Orediggers host Dickinson in playoff opener

Orediggers host Dickinson in playoff opener

For the second year in a row, the Montana Tech Orediggers will host the Dickinson State Blue Hawks in the first round of the NAIA football playoffs.

Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. on Saturday.

The Frontier Conference champion Orediggers (9-1), winners of nine straight, crushed the Blue Hawks 44-10 last year on the Bob Green Field.

The Blue Hawks (9-2) won the NorthStar Athletic Association title with a 9-1 record. Dickinson lost 33-20 to Black Hills State on Oct. 29. The Blue Hawks fell 29-13 to Montana Western in the season opener in Miles City.

This will be the third first-round meeting between the Orediggers and Blue Hawks this century. Tech fell 30-13 at Dickinson in 2004.

Dickinson State played in the Frontier Conference in 2012 and 2013. After going 1-19 in conference play those two seasons, the Blue Hawks left for the NorthStar, which they have won the last three seasons.

Eastern Oregon is the only other team to make the playoffs. The Mountaineers will head to Doane (Nebraska) in the first round.

Despite jumping up to No. 19 in the final poll of the regular season, Montana Western was left on the outside looking in for the second straight year.

The top nine teams remained the same in the NAIA Top 25 Coaches Poll. Tech remains at No. 6, while Eastern Oregon is No. 9.

The playoff teams and pairings were announced this afternoon. The playoffs will be reseeded after each round.

The Montana Tech tailgate opens at 10:30 a.m. All VIP Tailgate Pass holders have first rights to their tailgate spots for the postseason. All VIP Tailgate Pass Holders will be contacted before any spots are released to the general public.

Season tickets holders have first right of refusal for their seats for the first-round playoff game. All season ticket holders will be contacted or can call the Montana Tech Athletics office to reserve their seats. Tickets go on sale to the general public Wednesday at noon. Premium reserved tickets are $30 and reserved are $20. General admission tickets will be sold as walk up only for $12. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 496-4105.

NAIA Playoffs
First-round pairings

Robert Morris at Marian (Indiana)
Sterling (Kansas) at Baker (Kansas)
Southeastern (Florida) at Reinhardt (Georgia)
Missouri Valley at Saint Francis (Indiana)
Tabor (Kansas) at Morningside (Iowa)
Dickinson State at Montana Tech
Eastern Oregon at Doane (Nebraska)
Grande View (Iowa) at Lindsey Wilson (Kentucky)

2016 NAIA Football Coaches’ Top 25 Poll – Final (Nov. 13)

11Marian (Ind.) (15)10-0340
22Baker (Kan.)11-0327
33Reinhardt (Ga.)11-0306
44Saint Francis (Ind.)9-1298
55Morningside (Iowa)9-1293
66Montana Tech9-1278
77Doane (Neb.)9-1254
88Lindsey Wilson (Ky.)10-1248
99Eastern Oregon8-2240
1011Grand View (Iowa)9-2221
1112Missouri Valley9-2208
1213Tabor (Kan.)8-2205
1315Sterling (Kan.)8-2178
1415Dickinson State (N.D.)9-2170
1519Robert Morris (Ill.)7-3146
1618Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.)8-3143
1710Kansas Wesleyan9-2125
1821Concordia (Neb.)7-3108
1922Montana Western7-4106
2014Southeastern (Fla.)6-2104
2123Langston (Okla.)7-271
2225Arizona Christian7-370
T2324Benedictine (Kan.)7-440
T2320William Penn (Iowa)7-440
2517Georgetown (Ky.)7-437

Dropped from Top 25: none

Others Receiving Votes: Saint Mary (Kan.) 23; Warner (Fla.) 9; Pikeville (Ky.) 3.

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