November 14, 2011

Cal Lutheran Draws Familiar Foe in NCAA Tournament First Round Matchup

More news about: Cal Lutheran

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. - It's déjà vu times two for the Cal Lutheran football team. For the third consecutive year, the Kingsmen will be on the road playing Linfield in the first round of the NCAA Division III playoffs.

Eighth-ranked CLU (8-1) will face No. 5 Linfield (9-0) on Saturday at noon at Maxwell Field in McMinnville, Ore. The winner will play either Hobart (N.Y.) or Wesley (Del.).

"I knew that we would eventually go through McMinnville, Oregon at some point," CLU head coach Ben McEnroe said. "It's become like our home away from home. They are a great program and we are very familiar with each other. I think this is the best team we've had with the best chance to compete up there."

The meeting between CLU and Linfield will be the fifth in the last three seasons.

Linfield, the three-time Northwest Conference champion, has beaten CLU, the three-time Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference champion, in the first round of the playoffs in 2009 and 2010.

CLU's only loss this season came to Linfield in the season opener in Oregon. The Wildcats defeated the Kingsmen 24-14.

CLU was hoping for a chance to host a first-round playoff game in its new stadium.

Some speculated if Redlands received an at-large berth out of the SCIAC, CLU could have hosted the Bulldogs at William Rolland Stadium.

But even though Redlands earned a playoff spot, the NCAA sent the Bulldogs to play Mary Hardin-Baylor in Texas.

"I was a little surprised when I saw that," McEnroe said. "But once I saw we weren't paired with each other, I knew we were on our way to Linfield."

The Kingsmen gathered in Richter Hall on campus to watch the pairings released on the big screen.

When Redlands was matched with Mary Hardin-Baylor, 'Ooohhhhs' filled the room.

As soon as the Kingsmen saw Linfield pop on the screen, they prepared to see their name occupy the bottom line.

Once it actually happened, there was sporadic clapping and even a few chuckles.

"We have an opportunity to avenge our only loss of the season, so we are excited about that," said CLU junior wide receiver Eric Rogers, who had a single-game program record 216 receiving yards in last season's playoff loss to Linfield. "I feel like we could have won that game. We had a lot of mistakes in the first game. But it's familiar surroundings and we know where the locker rooms are and what the routine is going to be, so it should be fun."

Although McEnroe knows his players wanted a chance to play at home, he quickly turned the playoff outcome into a positive.

"What I like about this is we know what we are getting into," McEnroe told them. "We have a chance to make up our only blemish and should embrace that. We can beat anyone in the country, anywhere in any conditions right now. We have an opportunity to run this thing."

