Regional champion and eighth-ranked Lions host Harding in National Semifinal
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Regional champion and eighth-ranked Lions host Harding in National Semifinal – LINK

YouTube Interview with HC Colby Carthel

Game Notes Attached

 

COMMERCE - The No. 8 Texas A&M University-Commerce Lions' football team aims to keep a fantastic run alive, hosting the NCAA Division II Football Championship Semifinal against the Harding University Bisons on Saturday in front of a nationally televised audience.

WHO: Harding University at Texas A&M University-Commerce

WHERE: Commerce | Ernest Hawkins Field at Memorial Stadium

WHEN: 2:30 p.m. CST on Saturday, December 9

RECORDS: A&M-Commerce is 12-1 overall. Harding is 11-3.

RANKINGS: A&M-Commerce is ranked No. 8 in the AFCA Coaches' Poll and the D2Football.com Media Poll. Harding is unranked in either poll, but is receiving votes in the AFCA poll.

SEEDINGS: A&M-Commerce is the second seed of the remaining four teams after winning Super Region Four with road wins over No. 12 Winona State, No. 7 Central Washington, and No. 1 Minnesota State. Harding is the third seed of the remaining four teams after winning Super Region Three with road wins over No. 6 Indianapolis, No. 9 Ashland, and No. 10 Ferris State.

VISIT PLAYOFF CENTRAL

TICKETS
HERE

LIVE AUDIO: Lion Sports Network -- KETR 88.9 FM, Commerce (http://www.ketr.org)

LIVE VIDEO: WatchESPN

LIVE STATS: HERE

LIONS WIN ON THE ROAD, HOST SEMIFINALS

• The Lions took down the No. 1 ranked Minnesota State Mavericks, 31-21, on the road to clinch the regional championship for the first time in school history.

• This is the first time the Lions have played four games in a single postseason.

• The win gave the Lions seven road wins, the most in a season in program history.

 

STILL PUSHING #ToTheTop

• The Lions ended the regular season at No. 8 in the nation in both the AFCA and D2Football.com polls.

• A&M-Commerce has been ranked in 38 straight AFCA polls, dating back to the 2015 preseason poll. 

• This is A&M-Commerce's 44th all-time appearance in the AFCA poll since its inception in 2000.

• The Lions have played five nationally-ranked team sthis season, all inside the top 12.

• A&M-Commerce is the fourth nationally-ranked team the Bisons have faced, all in the top 10 and all in the playoffs.

 

CARTHEL 5TH IN SCHOOL HISTORY IN WINS

• Head coach Colby Carthel now ranks fifth in A&M-Commerce history in coaching wins with 46 wins.

• However, he will be in fifth for a while, as his 46 wins are still 18 behind J.V. Sikes' 63 wins in fourth place.

1

Ernest Hawkins

1964-85

132-92-6

2

Eddie Vowell

1986-98

74-71-1 

3

Bob Berry

1935-41, 46-50

72-34-8

4

J.V. Sikes

1954-63

63-34-4

5

Colby Carthel

2013-pres.

46-15

6

M.A. Smith

1951-53

30-2-1

 

AGAINST THE BISONS

• A&M-Commerce is 3-1 all-time against Harding. 

• The Bisons won the last matchup in 2013 in the Live United Texarkana Bowl, 44-3. 

• That game was the Lions' first postseason appearance since 1995. The Lions defeated Harding in 1995 (40-0 in Searcy), 1996 (43-28 in Commerce), and 2001 (14-11 in Commerce).

• The Lions are 18-27-1 all-time against teams from the state of Arkansas.

 

TOUGH ROAD TO THE SEMIS

• The Lions have won three straight road games to advance to the National Semifinal.

• A&M-Commerce went through the toughest road since the NCAA Division II playoff field expanded to five rounds in 2004.

• The Lions have defeated three opponents with a combined record of 34-1.

- Winona State (10-1)

- Central Washington (11-0)

- Minnesota State (13-0)

• Only two other teams have beaten three teams with 33 combined wins in a single playoff - Grand Valley State in 2015 (33-1) and Harding this season (33-2).

 

• 18 teams have won three games to advance to the National Semifinals in the 13 years since the field expanded to five rounds.

• Prior to this season, six teams advanced to the semifinals with no home games in the first three rounds.

• In 2017, three of the four teams in the semifinals have advanced with three road wins - A&M-Commerce, Harding, and West Florida.

