Wolves open Division II Playoffs at North Alabama

NEWBERRY — The Newberry Wolves hit the road for the first round of the NCAA Division II Playoffs, traveling to Florence, Ala., to take on the Lions of the University of North Alabama

The game will be played at Braly Municipal Stadium in Florence, Ala., with a 1 p.m. EST kick off on Saturday. The winner of this game will advance to take on the Catawba/Tuskegee winner next weekend in the regional semifinals.

Newberry is 7-4 overall and finished 3-3 in the South Atlantic Conference. North Alabama is 8-2 overall and finished 6-1 as the co-champions of the Gulf South Conference.

Newberry is the seventh seed in Super Region II, while North Alabama is the second seed in the region.

Newberry is receiving votes in the AFCA Division II Coaches’ Poll. North Alabama is ranked 14th in the AFCA Division II Coaches’ Poll and 9th in the D2Football.com poll.

After finishing the regular season on a four-game winning streak, the Newberry Wolves burst into the NCAA Division II Playoffs as Super Region II’s seventh seed.

This is game number 1,002 for the scarlet and gray in season No. 102. Newberry has a 416-549-36 record.

This marks Newberry’s second trip to the NCAA postseason in the last three years, rebounding from a three-game October losing streak with a four-game winning streak to close the regular season.

The Wolves bring a stout defense to Braly Municipal Stadium, led by linebacker Taylor McDonnell, who was named South Atlantic Conference AstroTurf Defensive Player of the Week for the second time this season on Monday.

McDonnell finished the season ranked second in the league in solo tackles. At Wingate, he had nine tackles – all solos – with three tackles for loss, two sacks and a forced fumble.

Newberry travels to a Gulf South school for the second time this season after the win at Florida Tech to start the season. That win over FIT was likely one of the deciding factors in Newberry’s playoff invitation.

UNA is ranked 14th in the AFCA Coaches’ Poll and 9th in the D2Football.com poll, marking the first nationally ranked team the Wolves have seen this season.

The South Atlantic Conference and Gulf South Conference each earned three bids to this year’s NCAA Championships, with the SIAC earning one.

Only two other conferences earned three playoff bids this season: the Great Lakes Intercollegiate (GLIAC) with Ashland, Ferris State and Grand Valley State — and the Northern Sun (NSIC) with Augustana, Minnesota State and Sioux Falls.

The Gulf South has had at least one team advance to the regional final every year since 1999.

This release was provided by Newberry College.

This release was provided by Newberry College.