Wesley to host RPI in opener of Division III football tournament

DOVER — Wesley College will start its 13th consecutive Division III football tournament campaign with a home game.

The Wolverines will host Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute on Saturday at noon in the first round as the 32-team field was announced on Sunday night.

Wesley (9-1) qualified for the tournament thanks to the auto-bid by winning the New Jersey Athletic Conference championship. It’s the 14th time the Wolverines have made the tournament under coach Mike Drass.

If Wesley beats RPI, it will face either Brockport (10-1) or Plymouth State (9-1). If the Wolverines make it to the quarterfinals, there is a potential rematch against Delaware Valley (10-0) — the only team to beat Wesley this year. The Wolverines have won nine in a row since their season-opening loss to Delaware Valley.

RPI is 8-2 overall and reached the tournament by winning the Liberty League championship.

RPI enters the tournament on a five-game winning streak. Its only two losses this year came against Hobart and Buffalo State.

Wesley has won a first-round game in each of the last 12 seasons.

The NJAC got two teams into the tournament. Frostburg State (8-2) received an at-large bid and will meet Wittenberg (10-0) in the first round.

The Wolverines wrapped up the NJAC title and an undefeated record in conference play with a 31-14 victory over Christopher Newport at home this past Saturday.

The national title game, the Stagg Bowl, is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 16 in Salem, Virginia at 7 p.m.

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