More than just the Rock and Ladder Trophy will be up for grabs on Saturday when Grand View hosts William Penn to close the regular season. The winner will also claim at least a share of the Heart of America Conference North Division title and an automatic spot in the NAIA playoffs.
After opening 0-3 William Penn has won seven straight games but need to beat the Vikings to secure a playoff bid.
“Everybody knows on our football team and campus and their campus and football team too what this game is all about”, Said William Penn coach Todd Hafner. “It is a rivalry game and we play for a trophy we have not had in quite a while. We are going to play as hard as we can, have fun and hopefully we can get the trophy back and win an outright conference championship.”
Penn clinched at least a share of the division title with a win over Graceland a week ago. Grand View lost to Benedictine of Kansas 7-3 and this becomes a must win for the Vikings’ playoff hopes.
“Winning the William Penn game would not be as important as it is right now because we have got our back against the wall”, said Grand View coach Mike Woodley. “We have got to win to get in.”
Woodley says both coaches were hoping this game would decide the division title. Grand View is ranked 11th in the latest NAIA Poll. William Penn is ranked 20th.
“Todd is a close friend and we talked before the season about meeting in the last game where it means something for the conference championship”, added Woodley. ” That is exactly what we got.”