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."

Sep. 24: All times Eastern
Final
Christopher Newport 17, at TCNJ 0
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at Hobart 27, Union 23
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at Thomas More 20, Carnegie Mellon 16
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at Massachusetts Maritime 32, Worcester State 14
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at Endicott 37, Nichols 0
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MIT 30, at Maine Maritime 13
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at Buffalo State 40, Morrisville State 24
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at Salve Regina 48, Coast Guard 10
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St. Lawrence 20, at RPI 14
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at Framingham State 23, Western Connecticut 17
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at Montclair State 21, Rowan 14
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at Stevenson 54, FDU-Florham 15
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at Trinity (Conn.) 38, Bates 7
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at Western New England 59, Curry 28
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at Utica 24, Cortland 13
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Colby 9, at Williams 7
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at Middlebury 40, Bowdoin 3
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at Amherst 34, Hamilton 0
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Kean 24, at William Paterson 13
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at DePauw 66, Hiram 17
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Franklin and Marshall 45, at Juniata 22
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at Kenyon 31, Allegheny 7
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Salisbury 35, at Southern Virginia 0
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Albright 20, at Delaware Valley 17
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Lycoming 28, at Misericordia 24
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at Plymouth State 30, Mass-Dartmouth 14
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at Husson 35, Alfred State 0
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at Springfield 28, WPI 23
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at Moravian 24, Dickinson 10
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at Denison 45, Wooster 7
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at Wittenberg 24, Wabash 14
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at St. Vincent 57, Grove City 32
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at Susquehanna 55, Gettysburg 40
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at King's 21, Lebanon Valley 17
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at Alfred 20, Ithaca 6
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at Widener 25, Wilkes 23
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at McDaniel 30, Ursinus 27
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at Muskingum 28, Marietta 10
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at Minnesota-Morris 28, Iowa Wesleyan 27
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at John Carroll 42, Heidelberg 14
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Ohio Northern 16, at Otterbein 10
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Case Western Reserve 35, at Waynesburg 7
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at Franklin 44, Bluffton 38
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Rose-Hulman 23, at Defiance 15
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at Centre 49, Chicago 27
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at Mount St. Joseph 38, Manchester 19
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Hanover 49, at Anderson 25
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at Merchant Marine 55, Rochester 7
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Johns Hopkins 30, at Muhlenberg 24
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Concordia-Chicago 42, at Maranatha Baptist 10
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Washington U. 36, at Birmingham-Southern 21
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UW-Platteville 56, at Lakeland 0
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at Northwestern (Minn.) 38, Martin Luther 20
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at Eureka 28, MacMurray 13
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at Westminster (Mo.) 35, Greenville 14
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Dubuque 30, at Luther 17
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Monmouth 52, at Lake Forest 6
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St. Thomas 33, at St. John's 21
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at Augsburg 49, Carleton 17
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Bethel 44, at St. Olaf 7
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at Hamline 42, Gustavus Adolphus 40
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at UW-Whitewater 35, Morningside 21
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at Hardin-Simmons 48, Texas Lutheran 38
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at UW-River Falls 42, Southwestern 22
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Simpson 17, at Buena Vista 9
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at St. Scholastica 49, Crown 13
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Cornell 46, at Beloit 41
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at Carthage 27, Augustana 24
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Coe 48, at Nebraska Wesleyan 17
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at Wartburg 56, Finlandia 0
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at Wheaton (Ill.) 10, Elmhurst 6
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Hendrix 42, at Millsaps 14
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Illinois Wesleyan 45, at North Park 10
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at Macalester 34, Grinnell 0
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at Ripon 33, Knox 19
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Illinois College 40, at Lawrence 15
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UW-Oshkosh 77, at Morthland College (Ill.) 0
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Central 42, at Loras 34
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at Geneva 35, Thiel 27
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UW-Eau Claire 40, at Wisconsin Lutheran 14
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St. John Fisher 42, at Brockport 38
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UW-Stevens Point 44, at Adrian 19
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UW-La Crosse 41, at Carroll 7
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at Berry 41, Sewanee 3
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Westminster (Pa.) 38, at Bethany 9
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Ohio Wesleyan 29, at Oberlin 16
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at Tufts 17, Wesleyan 14
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Mount Union 49, at Baldwin Wallace 7
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at Capital 35, Wilmington 21
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at Southwestern Assemblies 23, Austin 17
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Langston at McMurry
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at North Central (Ill.) 42, Millikin 7
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at Chapman 19, Trinity (Texas) 17
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Sep. 29: All times Eastern
6:30 PM
Randolph-Macon at Shenandoah
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Sep. 30: All times Eastern
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Emory and Henry at Washington and Lee
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Sep. 24: All times Eastern
Final
at Thomas More 20, Carnegie Mellon 16
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at Hobart 27, Union 23
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Christopher Newport 17, at TCNJ 0
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at Wittenberg 24, Wabash 14
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Salisbury 35, at Southern Virginia 0
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Albright 20, at Delaware Valley 17
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at Utica 24, Cortland 13
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at Stevenson 54, FDU-Florham 15
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at Franklin 44, Bluffton 38
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Johns Hopkins 30, at Muhlenberg 24
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St. Thomas 33, at St. John's 21
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at UW-Whitewater 35, Morningside 21
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at Hardin-Simmons 48, Texas Lutheran 38
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at Wheaton (Ill.) 10, Elmhurst 6
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UW-Platteville 56, at Lakeland 0
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UW-Oshkosh 77, at Morthland College (Ill.) 0
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Central 42, at Loras 34
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St. John Fisher 42, at Brockport 38
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Mount Union 49, at Baldwin Wallace 7
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at North Central (Ill.) 42, Millikin 7
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