Montclair, NJ (11/15/09) — The Montclair State football team captured its first New Jersey Athletic Conference Championship since 2003 as the Red Hawks downed Kean University, 14-6 at Sprague Field on Saturday afternoon. The win gave MSU an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Playoffs and the Red Hawks will face Maine Maritime in the opening round of the NCAA Division III Playoffs as the bracket for the 32-team national championship tournament was unveiled on Sunday.
The Red Hawks and Mariners will square off on
Saturday, November 21 at Sprague Field with kickoff scheduled for Noon. Tickets for the game will be $8 for adults and $5 for children, students and seniors. Ticket locations will open at approximately 11:00 am. Ticket booths are located at the entrance of Sprague Field across from the Red Hawk Parking Deck and on Normal Avenue.
The winner of the contest will advance to the second round where they will meet the winner of the Mount Union - Washington & Jefferson contest also to be played on Saturday.
The appearance in the NCAA Playoffs will be the ninth for Montclair State, which is making its third consecutive postseason appearance. The last two seasons, MSU has played in an ECAC Championship Bowl contest. The three straight postseason berth are a first for the Red Hawks since 2001 when it qualifed for the NCAA Playoffs for the third time in as many years.
Overall, Montclair is 7-8 in its NCAA Division III Playoff history and 8-8 in total NCAA trips. Montclair State captured the 1970 NCAA Knute Rockne Bowl with a 7-6 win over Hampden-Sydney in a game played at the Atlantic City Convention Center. In Montclair State's last NCAA trip the Red Hawks reached the second round as they knocked off Allegheny, 20-19 before falling to Ithaca College in the second round.
Maine Maritime earned its way into the NCAA Playoffs as it won the New England Football Conference title with a dramatic 48-42 victory over Curry in the NEFC Championship Game on Saturday. Senior wide receiver Alex Coulombe caught a deflected pass in the end zone as time expired, lifting Maine Maritime to its first outright NEFC title since 1993 and its ninth overall. The Mariners boast Division III's top rushing offense at nearly 425 yards per contest while putting up an average of 42.2 points per game. Fullback Jim Bower leads the team and the nation in rushing at 162.2 yards per contest.This will be the first meeting between the two schools and neither has played any common opponents.