The race in the Midwest League of the Mid-States Football Association kicks off with a showdown of NAIA rated foes as 22nd ranked William Penn hosts 11th ranked St. Ambrose. Five of the seven teams in the Midwest League enter the weekend nationally ranked.

“We knew going into the season that it was going to be like this and I think our kids have done a good job of staying focused and trying to play one game at a time,” Penn coach Todd Hafner says .  He says his defense must find a way to slow down a St. Ambrose offense led by reigning league MVP Eric Williamson at quarterback.

Hafner says the goal for the William Penn defense will be getting pressure on Williamson with just a four man rush.

St. Ambrose coach Mike Magistrelli says his defense will need to be assignment sound. as he says William Penn runs the triple option as well as anyone in the country. He says even though they run most of the time, you still have to be ready for the passing game as well.

Magistrelli says the defense will need to get the Penn offense “off rhythm” and keep them from gaining 3 and 4 yards a play on first and second down. Magistelli says the Fighting Bees offense will need to be patient against a solid William Penn defense. “We can’t force things…they do a great job of not giving up big plays and keeping the ball in front of them and rallying and tackling,” Magistrelli says.

Another rated matchup in the Midwest League finds #4 Grand View visiting third ranked St. Xavier of Illinois.