 teams including themselves and Marian. Saint Francis (Ind.), Siena Heights (Mich.) and Concordia (Mich.) are the other three representatives.
The Wildcats rank No. 2 as a team in fourth down conversion percentage, converting at 75 percent (9-for-12 in 2019). As a whole, Indiana Wesleyan is balanced in all three phases of the game. Kicker Ben VonGunten is statistically one of the top kickers and punters in NAIA Football, while wide receiver Brayden Smith is ranked ninth in the country with 6.5 receptions per game. This season, VonGuten is ranked No. 4 in the nation in punt yards per game (42.9).
On the defensive side of the ball, Indiana Wesleyan has also seen its share of success. Linebackers Adam Schantz and Justin Brown are both tied at No. 13 in the nation in forced fumbles per game (0.300). The duo, however, is also tied at that position with Marian linebacker Nickai Poyser.
Marian will enter Saturday’s contest undefeated and a win would secure a regular season crown in the MSFA Mideast. In order to run the table, however, the Knights will need to defeat two, Top 25 conference opponents in Indiana Wesleyan and No. 21 Siena Heights (Mich.) next week to close-out their regular season slate.
The Knights feature arguably the top defense in the nation in 2019. Marian is holding opponents to just over 125 yards in the air per game, which is the top pass defense in the nation. Overall, the team is also ranked No. 1 in overall defense per game, holding its opponents to a remarkable 197 yards of offense per game.
Marian has had just two games this season that its opponent has held it to less than 40 points. Overall, the Knights are averaging 42.29 points per game.
Running back Charles Salary needs just 19 yards on Saturday to reach 1,000 yards on the ground for the season.
NAIA Game of the Week Quick Facts
Time: 12:00 p.m. Eastern
Date: Saturday, November 9, 2019
Location: Wildcat Stadium, Marion, Ind.
All-Time Series Record: First meeting
Game Preview: Game Preview
NAIA Football Rankings
2019 NAIA Football Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – Poll 8 (November 4)
|RANK||LAST WEEK||SCHOOL [1st Place Votes]||RECORD||FINAL POINTS|
|1||1||Morningside (Iowa) ||8-0||392|
|4||4||Grand View (Iowa)||9-0||350|
|6||6||College of Idaho||8-0||321|
|7||7||Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)||8-0||309|
|11||11||Saint Xavier (Ill.)||6-2||244|
|13||16||Saint Francis (Ind.)||6-2||201|
|19||12||Ottawa (Ariz.) (AZ)||8-1||121|
|20||21||Dickinson State (N.D.)||7-2||109|
|21||14||Siena Heights (Mich.)||7-2||99|
College Football: Ranked NAIA Football Games for November 9, 2019
(3) Kansas Wesleyan @ (23) Sterling (Kan.)
(2) Marian (Ind.) @ (25) Indiana Wesleyan
(24) Montana Western @ (6) College of Idaho
(12) Benedictine (Kan.) @ (18) Baker (Kan.)
(17) Montana Tech @ (RV) Carroll (Mont.)
Concordia (Neb.) @ (1) Morningside (Iowa)
Peru State (Neb.) @ (4) Grand View (Iowa)
Hastings (Neb.) @ (5) Northwestern (Iowa)
Georgetown (Ky.) @ (7) Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)
(8) Cumberlands (Ky.) @ Thomas More (Ky.)
(9) Evangel (Mo.) @ Central Methodist (Mo.)
St. Thomas (Fla.) @ (10) Keiser (Fla.)
Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) @ (11) Saint Xavier (Ill.)
(13) Saint Francis (Ind.) @ Taylor (Ind.)
(14) Concordia (Mich.) @ Lawrence Tech (Mich.)
(16) Southeastern (Fla.) @ Faulkner (Ala.)
Mayville State (N.D.) @ (20) Dickinson State (N.D.)
Texas College @ (22) Langston (Okla.)
Waldorf (Iowa) @ (RV) Valley City State (N.D.)
Briar Cliff (Iowa) @ (RV) Dordt (Iowa)