comments powered by Disqus
Sep. 5: All times Eastern
TBA
Anna Maria at Worcester State
TBA
McDaniel at Catholic
7:00 PM
Albright at Kean
7:00 PM
Widener at Rowan
7:00 PM
WPI at Curry
7:00 PM
Mass-Dartmouth at Mount Ida
7:00 PM
Salve Regina at Bridgewater State
7:30 PM
Trine at Manchester
Sep. 6: All times Eastern
TBA
RPI at Norwich
TBA
Plymouth State at Castleton State
TBA
Carnegie Mellon at Case Western Reserve
TBA
St. Lawrence at Coast Guard
TBA
Thomas More at Wesley
TBA
Rhodes at Austin
TBA
Arizona Christian at George Fox
12:00 PM
Dickinson at Hobart
12:00 PM
Holland College (PEI, Canada) at Maine Maritime
Video
12:00 PM
Otterbein at St. John Fisher
12:00 PM
Union at Ithaca
1:00 PM
Lebanon Valley at Franklin and Marshall
1:00 PM
Emory and Henry at Ferrum
1:00 PM
Washington and Lee at Averett
1:00 PM
Franklin at Illinois Wesleyan
1:00 PM
Hampden-Sydney at Wabash
1:00 PM
Rose-Hulman at Kalamazoo
Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
Wilmington at Olivet
1:00 PM
Adrian at Defiance
1:00 PM
King's at Moravian
1:00 PM
Alfred State at Morrisville State
1:00 PM
Randolph-Macon at Johns Hopkins
1:00 PM
Susquehanna at Lycoming
1:00 PM
Oberlin at Brockport State
1:00 PM
Utica at Misericordia
1:00 PM
Delaware Valley at Montclair State
1:00 PM
Southern Virginia at Methodist
1:00 PM
Ohio Wesleyan at Bluffton
1:00 PM
Marietta at Kenyon
1:00 PM
Merchant Marine at Apprentice
1:30 PM
Alma at Heidelberg
1:30 PM
Berry at Maryville (Tenn.)
1:30 PM
Bridgewater (Va.) at Gettysburg
1:30 PM
Muskingum at Waynesburg
1:30 PM
St. Vincent at John Carroll
1:30 PM
Mount Union at Bethany
1:30 PM
Juniata at Grove City
2:00 PM
Sewanee at DePauw
2:00 PM
Carleton at Macalester
2:00 PM
Albion at UW-Stevens Point
2:00 PM
UW-Platteville at Buena Vista
2:00 PM
UW-Eau Claire at St. Thomas
2:00 PM
Ohio Northern at Washington U.
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
UW-River Falls at St. John's
2:00 PM
Crown at Gustavus Adolphus
2:00 PM
Concordia-Moorhead at Jamestown
2:00 PM
Simpson at Iowa Wesleyan
2:00 PM
Hope at Monmouth
2:00 PM
Lawrence at Rockford
2:00 PM
Aurora at Illinois College
2:00 PM
Carroll at Lakeland
2:00 PM
Elmhurst at Loras
2:00 PM
Millikin at Greenville
2:00 PM
Coe at Wheaton (Ill.)
2:00 PM
Central at Benedictine
2:00 PM
Presentation at Luther
2:00 PM
Martin Luther at Maranatha Baptist
2:00 PM
MacMurray at Culver-Stockton
2:00 PM
Eureka at Knox
2:00 PM
UW-Stout at Dakota Wesleyan
2:00 PM
Huntingdon at Louisiana College
3:00 PM
St. Norbert at Carthage
4:00 PM
Claremont-Mudd-Scripps at Puget Sound
4:00 PM
Pomona-Pitzer at MIT
4:00 PM
Lewis and Clark at Whitworth
5:00 PM
Hartwick at Western Connecticut
6:00 PM
Salisbury at Christopher Newport
7:00 PM
Stevenson at N.C. Wesleyan
7:00 PM
Butler at Wittenberg
Live Stats Video
7:00 PM
Shenandoah at Gallaudet
Audio
7:00 PM
Wooster at Washington and Jefferson
7:00 PM
Greensboro at Guilford
7:00 PM
Geneva at Frostburg State
7:00 PM
Thiel at Allegheny
7:00 PM
Concordia (Wis.) at North Park
7:00 PM
Beloit at Chicago
Live Stats
7:00 PM
LaGrange at Birmingham-Southern
7:00 PM
Howard Payne at Trinity (Texas)
7:00 PM
Mary Hardin-Baylor at Millsaps
7:00 PM
Sul Ross State at Texas Lutheran
7:30 PM
Hanover at Centre
8:00 PM
St. Olaf at Northwestern (Minn.)
8:00 PM
Hamline at Minnesota-Morris
8:00 PM
Lake Forest at Wisconsin Lutheran
8:00 PM
Wartburg at Augsburg
8:00 PM
Hardin-Simmons at Southwestern
Dec. 20: All times Eastern
Final
at UW-Whitewater 52, Mount Union 14
@ Salem Stadium; Salem, Va.
Box Score Recap Photos Photos
Dec. 14: All times Eastern
Final
UW-Whitewater 16, at Mary Hardin-Baylor 15
Box Score Recap Recap Photos
Final
at Mount Union 41, North Central (Ill.) 40
Box Score Recap Recap Photos

What We're Reading