While the NCAA football regular season still has a few weeks left, the NAIA football playoffs are beginning this weekend, and the Northwestern Red Raiders will be one of the teams in action.
The Red Raiders finished the year 9-1. Their only loss came during the final week of the season to the Morningside Mustangs. But they were still one of the best teams in the country, so they were able to secure an at-large bid for the playoffs. They’ll be hosting the #9 St. Xavier Cougars.
The team is hoping they can avoid the same fate as last year. The Raiders were upset by a lower-seeded team at home in the first round, losing to Dickinson State.
“I think last year’s loss was something that hurt a lot. And it wasn’t how we wanted to end the season,” said Head Coach Matt McCarty. “And all through the offseason to this fall camp to this season, that’s been a good motivating factor for our guys. Our guys are really excited for the opportunity to get back on our own field in the playoffs and take care of business this year.”
“Obviously we’ve been playing hard all year for this, so the mentality as we head into this is to be 1-0 each week,” Junior WR Shane Solberg said. ” [We want to] attack this first game like it’s our last because it very well could be.”
The game will kick off on Saturday, Nov. 21, at noon in Orange City.