Inaugural Football Season Schedule Announced
Reinhardt University head football coach Danny Cronic is pleased to announce the inaugural schedule for the Eagles. Reinhardt will kickoff the 2013 season against fellow-first year program Mercer Aug. 31, and then play a full slate of nine games against Mid-South Conference foes.
“We’re really excited to be opening with Mercer,” coach Cronic said. “Mercer’s got a young team, just like us. [Mercer head coach] Bobby Lamb coached at Furman, and two of my assistants coached there with him. We’ll both have two teams that are going to have good players, but are going to be young at the same time.”
Mid-South Conference Competition
The Eagles will play nine games against opponents from the Mid-South Conference; however, only games against divisional foes will count in the conference standings. Reinhardt has been placed in the West Division along with Belhaven University, Bethel University, Campbellsville University, Faulkner University, and Cumberland University.
“This conference is much better than I anticipated,” coach Cronic said. “This conference has some big, physical people that play a high level of football. Fans are going to be seeing some very good football.”
First Home Game – vs. Lindsey Wilson College
Following the opener with Mercer, the Eagles will return home for the first home game in the program’s history, taking on MSC East Division foe Lindsey Wilson College Sept. 7 at Ken White Field. In 2012, LWC went 3-8, but coach Cronic feels the record can be a bit misleading. “Lindsey Wilson is a team that has shown some tremendous improvement,” said coach Cronic.
In the words of coach Cronic, the Eagles will, “make that long trip to Kentucky,” for a contest against MSC East foe Kentucky Christian University Sept. 14. KCU went 7-4 last season and finished the season ranked No. 25 in the NAIA.
The road trip will continue Sept. 21 when the Eagles head to Montgomery, Ala., to play Faulkner in the first game for RU against a West Division foe. Faulkner went 6-5 in 2012, with one of its highlights coming Oct. 13 when it defeated then-No. 19 Cumberland University, 42-14.
Second Home Game – vs. Bethel University
RU’s second home game will be Sept. 28 when it squares off with Bethel. Bethel went a perfect 6-0 in the West Division last year, as the Wildcats finished 2012 with a No. 9 ranking. The Wildcats reached the NAIA Quarterfinals last season, defeating No. 1 Georgetown, 45-44, in the first round before falling to No. 2 Missouri Valley College, 10-7.
The Eagles will march back to Kentucky for an Oct. 5 game against Union College in Barbourville. The Bulldogs went 4-7 in 2012. Union is also a member of the Appalachian Athletic Conference, which is the home to all of Reinhardt’s other sports with the exception of football.
Reinhardt’s first open week will come Oct. 12. The following Saturday, the Eagles will begin a three-game homestand. The Eagles will welcome West Division foe Belhaven to Ken White Field Oct. 19. Belhaven went 6-5 in 2012, closing out its season with a win over No. 18 Bethel, 21-17.
The Eagles will roll out the welcome mat for the University of the Cumberlands Oct. 26. The Patriots finished 2012 ranked No. 7 in NAIA, reaching the quarterfinals of the NAIA Football Championship Series.
After the second open date of the season Nov. 2, the Eagles will close the home portion of their schedule Nov. 9 when they battle West Division opponent Cumberland University. Cumberland ended 2012 ranked No. 19 in the NAIA thanks to an 8-3 record overall.
Final Inaugural Season Game – vs. Campbellsville University
RU’s final game of the inaugural season will be a third contest in the state of Kentucky, as the Eagles travel to face Campbellsville University. CU was 3-8 in 2012, with three of those losses coming against ranked opponents.
“We’re really working hard to have the team ready for Aug. 31,” said coach Cronic. “You can practice a lot of things, but you can’t practice what that first game will be like. We’ve got a lot of good players now, but we’re still out recruiting hard, learning about our team, and trying to time ourselves to have everything ready to go when that first game gets here.”
Kickoff times and ticket prices will be released at a later date.