The Morningside football team will play for the national championship tonight when the Mustangs take on Marian of Indiana in the NAIA title game in Rome, Georgia. Morningside takes a 13-0 record and the nations number three ranking into a contest against a fifth ranked Marian team that is 11-1.
Senior quarterback Joel Nixon says this is what he has talked about since he came to the school and says this is a special group and it is “really exciting. Nixon has thrown for more than 3,600 yards and 47 touchdowns this season.
Morningside beat defending national champion St. Xavier of Illinois in the semifinal round. Marian was the nations top ranked team until the Knight’s lost to St. Xavier in the final game of the regular season.
“They’re fast and they are athletic on defense and offense and they’re going to be a big test for us,” Nixon says. “It’s a national championship game there’s nothing to hold back. We respect them, but we’re not intimidated.”
Nixon says the Mustangs are hoping to play their best in the biggest game. “That’s all we can do, is play our hardest and do our best to execute our game plan,” Nixon says. He says they have been able to do that so far and that puts them in a position to win.
Morningside is trying to become the third Iowa school to win a small college national title. Northwestern College won NAIA championships in 1973 and 19883 while Central College won the NCAA division three crown in 1974.
Kickoff is at 5:30, Iowa time and the game will be televised by the CBS Sports Network.