The Lenoir-Rhyne Football Team (12-1) will host West Chester (13-1) in an NCAA Division II National Semifinal game Saturday at Noon at Moretz Stadium.
The winner will face the winner of the other semifinal contest between Northwest Missouri State (13-0) and Grand Valley State (12-2) in the 2013 NCAA Division II National Championship game next Saturday, December 21. The title game takes place at Braly Municipal Stadium in Florence, Ala., beginning at Noon.
Lenoir-Rhyne, ranked No. 13 in NCAA Division II, has won 12 straight contests including last Saturday's 42-39 win over North Alabama (10-3) at home in the national quarterfinals.
L-R is led by a pair of First-Team All-Americans this year: sophomore offensive tackle Joe Ray (Atlanta, Ga.) and senior defensive back Michael Green (Kingsland, Ga).
Ray won the 2013 Jacobs Blocking Trophy, given annually to the top offensive lineman in the South Atlantic Conference, and spearheads a unit which ranks first in the nation in rushing at just over 372 yards per game.
Green, meanwhile, has eight interceptions this year including three returned for touchdowns to go along with 79 tackles and two blocked kicks. Green, a three-time all-conference and all-region honoree, is the Bears' all-time leader in interception return yards (429) and punt return yardage (876).
Junior linebacker Tanner Botts (Lawrenceville, Ga.) is the team's leading tackler with 119 while senior placekicker Zach Neumann (Mechanicsville, Md.) set the school single-season record for points by a kicker with 97 this fall for the Bears. Botts (third-team) and Neumann (second-team) earned All-Americans accolades this year as well.
The Bears' rushing attack is spearheaded by junior halfback Jarrod Spears (Bunnlevel, N.C.) and junior fullback Isaiah Whitaker (Salisbury, N.C.) with 849 and 818 yards, respectively. The duo has also combined for 15 touchdowns on the ground this fall.
L-R is 7-1 at home this year and is 19-1 in its last 20 contests at Moretz Stadium dating back to the 2010 season. The Bears are also 20-2 in their last 22 games.
Lenoir-Rhyne has already set a school single-season record for victories in a season. A win over West Chester would put L-R in the national championship game for the fourth time in school history. The Bears advanced to the NAIA National Championship in 1959, 1960 and 1962 while winning the title in 1960.
West Chester, ranked No. 15 in the nation, is coming off a 28-7 victory over previously unbeaten and sixth-ranked Shepherd (11-1) last Saturday in Shepherdstown, W.Va. The Golden Rams are led by All-American and Harlon Hill finalist Rondell White, who has 1,922 yards rushing and 21 touchdowns this year and is ranked second in the nation in all-purpose yards (211.8 ypg) as the team's featured back.
Meanwhile, quarterback Sean McCartney has thrown for 3,434 yards and 32 touchdowns for West Chester while All-American linebacker Ronell Williams leads the defense with a team-high 106 tackles. West Chester averages 479.2 yards of total offense and 39.3 points per contest.
Tickets are $15.00 for general admission and $5.00 for children 12 and under and students with proper identification. The game will also air on ESPN3.com live and on ESPNU on tape delay Monday at 1:00 p.m.