INDIANAPOLIS – The 2018 NCAA Division III National Playoff field was announced Sunday evening as the Hanover football team drew No. 9 North Central (Ill.) in the opening round.
The Panthers, who earned a share of the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference championship after defeating rival-Franklin this past Saturday, will be making their first national playoff appearance since 2003. Hanover won the conference's automatic qualifier after taking the three-way tiebreaker against Franklin and Mt. St. Joseph on regional strength of schedule.
Hanover and North Central are set to kickoff at 1 p.m. eastern time, or noon central time, on Saturday, Nov. 17, at Benedetti-Wehrli Stadium.
The Panthers and Cardinals will be meeting for just the third time overall and the first time in postseason play when they kickoff this weekend. Hanover is 2-0 in the all-time series, but the two sides have not met since the 1997 season. The Blue and Red took that game 24-7, and also earned a 23-14 triumph in 1996.
North Central, who is appearing in its third straight NCAA National Playoff, won the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin (CCIW) championship after compiling a 9-1 overall record and an 8-1 league mark. The Panthers and Cardinals do not have any common opponents this fall. Both teams enter Saturday having won six of their final seven regular season games.
More details, including ticket information, will be made public as soon as it is available.
Contact: Tyler Jester