Dordt coaches and players excited to make NAIA Football Playoffs for first time

Defenders make NAIA playoffs for first time after 8-2 season
Published: Apr. 14, 2021 at 11:01 PM CDT
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SIOUX CENTER, IA. (Dakota News Now) -When the Dordt Defenders finished up their fall season with 2 losses, Joel Penner said he felt like they had about a 10% chance of making the playoffs.

But keep in mind the Defenders, who had never made the playoffs, gave Northwestern and #1 Morningside great games. And as a result, all 3 made the 16-team field wheich starts on Saturday with a trip to unbeaten Grand View. So hearing their name called Sunday was a joyous moment for the players and their coaches.

But the Defenders have stayed ready all these months and a win in late March in Oklahoma probably got them into the post season.

Joel Penner, Dordt Football Coach says, ”Just to know this group of guys, how hard they’ve worked and how far they have come, how much work the coaches have put in. To have the opportunity is an honor and a blessing.”

Senior Wide Receiver Levi Jungling says, ”And then when our name popped up on the screen, everybody just went crazy. It did kind of feel like a culmination of 4 years of work for us seniors. And just to get that opportunity is pretty special and it meant a lot to all of us.”

Penner told us on Calling All Sports today that when they heard their name called Sunday some tears were shed. This program has made dramatic strides in his 5 years as head coach.

They play Grand View (6-0) Saturday afternoon at Des Moines.

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