•  Of the 18 teams to advance to the semifinals with three wins, only the 2016 Shepherd team hosted their semifinal matchup. That Shepherd team was also undefeated until the semifinal loss to North Alabama.

• Of the 18 three-win semifinalists, two have advanced to the National Championship Game, with the winner of today's game guaranteed to be the third. A West Florida win at Indiana (Pa.) would be a fourth. The previous two were Northwest Missouri State in 2005 and Wayne State (Mich.) in 2011.

  

SENIORS BREAK SCHOOL RECORD

• With the win at Tarleton, the senior class broke the school record for wins in a four-year period. The previous record stood since the Tangerine Bowl runs of the early 1950s. 

• That record extended with the win at Minnesota State to 40 games won in a four year span.

Years 

Record

2014-17

40-10

1951-54

36-5-2

2013-16

35-14

1957-60

34-7

1972-75

32-13-1

1936-39

31-8

1990-93

31-16-1

 

PEREZ' OUTSTANDING SEASON AND CAREER LEAD TO HARLON HILL FINALIST

• Lion quarterback Luis Perez was announced as a finalist for the Harlon Hill Trophy.

• He was also named a second team All-American by the AFCA on Wednesday. He was previously named as the Super Region Four Offensive Player of the Year and First Team All-Region quarterback by the D2CCA.

• He was won the Lone Star Conference J.W. Rollins Award as Offensive Player of the Year. He also earned First Team All-Lone Star Conference honors for the second consecutive season.

• A Lion quarterback has earned first team all-LSC honors a total of 17 times since the league's formation in 1931.

• He became the Lions' fourth quarterback to repeat as a first team all-LSC selection, joining Bobby Bounds (1990-91), LSC Hall of Honor member Wade Wilson (1979-80), and R.A. Hitt (1933-34), who was the second-ever all-LSC quarterback.

• Perez' passing average has vaulted him to the top of the Division II ranks. He is one of nine passers in Division II averaging over 300 yards passing per game.

Rk

Team

Cl.

Gms

A-C-I

TD

Yds

Avg

1

Luis Perez, A&M-Commerce

Sr.

13

532-374-10

42

4,388

337.5

2

Connor Jessop, Shepherd

Sr.

11

394-249-9

40

3,532

321.1

3

Tanner Garry, Slippery Rock

Sr.

11

437-268-9

32

3,522

320.2

4

Amir Hall, Bowie St.

Jr.

11

381-249-4

41

3,519

319.9

5

Grant Russell, Ohio Dominican

Sr.

10

305-221-3

30

3,182

318.2

6

Nick Rooney, Adams St.

Jr.

10

441-271-10

29

3,153

315.3

7

Brook Bolles, Central Mo.

Jr.

12

430-242-12

23

3,766

313.8

8

Y. Gavalas, LIU Post

Sr.

10

363-257-8

37

3,087

308.7

9

Javia Hall, Western N.M.

Sr.

10

458-255-12

24

3,006

300.6

10

Barrett Renner, Southern Arkansas

Sr.

11

397-265-10

35

3,204

291.7

 

 

• He did not play high school football, and was a competitive bowler, with 12 perfect 300 games to his name.

• He now has 15 games of 300-plus passing yards in his career, including 10 straight games.

• He went 267 passing attempts without an interception over the course of 6-plus games.

• 449:46 of game time elapsed between Perez interceptions.

 

SINGLE SEASON PASSING TOUCHDOWN LEADERS

1.

42

Luis Perez

2017

2.

32

Luis Perez

2016

3.

31

Tyrik Rollison

2014

4.

30

Harrison Stewart

2015

5.

22

James Gray

1952

 

• Perez also became the school's single season passing yardage leader.

• He ranks second in all NCAA Divisions in passing yards this season through 13 games, behind only Oklahoma State's Mason Rudolph (4,553). The only other quarterback with 4,000 yards this season is Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield (4,340).

SINGLE SEASON PASSING YARDAGE LEADERS

1.

4,388

Luis Perez

2017 

2.

3,764

Tyrik Rollison

2014

3.

3,326

Luis Perez

2016

4.

3,173

Harrison Stewart

2015

5.

2,861

Buster Faulkner

2004

 

• Perez is also the Lion career leader in three major passing categories.

CAREER PASSING YARDAGE LEADERS

1.

