Football Climbs in Polls

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KWU Ranked 7th in the Latest NAIA National Polls

Kansas Wesleyan football coach Matt Drinkall isn't a big fan of polls.

They're nice for fans and sports media folks to talk and write about, but don't have any impact on what he and his team do on a daily basis.

This week's NAIA coaches' poll that has the Coyotes ranked seventh is significant to Drinkall, though. KWU's climbed two spots to seventh, the highest mark in the football program's history.

Reaching the top eight is significant in terms of postseason play, according to Drinkall.

"Getting in the top eight is a big deal because it will likely match you against the No. 9 versus No. 16 winner in the playoffs if you're enough to win out."

The top eight teams in the final NAIA regular-season poll get home games in the first round of the playoffs if their schools submit bids to do so, which KWU has.

The Coyotes climbed after two teams ranked ahead of them lost last week -- No. 4 Lindsay Wilson (Ky.) and No. 6 Evangel (Mo.). Lindsay Wilson lost to unranked Cumberland (Tenn.) while Evangel suffered its first loss of the season to unranked MidAmerica Nazarene.

They have 277 points in this week's poll and trail No. 6 Northwestern (Iowa), which has 296. Northwestern slipped from third to sixth after losing to top-ranked Morningside (Iowa) 42-34 Saturday.

The Coyotes (8-0) took care of their business Saturday in dazzling fashion, once again, routing McPherson 76-38 at McPherson Stadium.

Led by another balanced offensive attack, the Coyotes amassed 628 yards – 332 rushing and 296 passing – against the Bulldogs. Johnny Feauto (JR/Boulder, Colo.) completed 21 of 24 passes for 295 yards and four touchdowns, and Demarco Prewitt (JR/Menifee, Calif.) ran for 202 yards on 39 carries and accounted for four touchdowns – three rushing and one receiving 

Three other receivers also caught touchdown passes – tight end Charlie Simmons (SO/Saint Johns, Fla.) (5 catches, 87  yards) and Trenton Poe-Evans (JR/Needles, Calif.) (4 for 86) and super back Marquez Gilmore (SR/Decatur, Ga.) (3 for 39). Prewitt had four catches for 30 yards.

Special teams accounted for two touchdowns. Freshman K.C. Carr returned a kickoff 82 yards for a touchdown and Charles Barnes III ran 15 yards for a touchdown after scooping up Walker Borghardt (JR/California, Mo.)'s blocked punt.

Prewitt and Carr were recognized by the Kansas Conference for their efforts Monday. Carr was named the conference's Offensive Player of the Week and Carr the Special Teams Player of the Week.

"Prewitt and Carr are great players that continue to do an outstanding job," Drinkall said. "Carr has improved every day, making the switch from running back in high school to a receiver in college."

Wesleyan plays two of its last three regular-season games on the road, starting Saturday against Bethel. Kickoff is 1:30 p.m. at North Newton

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