Morningside meets the media before NAIA title game - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports


Morningside meets the media before NAIA title game

The Morningside football team speaks at a press conference in Rome, Georgia, on Tuesday. The Morningside football team speaks at a press conference in Rome, Georgia, on Tuesday.

The goal all season for Morningside has been to go 1-0 each week. Well, mission accomplished. The Mustangs are in Rome, Georgia to play for the program's first ever national championship. The Mustangs arrived in Rome on Monday, and spent most of Tuesday in the community visiting schools as a part of the NAIA's Character of Champions program.

The Mustangs also had a two hour practice after that it was time to meet Marian University for the first time at the podium in the first press conference of this championship week.

"You see the young men up here, there's a lot of schools they could have played football at," said Morningside head coach Steve Ryan. "And, I'd imagine it's the exact same for Marian. They made that choice to play thinking I'm going to play in this game some day. If I choose this school, I have a chance to play it that game, so it means something to them."

"Their offense is the complete package," said Morningside linebacker Chris Calvillo. "They have big offensive linemen who are nasty and like to put you in the dirt. The running back is great and finds holes. Our biggest thing as a defense is to be gap sound and to shut down the run, first."

"We have to come out and play our best football game of the season," said Morningside quarterback Joel Nixon. "There's no doubt about that. They're here for a reason and we're here for a reason, we're the two best teams left in the country. They're a very worth opponent and you know, if we don't come out and play our best football, we're going to find ourselves in a bit of a dog fight."

On Wednesday the Mustangs will have their final walk through and practice at Barron Stadium followed by the NAIA Banquet of Champions when the National Player of the Year will be awarded. A contender if not the favorite has to be Morningside quarterback Joel Nixon. He has more than 3,600 passing yards, a school record 47 touchdown passes to go along with nearly 800 yards rushing on the ground. We will have those stories and more for you on Wednesday.

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