7,714

Luis Perez

2016-pres. 

2.

5,955

Bob Bounds

1987-91

3.

5,800

Kyle Mackey

1980-83

4.

5,635

Terry Skinner

1973-77

5.

5,362

Tyrik Rollison

2013-14

 

CAREER PASSING COMPLETION LEADERS

1.

618

Luis Perez (618-921-15)

2016-pres. 

2.

375

Bob Bounds (375-706-36)

1987-91

3.

372

Kyle Mackey (372-751-44)

1980-83

4.

367

Terry Skinner (367-813-45)

1973-77

5.

353

Adam Farkes (353-700-30)

2009-10

 

CAREER PASSING TOUCHDOWN LEADERS

1.

74

Luis Perez

2016-pres. 

2.

51

James Gray

1951-53

3.

48

Harrison Stewart

2013-15

4.

43

Jim Dietz

1967-70

 

43

Tyrik Rollison

2013-14

 

• He ranks first in Division II and ninth in all of the NCAA in career passing yards per game.

Rk

Team

Div

Cl.

Gms

A-C-I

Yds

TD

Yds/Gm

1

Luke Falk , Washington St.

FBS

Sr.

43

2,055-1,404-39

14,486

119

336.9

2

Mason Rudolph , Oklahoma St.

FBS

Sr.

41

1,415-894-26

13,267

90

323.6

3

Devlin Hodges , Samford

FCS

Jr.

33

1,346-922-25

10,301

79

312.2

4

Josh Rosen , UCLA

FBS

Jr.

30

1,169-711-26

9,302

59

310.1

5

Riley Ferguson , Memphis

FBS

Sr.

25

884-558-19

7,669

68

306.8

6

Gage Gubrud , Eastern Wash.

FCS

Jr.

28

1,005-654-27

8,568

74

306.0

7

Chase Burton , Franklin

D-III

Sr.

38

1,255-842-20

11,579

121

304.7

8

Baker Mayfield , Oklahoma

FBS

Sr.

47

1,462-1,003-29

14,320

129

304.7

9

Luis Perez , A&M-Commerce

D-II

Sr.

26

921-618-15

7,714

74

296.7

10

Ryan Sample , Benedictine (IL)

D-III

Sr.

30

1,133-647-34

8,806

82

293.5

 

KICKIN' IT WITH KRISTOV

• Kicker Kristov Martinez was named the Lone Star Conference's first team All-Conference kicker. He was also named second team All-Super Region Four by the D2CCA.

• He hit his 50th career field goal at Minnesota State to become the school leader in that category. The 50th field goal was a career-long 48-yarder.

• He hit field goals of 38 yards in each of the two overtime periods of the 34-31 win at Central Washington

• He became the all-time leading scorer with an LSC Player of the Week effort in the regular season finale at Tarleton. 

• He scored 15 points in that game and has scored 10 points or more in seven games this season. The four field goals at Tarleton tied a school single game record.

• He has scored 117 points this season. The late Saul Martinez scored 134 points in 2014 to set the school single season record.

•Martinez was also an LSC All-Academic selection for the second consecutive season. He is majoring in management.

CAREER SCORING LEADERS

1.

318

Kristov Martinez (168 PAT, 50 FG)

2015-pres. 

2.

281

Billy Watkins (134 PAT, 49 FG)

1990-93

3.

224

David Dell (104 PAT, 40 FG)

1995-98

4.

222

Aundra Thompson (37 TD)

1972-75

5.

219

Saul Martinez (126 PAT, 31 FG)

2013-14

 

CAREER PATs MADE LEADERS

1.

168

Kristov Martinez (168-175)

2015-pres. 

2.

134

Billy Watkins (134-143)

1990-93

3.

126

Saul Martinez (126-130)

2013-14

4.

121

Leonard Allen (121-134)

1973-76

5.

105

Kevin Garman (105-113)

1981-84

 

CAREER FIELD GOALS MADE LEADERS

1.

50

Kristov Martinez (50-67)

2015-pres. 

2.

49

Billy Watkins (49-84)

1990-93

3.

40

David Dell (40-61)

1995-98

4.

31

Saul Martinez (31-38)

2013-14

5.

29

Ha'a Bento (29-44)

2004-05

 

29

Leonard Allen (29-52)

1973-76

 

FIREWORKS AFTER A SCORE

• The Lions have excelled on kickoffs, both when kicking the ball away, and when receiving the kickoff.

