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Last Week Linfield 30, Cal Lutheran 27
This Week Linfield at Wesley (Del.), NCAA Division III playoffs, second round, 9 a.m. PST, Scott D. Miller Stadium, Dover, Del.
Next Week NCAA Division III playoffs, quarterfinals, opponent, site TBA, noon local time
The Game Linfield and Wesley meet for the first time on Saturday, Nov. 26, in the second round of the 32-team NCAA Division III playoffs.
The Records Linfield is 10-0 and captured its third consecutive Northwest Conference championship and 35th title overall…the Wildcats defeated California Lutheran 30-27 at home in the first round of the NCAA playoffs…Wesley, a Division III independent, is 10-1 after beating Hobart (N.Y.) 35-28 in Saturday’s opening round…Wesley has won eight straight contests since suffering its only loss, a 31-28 setback to NCAA playoff participant Kean (N.J.)…prior to this season, the Wolverines competed as members of the Atlantic Central Football Conference before becoming independent…in 2010, Wesley was 12-1, won its sixth straight ACFC championship and finished as the NCAA Division III statistical champion for total defense, allowing an average of just 202 yards per game…Wesley's 70 victories over the last six seasons are the third-most in Division III.
The Polls Linfield remains ranked No. 5 in the latest d3football.com poll…the Wildcats began the season ranked No. 10…Linfield is also rated fifth by the American Football Coaches Association poll…Wesley is ranked seventh in both polls.
The Series First meeting.
The Playoffs No stranger to the postseason, Linfield qualified for the playoffs for the 23rd time in school history…the Wildcats are making their eighth appearance in the NCAA Division III playoffs since changing affiliation from the NAIA to NCAA 14 years ago…Linfield won three NAIA Division II national championships in 1982, 1984 and 1986 and captured the 2004 NCAA Division III title…the Wildcats also played for the NAIA crown three other times (1961, 1965 and 1992)…Linfield takes a 29-18 postseason record into Saturday's game and is 14-6 in NCAA playoff contests…Wesley is making its sixth straight and seventh overall NCAA playoff appearance in program history (2000, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011)…the Wolverines have reached the semifinals four of the past six seasons, including the previous two years, when the they lost to Wisconsin-Whitewater and Mount Union.
The Streak With a win six weeks ago over Pacific, Linfield clinched its 56th consecutive winning season…the Wildcats extended the national record that includes all divisions of NCAA and NAIA…the streak began in 1956 under late coach Paul Durham…Linfield has had just five head coaches during the streak…the streak of winning seasons spans seven decades and the terms of 12 U.S. presidents.
The Coaches Sixth-year coach Joseph Smith (Linfield ‘93) is 49-12 with victories in 31 of 34 games since 2009...he has been honored as NWC Coach of the Year each of the past three seasons and was the 2009 West Region and American Football Monthly Division III Coach of the Year…Smith’s winning percentage of .803 is comparable to former Linfield coaching greats Jay Locey (.824), Ed Langsdorf (.774), Ad Rutschman (.788) and Paul Durham (.694)…Smith served as an assistant coach at Linfield for 13 seasons, including six as defensive coordinator…he was an NAIA All-America defensive back under Langsdorf and Linfield’s male athlete of the year in 1992, leading the Wildcats to the NAIA Division II national championship final…Wesley coach Mike Drass (Mansfield ‘89) has compiled a record of 164-46-1 (.780) in 19 seasons as Wolverines head coach…under Drass, Wesley has won 15 NCAA playoff games during the run, advancing to the national semifinals four times and one trip to each the quarterfinals and the second round…Drass spent three seasons as the Wolverines’ defensive coordinator before becoming head coach in 1993.
Audiocast The game will be broadcast live on radio station KLYC (1260 AM) with Bill Johnson and Steve Davis calling the action… internet users can hear the game through the Linfield Athletics Web site at www.linfield.edu/sports and click on "Listen Live”…the broadcast can be heard over the telephone via TEAMLINE, a pay-per-listen service…call 1-800-846-4700 and enter code 9712.
Videocast A live video broadcast stream is being made available by d3football.com with Frank Rossi and Keith McMillan calling the action. Viewers can access the game here.
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