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Saint Francis to battle 11th-ranked Baker in playoff opener

Cougars to host playoff game for first time in four seasons

Monday, November 12, 2012 - 3:30 am

There will be no easy games remaining for the Saint Francis football team as it enters the NAIA national tournament on Saturday. The Cougars learned of their first opponent, but the good news is that they will host the game at Bishop D’Arcy Stadium.

Saint Francis (8-2) will battle 11th-ranked Baker University.

The fact that the sixth-ranked Cougars are home is a rarity (they haven’t hosted a playoff game since 2008), but it isn’t unusual for their coach.

Kevin Donley will be leading his team into the tournament for the 19th time in his career. He is the current NAIA career wins record holder with 262.

Playoff tickets are available at all local Penn Station locations and at the Trinity Hall reception desk on the USF campus through noon on Friday. After that time, tickets will only be available at the gate on Saturday starting at 10 a.m.

The cost in advance is $10 (Adult) and $5 for students/youth, while the cost at the gate is $12.

Baker is member of the Heart of America Conference and is looking for its fifth consecutive win. The Wildcats fell to second-ranked No. 2 Missouri Valley 31-17 at home, as well as ninth-ranked Mid-America Nazarene 49-20.

Baker did win at 22nd-ranked Benedictine 38-28 on Nov. 3, which is part of the Wildcats’ four-game winning streak. It climbed as high as ninth in the NAIA Top 25 starting the season 4-0, before stumbling at then fifth-ranked Missouri Valley.

This will be the 12th appearance for the Wildcats, and the first NAIA FCS appearance since Nov. 22, 2008 when they lost 65-27 at Morningside.