• The Lions rank 1st nationally in kickoff return defense, allowing 11.63 yards per return. That average dropped after the Minnesota State game.

• A&M-Commerce is 6th in the nation in kickoff return average at 26.84 yards per return.

 

WILSON TAKES IT TO THE HOUSE

• Buck Wilson was named the first team all-LSC kick return man. He returned a first quarter kickoff for a 100  yard touchdown against West Texas A&M, earning LSC Special Teams Player of the Week honors.

• He is the fourth Lion on record with a 100-yard touchdown. He is the 25th player in LSC history with a 100-yard kickoff return. He is the seventh player in Division II this season with a 100-yard kickoff return.

Bob Sloan

vs. Midwestern State, 1950

Marvin Brown

vs. Midwestern State, 1951

Gary Berry

vs. Sam Houston State, 1958

Buck Wilson

at West Texas A&M, 2017

• Wilson averages 31.7 yards per kickoff return on 11 returns. 

• If he met the return quantity qualification, Wilson would rank fourth in the nation in kick return yardage.

• Wilson also returned a punt 80 yards for a touchdown on his first career punt return at Minnesota State.

 

MACHORRO NAMED ALL-AMERICAN, O-LINEMAN OF THE YEAR

• Tackle Jared Machorro was named a first team All-American by the American Football Coaches' Association on Wednesday. This is his second consecutive season as an AFCA All-American after earning second team honors in 2016.

• This is his fifth career All-America honor.

• He was also named D2CCA First Team All-Region and the Lone Star Conference Offensive Lineman of the Year.

• The senior was named first team all-LSC after leading the offensive line to a dominant season that saw the Lions qualify for the NCAA Division II playoffs for the third consecutive season. 

• This is the second consective season he has earned first team all-LSC honors. 

• Machorro is the sixth Lion to win Offensive Lineman of the Year honors since the award was instituted in 1985, and the first A&M-Commerce player to do in a single-division LSC.

• He also ranks 11th in the LSC in average punt yardage at 35.5 yards per  punt.

• That's just awesome.

• Actual punter Tristan Perry ranks fourth in the conference with a 39.6 yard punting average.  He was named all-LSC honorable mention.

 

HOBBS EARNS TOP HONORS

• Tight end (or A in the Lions' system), Vincent Hobbs has had key touchdown receptions in each of the Lions' playoff victories this season.

• He was named first team all-Lone Star Conference when the league honors were released.

• He is the first Lion tight end to be named first team all-conference since Corey Goodall in 2006. 

• The short list of Lion tight ends named first team all-conference include Gary Compton (1988 & 1990), Javier Cardenas (1983 & 1984), Dudley Slice (1972), and Tom Black (1967).

 

VERSATILE STERLING-LOWE

• Cornerback Yusef Sterling-Lowe was named a second team All-American by the AFCA after earning first team all-Lone Star Conference honors for a a highly successful season in both run and pass defense.

• He was named the LSC Defensive Player of the Week with two interceptions at A&M-Kingsville. 

• He had 27 regular season tackles as a cornerback with a season-best eight stops against Eastern New Mexico.

•At Winona, he had a key pass breakup.

• At CWU, he had four tackles with a tackle for loss and a pass breakup.

 

FIRE AND ICE

• Today's game features two offenses on the opposite spectrum of styles of play, while both are exceptional in their own right.

• The Lions own the nation's top passing offense, throwing the ball to the account of 355.2 yards per game.

• The Bisons have the nation's No. 2 rushing offense, carrying the ball for 347.7 yards per game. The only team ahead of Harding in rushing offense is A&M-Commerce's LSC rival Eastern New Mexico, who leads the nation at 352.7 yards per game on the ground.

 

ALL-LEAGUE HONORS FOR TOP STOPPER

• Middle linebacker Brucks Saathoff earned first team all-Lone Star Conference honors after he led the Lions in the regular season with 59 stops including three tackles for loss and two sacks. He forced a fumble, had a pass breakup, and five quarterback hurries. 

• He had a season-high 12 tackles in the win at West Texas A&M, winning LSC Defensive Player of the Week honors.

• After earning all-Conference honors, Saathoff was the defensive leader for the Lions at Winona State with a key goal line interception, as well as eight tackles and a tackle for loss.

