Courtesy: Georgetown (Ky.) Athletics
Courtesy: Georgetown (Ky.) Athletics

Second Round Review of the 2023 NAIA Football Championship Series

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – [FCS Schedule] The NAIA Football Championship Series continued on Saturday, November 25th when eight contests were played on campuses around the country. The Second Round saw six of the eight home teams win and advance to next weekend's action. Matchups for the Quarterfinal Round can be found HERE.

The 68th Annual NAIA Football National Championship will culminate on December 18th at Durham County Memorial Stadium in Durham, N.C. For more information on the 2023 NAIA Football National Championship, click HERE.


No. 1 Northwestern (Iowa) def. No. 16 Dordt (Iowa), 7-0

  • The low scoring slugfest saw no interceptions thrown or fumbles committed by either team
  • Northwestern scored the only points of the game at the 5:38 mark of the first quarter on a 12-yard toss from Jalyn Gramstad to Konner McQuilla
  • Both punters were busy in the game that saw snowfall end around kickoff
  • Blade Koons booted the ball four times for 140 total yards and one downed inside the 20
  • Eli Stader punted it away eight times for 276 yards with a touchback and two inside the opponents 20
  • The Defenders had one sack, three tackles for a loss, and three pass breakups
  • The Red Raiders defense had two sacks and three quarterback hits, seven tackles behind the line of scrimmage, two forced fumbles, and four broken up passes

No. 2 Grand View (Iowa) def. No. 14 Dickinson State (N.D.) , 28-3

  • The Vikings had a balanced offense with 10 first downs by passing and 10 rushing; they threw for 202 yards and ran for 174
  • DSU's offense was limited to 205 total yards due to a fumble and interception
  • Grand View's Jackson Waring accounted for all four touchdowns, hitting three different receivers for scores
  • Damon Street posted a game high 106 yards receiving and two scores on only five catches
  • The Blue hawks offense was led by 47 yards on the ground from Braden Zuroff and 59 through the air by Colin Bowden

No. 3 Keiser (Fla.) def. No. 13 St. Thomas (Fla.), 45-21

  • The Seahawks won the season rematch, defeating their Sun Conference foe
  • St. Thomas had a hot start to the game, scoring all of their points in the first quarter and leading 21-7
  • Jaden Meizinger and Andrew Burnette led the comeback with a combined 381 yards on the ground with three scores; quarterback Bryce Veasley accounted for three total touchdowns
  • Rontavious Farmer could not be stopped to the count of 236 yards rushing and three scores
  • Both teams did damage in the kicking game with STU netting 147 yards of kick returns compared to 114 for KU; Alejandro Prado tallied 224 yards punting for St. Thomas and Matthew Distro 123 for the home team
  • Keiser snagged two picks off Bobcats QB Keely Watson and Donnell Bennet III took a Seahawks pass the other way for 34 yards

No. 4 Georgetown (Ky.) def. No. 15 Baker (Kan.), 42-21

  • The Tigers offense was clicking on all cylinders with 507 total yards and rushing the ball 39 times for 244 yards
  • Baker turned the ball over twice - one on a fumble and one interception - while GC lost two fumbles
  • Georgetown's Darius Neal scored three touchdowns and 188 yards with a long run of 87 yards
  • Truman Juelsgaard was the offense force with 215 yards passing and 60 yards on the ground; Will Roberts added 92 yards off seven catches
  • The Tigers defense had five tackles for a loss and three pass breakups to go along with one sack
  • The Wildcats had six tackles behind the line of scrimmage and were led by Zac Kramer's 11 total tackles

No. 12 Saint Xavier (Ill.) def. No. 5 Marian (Ind.), 31-21

  • One-of-two lower seed teams to win in the second round as Saint Xavier dominated the running game
  • The Cougars posted 123 yards rushing over the Knights three yards rushing while both teams had 35 attempts on the ground
  • Saint Xavier had the upper hand on completion percentage (73 to 59 percent) and rushing first downs (6-4)
  • The Cougars defense was relentless racking up 15 tackles for a loss, totaling 91-yards
  • Saint Xavier tallied 10 sacks, dropping Marian (Ind.) back 78 yards, compared to the Knights recording three sacks to drop the Cougars back 27 yards
  • Marian had the upper hand in kick returns, bringing back four kicks for 86 total yards

No. 6 Indiana Wesleyan def. No. 10 Morningside (Iowa), 24-21

  • The Mustangs had their game tying field goal attempt block with only seven seconds left
  • Morningside led 21-17 entering the fourth quarter before IWU scored the game winner with 8:06 remaining
  • Xander Stokes was 26-for-42 with 340 yards passing and a pair of touchdowns for the Wildcats; Dederrian Williams had 60 yards on the ground while three IWU receivers had 80+ yards in the game
  • Lennx Brown put Morningside on his back to the tune of 75 yards passing and 186 yards rushing with two total touchdowns; Joshua Simmons caught 100 yards on six passes
  • Luke Bays recorded a game high 12 tackles for Indiana Wesleyan along with a forced fumble
  • Lonell Boyd Jr. and Landry Phillips each had 11 tackles for the Mustangs

No. 7 Bethel (Tenn.) def. No. 9 Evangel (Mo.), 40-13

  • The Wildcats dominated nearly every major category against Evangel (Mo.) including: first downs (23-15), third down efficiency (75-33%), total offense (388-203), and rushing yards (226-26)
  • Evangel punted four times in the game, totaling 157 yards, while Bethel (Tenn.) punted on twice for 94 yards
  • Bethel recorded 115 total return yards, over the 97 total return yards Evangel (Mo.) posted
  • The Valor were one-of-three on fourth down try's, but Bethel (Tenn.) did not have any fourth down attempts.

No. 11 College of Idaho def. No. 8 Montana Western, 49-42

  • College of Idaho was the second lower seed team to win their matchup today, having a majority of possession in this game with 31:01 total minutes
  • The Yotes posted 71 total plays for 621 total yards, nearly double the total yards of Montana Western
  • C of I ran for 202 yards with an average of 5.6 yards per carry and 419 yards through the air
  • Montana Western was 8-for-13 on third downs and did not have a fourth down attempt in the game; the Yotes were 7-for-11 on third downs and 0-for-1 in their only fourth down attempt
  • College of Idaho only punted three times, totaling 38 yards; Montana Western punted five times, totaling 36.8 yards

Championship Information

NAIA Football Championship


Nov. 18, 25, Dec. 2, 9, 2023
Football Championship Series
Campus Sites

Dec. 18, 2023 | NOON ET
Durham County Memorial Stadium | Durham, N.C.