The SFA football team is making its first post season appearance since 2010.
“To see the reaction of the young men when they flashed Stephen F. Austin on the bracket was very rewarding,” said head coach Clint Conque.
Opening the first round toward an FCS National Title against the Lumberjacks will be the University of Northern Iowa.
The ‘Jacks will have to travel to the home of the number 10 ranked Panthers, the UNI dome, which is notorious of raising havoc. Not only that, but the Panthers are currently on a five-game winning streak.
“The kids know what's at stake here,” said Coach Conque. “We need to meet energy with energy. Then we need to come out ready to play and execute well against one of the best teams in the country, certainly one of the hottest ball teams in the country right now.”
However, UNI's talent won't be the only trial to tackle.
“Environment wise, the dome I heard gets pretty loud and talking to Coach Moses who played there a few years ago, he said it gets pretty loud,” said quarterback Zach Conque.
They call him Coach Moses, but the Lumberjack faithful know him as Jeremy Moses, the 2010 Walter Payton award winner who is the only one who has experience going to UNI and beating the Panthers in the dome.
“It's a great atmosphere. They got goods fans, smart fans, and they're intelligent. They know down and distance, game situations, and they know when to make noise and when not to,” said Moses.
Moses compares that atmosphere to the one they faced in McNeese, when they took down the number 6th ranked team.
“It's a tough place to play in, but also a fun environment to play in,” said Moses. “You get excited for the game because it is a new atmosphere playing inside the dome. It should get the kids pumped up for it.”
“It's going to be a challenge for us but we've definitely done it through K-State who's a loud environment, McNeese is a loud environment, so we got experience going in to deal with certain snap counts,” said Zach.
The ‘Jacks have had their fair share of challenges this year and won't be backing down now
“We're on a great ride right now and certainly I think these young men feel like there's some meat left on the bone. They're excited about the opportunities they have in front of them,” said Coach Conque.
The game will be this Saturday and will air on ESPN 3. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
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