• He had 11 tackles with a sack to lead the Lion defense at Central Washington.

 

LIONS ALL-TIME IN THE POSTSEASON

Jan 1, 1953

vs. Tennessee Tech

W 33-0

Tangerine Bowl

Orlando

Jan 1, 1954

vs. Arkansas State

T 7-7

Tangerine Bowl

Orlando

Jan 1, 1958

vs. Mississippi Southern

W 10-9

Tangerine Bowl

Orlando

Dec 31, 1958

vs. Missouri Valley

W 26-7

Tangerine Bowl

Orlando

Nov 25, 1972

Central State (Okla.)

W 54-0

NAIA Semifinal

Commerce

Dec 9, 1972

Carson-Newman

W 21-18

NAIA Champion Bowl

Commerce

Dec 6, 1980

at Central Arkansas

W 27-21

NAIA Quarterfinal

Conway, Ark.

Dec 13, 1980

Elon

L 6-14

NAIA Semifinal

Commerce

Nov 17, 1990

at Grand Valley State

W 20-14

DII First Rd

Allendale, Mich.

Nov 24, 1990

at Pittsburg State

L 28-60

DII Quarterfinal

Pittsburg, Kan.

Nov 23, 1991

Grand Valley State

W 36-15

DII First Rd

Commerce

Nov 30, 1991

at Pittsburg State

L 28-38

DII Quarterfinal

Pittsburg, Kan.

Nov 18, 1995

at Portland State

L 35-56

DII First Rd

Portland, Ore.

Dec 13, 2013

vs. Harding

L 3-44

Live United Bowl

Texarkana, Ark.

Dec 6, 2014

vs. East Central

W 72-21

Heart of Texas Bowl

Copperas Cove

Nov 21, 2015

at Ferris State

L 30-48

DII Regional Qtr

Big Rapids, Mich.

Nov 19, 2016

Colorado Mesa

W 34-23

DII Regional Qtr

Commerce

Nov 26, 2016

at Grand Valley State

L 32-55

DII Regional Semi

Allendale, Mich.

Nov 18, 2017

at Winona State

W 20-6

DII Regional Qtr

Winona, Minn.

Nov 25, 2017

at Central Washington

W 34-31 (2OT)

DII Regional Semi

Ellensburg, Wash.

Dec 2, 2017

at Minnesota State

W 31-21

DII Quarterfinal

Mankato, Minn.

 

BIG MIKE MAKES BIG PLAYS

• Defensive end Michael Onuoha caught eyes all season as a disruptive force in the Lion front.

• He had 35 tackles with six tackles for loss and two sacks, along with five quarterback hurries. He had a season-high seven tackles at Midwestern State. That included an important tackle for loss to force a turnover on downs in a comeback effort.

• At Winona State, Onuoha was constantly putting pressure on Warrior quarterback Derek Beenken and came away with a strip sack, and two tackles for loss in a four tackle effort while WSU only ran 61 plays.

• He had three tackles and a tackle for loss at Central Washington.

 

ALSO ON THE HONORS LIST

• Other players earning all-LSC honors were wide receivers Darrion Landry and Buck Wilson, center Jon Aguilar, guard Poet Thomas, defensive tackle D.D. Fletcher, outside linebacker Kieston Carter, safeties Chris Smith and Alex Shillow, and long snapper Austin Jordan on the second team.

• Earning all-LSC honorable mention were wide receiver D'Arthur Cowan, running back Carandal Hale, return specialist Shawn Hooks, defensive tackle Peyton Searcy, inside linebacker Neema Behbahani, outside linebacker Travon Blanchard, cornerback Darent White, and punter Tristan Perry.

• Garrett Blubaugh joined Martinez on the LSC All-Academic team.

 

FREE FOOTBALL

• The epic comeback against Central Washington ended in an overtime victory for the Lions.

• That marked the seventh overtime game in program history.

• The Lions are 4-3 in overtime.

Date

Score/Matchup

OTs

10/1/2005

A&M-Commerce 35, at East Central 28

1

9/29/2007

Central Oklahoma 21, at A&M-Commerce 20

1

10/6/2007

A&M-Commerce 41, at Southeastern Oklahoma State 39

3

9/12/2009

Abilene Christian 20, A&M-Commerce 14 (at Cotton Bowl)

1

9/29/2012

at A&M-Commerce 21, Texas A&M-Kingsville 14

1

10/25/2014

at Midwestern State 40, A&M-Commerce 37

1

11/25/2017

A&M-Commerce 34, at Central Washington 31

2

 

• In the Division II postseason, there have been 29 overtime games dating back to 1985.

