Doane Returns to First Down Classic in 2009
Grand Island, Nebraska - February 16, 2009 - The defending champion of the "First Down Classic" will return this year to Platte City, Missouri for the third annual "First Down Classic," presented by College Fanz Sports Network on Saturday, August 29, 2009.
The Doane College Tigers will be back to face the Avila University Eagles in this kickoff to the NAIA football season. Game time is tentatively set for 1 p.m. Central Time at Platte County R3 High School's Pirate Stadium.
Doane is coached by Matt Franzen, a Tigers alumnus who will enter his third season as head coach of the Tigers. Avila head coach Bruce Young will be starting his fifth season leading the Eagles. He is no stranger to pre-season, featured games as he has coached in the NAIA's Wheat Bowl several times while at Avila and Baker University.
The "First Down Classic" marks College Fanz's official kickoff to the 2009 NAIA football season. Last season, Doane defeated William Jewell on a last second field goal, 15-12. In the first ever "First Down Classic," MidAmerica Nazarene defeated Azusa Pacific in a shootout, 59-38.
"It's very special to start a small college football season with a game like this," said Jason Dannelly, event organizer and Director of NAIA Relations for College Fanz. "This game will allow the coaches, student-athletes, parents, alumni and fans of these two institutions to get really excited about the start of their seasons."
Doane College is a member of the Great Plains Athletic Conference. Last season the Tigers finished 4-7 in Franzen's first season as head coach. Avila University finished 3-8 and is a member of the Heart of America Athletic Conference.
Platte County R3 High School's Pirate Stadium will serve as the home of the third annual "First Down Classic," as well as the upcoming "College Fanz Sports Network Senior Classic" on April 25, 2009. The event will showcase over 120 of the NAIA top senior football players.
"I couldn't be happier to come back to Platte City," said Dannelly. "The community loves football and continues to get behind our events. We enjoy our relationship with this community, and hope it will continue to grow."
Stadium capacity is 4,000-plus. Tickets and information on other festivities surrounding the game will be released soon. Information about a possible second game/double header will be released in the coming months.
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