Lenoir-Rhyne (13-1) will take on Northwest Missouri State (14-0) for the Division II college football championship on Dec. 21 in Florence, Ala.
This is Lenoir-Rhyne University's first appearance in this game, and it is attempting become the first private school to win the title. The Bears are looking good to do just that. They steamrolled into this championship with a dominant win over West Chester in the semifinal, 42-14.
Lenoir-Rhyne tops West Chester 42-14 in D-II semis - http://t.co/rB1vwEPdLF - HICKORY, N.C. (AP) – Josh Justice carried ...— Charlotte Local Buzz (@CTLLocalBuzz) December 15, 2013
The Bears feature a strong rushing attack behind the triple-option offense.
Meanwhile, Northwest Missouri State advanced to the its eighth national championship game in program history.
The Bearcats earned this trip with a convincing 27-13 win over Grand Valley State in the semifinal.
Unlike their opponent for this game, the Bearcats feature more of an aerial attack. To reach the championship game, Reuben Thomas caught seven passes for 143 yards and two touchdowns, and quarterback Trevor Adams went 15-of-21 for 284 yards and two touchdowns.
These two schools will be meeting for the first time when they battle for the championship.
Location: Braly Municipal Stadium, Florence, Ala.
Start Time: Dec. 21 at noon ET
TV Broadcast: ESPN2
Key Storyline: Will Justice be served?
You'll have to excuse my terrible pun, but with Josh Justice lining up under center for the Bears, I couldn't resist.
Justice is a central figure in this game. In the semifinal win, he ran for 175 yards and three touchdowns. That fantastic performance is made even more impressive by the fact that it was just his second start.
"I was pretty nervous week [sic] in my first start last week against North Alabama," Justice said, per the Charlotte Observer's Jim Utter, "but it’s just been some crazy and awesome stuff that has been happening in the last few weeks."
If Justice can keep making good decisions and grinding out yards on the ground, the Bears will be in great shape.
Prediction: Lenoir-Rhyne 24, Northwest Missouri State 17
Lenoir-Rhyne will use its triple option to control the ball on offense.
Meanwhile, the Bears have the defense to slow down Northwest Missouri State's aerial attack. In the semifinal, the Bears faced a West Chester team that was averaging 39.3 points and 479.2 offensive yards per game and shut it out in the second half.