Kansas City, Mo. - With the official pairings announced Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m., the No. 4 ranked and 2011 NAIA defending national champion Saint Xavier University football team learned it will face No. 13 William Penn University (Iowa) in first round action of the 2012 NAIA Football Championship Series. The game is scheduled for a 12 p.m. (noon) start at Bruce R. Deaton Memorial Field in Chicago. The Statesmen are also members of the Mid-States Football Association (MSFA), but play in the Midwest League. WPU brings a 9-2 overall record to Deaton Field and finished in a three-way tie with Saint Ambrose University (Iowa) and Grand View University (Iowa) for this year's MSFA Midwest League title with a 5-1 league mark.
"William Penn is an outstanding football team and they will pose a tremendous challenge for us," said SXU football coach Mike Feminis. "Our guys are just extremely excited to finally start postseason play and defend our championship. It is going to be a great game Saturday at Deaton Field."
The two teams have not squared off on the gridiron since the 2006 season and the Cougars own a 5-0 all-time series record against the Statesmen. SXU won the last meeting, 34-9, at Deaton Field on October 14, 2006. This is the first postseason appearance for William Penn since 1975 and marks only its second postseason appearance in program history. The Statesmen lead the entire NAIA in total rushing yards with 3,530 yards on the ground this season. WPU is No. 3 nationally among NAIA institutions in rushing yards per game averaging 320.9 yards per game. Junior quarterback Taylor Parsons (#6) leads the William Penn ground attack averaging 71.9 rushing yards a game. Junior linebacker Brock Peery (#57) leads the Statesmen defense with 81 total tackles in nine games played this fall.
Click here to see the entire NAIA Football Championship Series First Round Pairings