No. 13 Reinhardt to face No. 2 Marian during the 1st Rd of the Playoffs
By: Lorenzo Robinson
On Saturday, November 17, the Reinhardt Eagles football team found out their postseason fate during NAIA’s playoff selection show. It would be announced that they qualified for the post-season, and their reward would be a matchup with the undefeated Marian Knights, the second-ranked team in the country, located in Indianapolis, IN. The Knights won their conference with a 21-7 victory over Siena Heights University.
The Knights are paced by the NAIA’s 2nd ranked defense, giving up 8.3 points per game on the year. Quarterback Ethan Darter threw for 1,717 yards and 14 TDs to just 2 interceptions. Tailback Charles Salary rushed for 1,240 yards and 13 scores, making him one of the country’s best runners, getting top 10 in both categories over the course of the regular season. They did a great job spreading the wealth during their season, with 14 different people scoring touchdowns this season. They bring in NAIA’s #10 offense, scoring 38.9 points per game. As far as defensive statistics, they are led by LB Nickai Poyser, who has 79 tackles with 12.5 tackles for loss on the year. Their most potent pass rusher has been Mac Dutra, who has 9.5 sacks this season.
The Eagles will enter the playoffs on a 6 game winning streak. They boast one of the nation’s most potent rushing attacks, averaging 280 yards on the ground per game. QB Billy Hall has 5 passing TDs to go with 8 rushing scores. Montralius Mosley running back leads a talented group of backs with 490 yards and 8 scores. They are averaging about 35 points per game, despite their #35 ranking for total offense. Defensively, the Eagles are led by Sebastian Legarra, who has 49 tackles, with 7.5 for loss. The unit has given up 13.1 points per game, ranking #4 in total defense. This is not the first time the Reinhardt Eagles have made the playoffs. Last season, they made it to the post-season as a top 5 team, losing in the first round to Concordia University. The season before, the Eagles made it all the way to the National Championship game, just a season after making the National Semifinal, losing both times to St. Francis, a team that is in the same conference as Marian, their first-round opponent in this year’s post-season.
The Marian Knights have also made it to the post-season recently, making it a top 10 team a year ago, losing to St. Xavier in the first round. In 2017, they didn’t qualify for postseason play, but they had success in 2016, defeating Robert Morris before bowing out in the National Quarterfinal with a loss to Eastern Oregon.
The Eagles are coming off of a 63-0 rout of conference opponent Union College, a victory that gave them a fourth consecutive conference title. Billy Hall completed 60% of his passes, with a touchdown to WR Navarie Solomon, who finished with 3 catches and 74 yards. They had 13 people carry the ball during the game, led by Montralius Mosley, who had 7 rushes for 114 yards and 3 scores. Quany Bostic, Nick Harris, Otis Odom, Ahmad Barron, and Tre Coney found the end-zone on the ground, as 8 of the Eagles’ 9 scores came on the ground. In total, the team rushed for 401 yards during the contest.
The matchup will be the first time the two schools have ever faced each other and will be the first time the Eagles have traveled to Indiana after their 2016 clash with St. Francis.
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