By Emily Braudaway
The football team will be playing in Indianapolis on Saturday taking on the Marion University Knights in the first round of the National Championships.
The Builders got the bid by beating Kansas Wesleyan Coyotes last Saturday and ended up in a three-way tie for first place with the Coyotes and Bethel College Threshers in conference standings.
What put Southwestern on top was the defensive points allowed where they had to beat KWU by more than seven points. SC won by 18 points, with a final score of 42-24.
The Knights come in as the no. 7 seed. They hold a record of 8-2 overall and 6-1 in the Mid-States Football Association. Their one loss in the conference came to the no. 5 seed Indiana Wesleyan. In the last top-25 poll, they are ranked no. 9.
Zach Bundalo, freshman quarterback, is no. 19 in the nation in passing with 227.7 yards/game. Daylen Taylor, freshman running back, leads the team with rushing 105.6 yards/game.
The Builders come in as the no. 9 seed of the national tournament. They hold a record of 9-1 overall and conference in the KCAC. Their one loss came in a double-overtime game vs. Bethel.
This season was one to remember for the Builders where they won the KCAC conference title for the first time since 1999.
The Builders were also recognized earlier in the week with 24 all-KCAC awards along with Coach of the Year, Assistant Coach of the Year, and Special Teams of the Year.
Brad Griffin, head football coach, said he was able to get the award because of great players and he is thankful for them.
Gabe Medrano, junior kicker, won KCAC Special Teams Player of the year and was second-team special teams as a punter and honorable mention as a kicker.
“It was an honor to be named special teams player of the year. I’ve worked hard and the results are showing. This award is also for Joseph Perez and David Roper because without them, none of this would be possible.” said Medrando. “This season has gone great for all of us. We had a few ups and downs, but we overcame adversity and got the job done in the end. I’m just happy to be a part of this team and I’m lucky to call all these men my brothers.”
Keyshawn Jones, junior wide receiver, won unanimous first-team all-KCAC.
The Builders will play in Indianapolis on Saturday with kickoff slated at 12:05 p.m.