Morningside is ranked fourth in the NAIA spring football coaches poll.
Defending national champion Grand View (Iowa) is the unanimous No. 1 in the 2014 NAIA Football Coaches’ Spring Top 25 Poll, the national office announced Monday. The Vikings, who received 13 first-place votes, won the Tom Osborne Trophy for the first time in program history with a 35-23 win at the 58th annual Russell Athletic-NAIA Football National Championship at Barron Stadium in Rome, Ga. Grand View finished 2013 as the NAIA’s only unbeaten team at 14-0.
Grand View, led by AFCA Coach of the Year Mike Woodley, returns 14 starters on offense and defense, including second team All-Mid States Football Association Midwest League quarterback Derek Fulton. Fulton, who was named the Outstanding Offensive Player of the Game at the 2013 championship, ranked third in the NAIA in total offense (4,158) and fifth in total passing (3,451) a season ago.
Perennial powerhouse Carroll (Mont.), who fell to eventual runner-up Cumberlands (Ky.) in overtime of the NAIA Football Championship Series (FCS) semifinals, 34-27, checks in at No. 2. Cumberlands (Ky.) claims the No. 3 position.
Rounding out the top five are No. 4 Morningside and No. 5 Baker (Kan.). The Mustangs eliminated Baker in the FCS quarterfinals before falling to in-state rival Grand View in the semifinals. Morningside returns quarterback Ryan Kasdorf, who led the team with 3,335 yards and 42 touchdowns, but will be without wide receiver and NAIA National Player of the Year Kyle Schuck due to graduation.
Northwestern College, 8-3 last year, is 13th in the poll which is where they finished last season.
Monday, July 28 2014 9:39 PM EDT2014-07-29 01:39:08 GMT
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