Football Lions (6-4) finish third in NCCAA
Coach Godding comments on finish to 2013 season
Final NCCAA ratings; Victory Bowl results
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- A strong finish by the Southwestern Assemblies of God University Lions football team led to a 6-4 record and a No. 3 ranking by the National Christian College Athletic Association.
The winning season, in which SAGU won six of their last eight games, elevated them to second place in the NAIA’s Central States Football League. The Lions had a 4-1 mark against league foes.
Langston University (Ok) won the CSFL by virtue of their win in Waxahachie in week five of the regular season. They had a 5-0 ledger in CSFL games.
The LU Lions did not make the NAIA playoffs, which only sends bids to teams ranked in the Top 20 Coaches Poll. Langston finished at No. 21.
SAGU Head Coach Jesse Godding said he was “very disappointed” that Langston did not make the 16-team. "Missed it by one (position in the poll)."
Under his leadership, SAGU’s two biggest wins this season were against Oklahoma Panhandle State University and Bacone College.
The 42-35 triumph over OPSU, an NCAA Division 2 team, was the Lions' second straight against the Aggies.
In the season finale the Purple Pride rallied from a 34-24 fourth quarter deficit to hand nationally ranked Bacone a 38-34 loss.
SAGU has won four games three times in the last five seasons, an indication the young program has turned the corner. Optimism for next season is growing!
As for the NCCAA, which has over 130 members from several organizations, nineteen of them field football programs.
For the past sixteen years the top two have met in the Victory Bowl.
Godding addressed the NCCAA and his respect for its wholesome nature. According to him, it is much more than just an alternative.
“The nineteen teams included in NCCAA football represent teams from NCAA Division II, Division III and NAIA,” he explained.
“The top winning teams in the NCCAA that do not compete in their divisional playoffs (get to) participate in the Victory Bowl.”
It is hosted by Shorter University and is held in Rome, Georgia; between Atlanta and Chattanooga, Tenn. The game is played at Barron Stadium (6,500 cap.), the home for the Shorter “Hawks.”
About the Victory Bowl venue, Godding is full of praise.
“It is a tremendous weekend of fellowship and football for athletes, coaches and team supporters.”
This year’s event paired Greenville College, who was making their sixth appearance, and Azusa (ah-ZOO-sah) Pacific University. The APU Cougars were making their initial showing.
“Greenville is an NCAA Division III program and Azusa Pacific is from the NCAA Division II,” Godding pointed out.
“Despite the difference in levels, the game always seems to turn out very competitive. Those two programs will surely provide a great matchup.”
He said the two institutions represented at this year’s 16th Victory Bowl “…are tremendous programs that have rich football histories. It is a privilege to be thought of in that level of football.”
The final NCCAA 2013 standings:
|1||Azusa Pacific University (10-2)||NCAA D2||Azusa, CA||Cougars|
|2||Greenville College (9-2)||NCAA D3||Greenville, IL||Lions|
|3||Southwestern Assemblies of God University (6-4)||NAIA||Waxahachie, TX||Lions|
|University of Northwestern (6-4)||NCAA D3||St. Paul, MN||Eagles|
|5||Geneva College (5-5)||NCAA D3||Beaver Falls, PA||Golden Tornadoes|
|Mississippi College (5-5)||NCAA D3||Clinton, MS||Choctaws|
|Trinity International University (5-6)||NAIA||Deerfield, IL||Trojans|
|8||North Greenville University (5-6)||NCAA D2||Tigerville, SC||Crusaders|
|9||Campbellsville University (4-5)||NAIA||Campbellsville, KY||Tigers|
|10||Chowan University (4-6)||NCAA D2||Murfreesboro, NC||Hawks|
|11||Point University (3-7)||NAIA||West Point, GA||Skyhawks|
|12||Kentucky Christian University (3-8)||NAIA||Grayson, KY||Knights|
|McMurry University (3-8)||NCAA D2||Abilene, TX||War Hawks|
|Olivet Nazarene University (3-8)||NAIA||Bourbonnais, IL||Tigers|
|15||Shorter University (2-9)||NCAA D2||Rome, GA||Hawks|
|16||Maranatha Baptist Bible College (1-9)||NCAA D3||Watertown, WI||Crusaders|
|17||Trinity Bible College (1-10)||NCCAA||Ellendale, ND||Lions|
|18||Bluefield College (0-11)||NAIA||Bluefield, VA||Rams|
|Southern Nazarene University (0-11)||NAA D2||Bethany, OK||Crimson Storm|
Victory Bowl: Azusa Pacific 67-0 over Greenville College (11/23/2013)
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