Date

Rd

Score/Matchup

OTs

11/30/1985

First

at South Dakota 13, Central St. 10

2

11/28/1987

First

Northern Michigan 23, at Angelo St. 20

1

11/18/1989

First

at Portland St. 56, West Chester 50

3

11/28/1992

Qtr

at Pittsburg St. 38, North Dakota St. 37

1

11/19/1994

First

North Dakota St. 18, at Pittsburg St. 12

3

11/26/1994

Qtr

at North Alabama 27, Valdosta St. 24

2

12/2/1995

Semi

Pittsburg St. 28, at Texas A&M-Kingsville 25

1

11/28/1998

Qtr

at Carson-Newman 38, Delta St. 31

1

11/28/1998

Qtr

Texas A&M-Kingsville 24, Central Oklahoma 21

1

11/20/1999

First

at Northeastern St. 27, Western Washington 24

1

11/20/1999

First

at Northwest Missouri St. 20, North Dakota 13

1

11/20/1999

First

Indiana (Pa.) 27, at Slippery Rock 20

1

12/11/1999

Champ

Northwest Missouri St. 58, Carson-Newman 52

4

12/1/2001

Qtr

Catawba 37, at Valdosta St. 34

1

11/30/2002

Qtr

at Texas A&M-Kingsville 28, UC Davis 20

1

11/26/2005

Qtr

at North Alabama 41, Central Arkansas 38

1

11/24/2007

Second

at Chadron St. 76, Abilene Christian 73

3

11/29/2008

Qtr

Minnesota-Duluth 19, at Grand Valley St. 13

2

11/14/2009

First

Hillsdale 27, at Minnesota St.-Mankato 24

1

11/14/2009

First

Tarleton St. 57, at Texas A&M-Kingsville 56

2

11/27/2010

Second

at Minnesota-Duluth 20, St. Cloud St. 17

1

11/19/2011

First

at Minnesota-Duluth 30, Saginaw Valley St. 27

1

11/26/2011

Second

Northwest Missouri St. 38, at Midwestern St. 31

1

11/17/2012

First

at Missouri Western St. 57, Minnesota-Duluth 55

3

11/29/2014

Second

Minnesota-Duluth 48, Ouachita Baptist 45

1

11/29/2014

Second

at Minnesota St.-Mankato 24, Pittsburg St. 21

1

11/26/2016

Second

Harding 27, at Sioux Falls 24

1

11/18/2017

First

at Minnesota St.-Mankato 16, Colorado St.-Pueblo 13

1

11/25/2017

Second

A&M-Commerce 34, at Central Washington 31

2

 

ROAD WARRIORS

• The Lions traveled 8,938 round trip miles for their three playoff victories leading into the National Semifinals.

- Winona State - 2,136 miles round trip

- Central Washington - 4,610 miles round trip

- Minnesota State - 2,192 miles round trip

 

THE LONE STAR CONFERENCE IN THE NATIONAL SEMIFINALS

• The Lions are making the Lone Star Conference's 12th appearance in the NCAA Division II National Semifinals.

- Angelo State (1989)

- Northeastern State (1999)

- Southwest Texas State (1981, 1982)

- Texas A&I/A&M-Kingsville (1988, 1993, 1994, 1995, 2002, 2003)

- West Texas A&M (2012)

• A win would make the Lions the first team in LSC history to win four playoff games in the same season.

• Southwest Texas State in 1981 & 1982 was the only LSC school to win the NCAA Division II Championship. 

• Texas A&M-Kingsville also advanced to the National Championship Game in 1994, losing to North Alabama.

 

ON THIS DAY IN A&M-COMMERCE FOOTBALL HISTORY (1-0)

• 1972 - Right here in Memorial Stadium, 45 years ago to the day, the Lions won the NAIA National Championship with a 21-18 win over Carson-Newman. This is currently the only football national championship for the Lions and one of five team sport national championships in school history, all in the NAIA. The Lions force nine Carson-Newman turnovers and Kenneth Parks carried the ball a record 49 times  to lead the way. He scored the game-winning touchdown in from three yards out with 8:17 to play in the game.



 

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