Less than 24 hours after completing their regular-season with a perfect 10-0 record, the 8th-ranked Henderson State Reddies learned they would receive an opening round bye in the NCAA Division II Football Playoffs.
Reddie players and coaches met in the Formby Athletic Center on Sunday afternoon for the announcement. Packed into a small meeting room, players erupted with jubilation when Henderson State appeared as the second-seed in Super Regional 3.
"It is a very historic moment not just for the football team but for Henderson State University," said Coach Scott Maxfield. "These kids earned this moment. I am so proud of this team and their accomplishments."
Henderson State claimed the outright Great American Conference title with a 42-7 win over Ouachita Baptist in the 86th Annual Southern Bancorp Battle of the Ravine on Saturday in front of a record crowd of 12,035 at Carpenter-Haygood Stadium. Henderson is one of only six teams undefeated in Division II and the Reddies are tied with Minnesota State-Mankato for the longest current win streak in the country at 12.
Henderson State will play host to the winner of the No. 3 seed Missouri Western State or the No. 6 seed Minnesota-Duluth on Saturday, November 24 at Carpenter-Haygood Stadium with kickoff scheduled at Noon.
Minnesota State-Mankato earned the top seed in the region and will face the winner between fourth-seeded Northwest Missouri and the No. 5 seed Harding. Both opening round games will be played on Saturday, November 17 at Noon.
"We still have work to do and this team has the potential to play in Florence, Alabama in December for the National Championship," Maxfield said. "I feel we are playing in the toughest region and there are some great teams. It will be difficult, but this team is ready for the challenge."