This One is For the Ring!
How can you describe this current Football season?
A variety of different words can be used to describe it. Finale, in reference to the final season in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference. Swan Song, referencing the end of the careers of over 30 players who helped start the program four years ago. Dominant, when you look at the defensive and offensive stats that have been released throughout the year. However, I think that this one suits the team best: Champions.
This past weekend, the Pirates clinched at least a share of the SCAC Football Championship. This would be the first and last SCAC Title in Football that Southwestern can win, as the conference will no longer be sponsoring the sport.
The journey for the ring is not over just yet. A win this weekend will give the title to the Pirates outright.
Who do the Pirates have to beat to claim this honor? Their biggest rivals, Trinity University. Where do they get to play? Birkelbach Stadium in Georgetown, Texas during Homecoming & Senior Day.
Yes, it would seem that the Pirates could not ask for a better “finale” than this one. One more win to give the seniors who helped start this program. One more win to win the title outright. One more win against a bitter rival that will cease to exist after this year.
You read that right, folks. The Southwestern-Trinity rivalry will be no more after Saturday. At least there will be no more rivalry on the gridiron. Due to the SCAC ending its sponsorship of the sport, both teams had to select new conferences to compete in for the 2017 season.
Trinity and Austin College will be joining the Southern Athletic Association (SAA) with former-SCAC members Berry College, Rhodes College, and Hendrix College. Southwestern and Texas Lutheran will be joining the American Southwest Conference (ASC) with Hardin-Simmons University, East Texas Baptist University, and University of Mary Hardin-Baylor.
Since the 42 point loss to the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, the Pirates have been dominating the SCAC, outscoring opponents 162-45.
Lead by the dual-quarterback combo of Senior Bryan Hicks and Sophomore Fredrick Hover, the offense has been firing on all cylinders recently, thanks to their leadership and the motor of a D3Football Offensive Line of the Week. That line is comprised of Seniors Will Devine, Dereck Harenda, Trey White, Jacob Harton, and Sophomore Noah Berlanga.
This has helped key players, such as Senior Matt Gillen, have record-breaking games, such as the first game against the Tigers.
The defense has been lead by Senior Defensive End Justin Broussard. The Beaumont native is a sack machine, averaging 1.88 sacks per game and 2.31 tackles for a loss. The sack percentage is good enough to allow him to lead the nation in the category.
The entire defensive line has been members of the D3Football.com Team of the Week throughout the season. In the secondary, Sophomore Aaron Robinson leads the team with tackles with 54 tackles in seven games.
This weekend ends the home season for the Pirates. They still have one more road game, where they try to defeat the Bulldogs of Texas Lutheran for the second time this season.
Kickoff for the Homecoming game will be at 1 PM. The Senior Day Ceremony will begin 20 minutes before kickoff.