Morningside will host defending champs in NAIA football semifina - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

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Morningside will host defending champs in NAIA football semifinal

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Morningside will host the defending NAIA champs from St. Xavier in the semifinals on Saturday. Morningside will host the defending NAIA champs from St. Xavier in the semifinals on Saturday.

The Morningside football team is just a win away from playing in the NAIA national championship game. The Mustangs will host the defending national champs from St. Xavier in Illinois in the semifinals on Saturday.

Morningside improved to 12-0 with a 47-44 overtime win over Southern Oregon last Saturday. It put the Mustangs in the semi's for just the second time in school history.

Since 2000, the home teams are 39-12 in the NAIA quarterfinals. The Mustangs are 47-6 at Olsen Stadium since the start of the 2004 season and they're hoping the home field advantage will help them one more time.

"It's big. When you get in the playoffs it's comforting to be able to sleep in your own bed," said Morningside head coach Steve Ryan. "You're playing against somebody new and at least your in the same environment. We're hoping for great support from Sioux City. It's going to be a beautiful day and we could sure use it all."

"We practice here every day and we've played six home games here this year. We're really excited," said Morningside quarterback Joel Nixon. "We feel really confident here. We've got a good, loud crowd and we think that plays in our favor as well."

"When we had Southern Oregon and Montana Tech come in here, that's a big difference, not just in time but in long flights," said Morningside wide receiver Kyle Schuck. "It's kind of an advantage almost and it's really nice playing at home."

Third-ranked Morningside and fourth-ranked St. Xavier play at noon on Saturday at Olsen Stadium. The NAIA title game is Thursday, December 13th in Rome, Georgia.

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