Morningside makes final preparations for St. Xavier - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports


Morningside makes final preparations for St. Xavier

Joel Nixon has guided M'side to the semifinals for the first time since 2005. Joel Nixon has guided M'side to the semifinals for the first time since 2005.

It'll be another clash of top five offenses and defenses, when No. 3 Morningside hosts No.4 St. Xavier in the NAIA Football Championship Series semifinals on Saturday.

The Mustangs and Cougars rank third and fourth respectively in total offense and first and fourth defensively.

But, experience is where these two teams different.

The Mustangs are in the postseason for the ninth straight year, but are into the semifinals for just the second time in school history, the last coming back during the 2005 season.

The Cougars are making their eighth appearance as a program, but have a leg up when it comes to the semis. They're in for the fourth straight year, and have been the road team every time.

"It has to give them an advantage. Not one person on our team has played in a game like this and they just played in the game last year," Joel Nixon said.  "They return 19 of 21 starters so, yeah, they do have a bit of an advantage experience wise."

"I'm really impressed with how relaxed our guys are.  They're just ready to play.  They're ready for a new challenge," Head Coach Steve Ryan added.  "I think those first two games really prepared them for the test that they have, but they're ready to go."

Kick off between Morningside and St. Xavier is set for noon at Olsen Stadium.

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