Nov 10th, 2005 @ 9:34 am | Author: Vikings Sports News
For two of the Top 20 teams in the NAIA, the Fargodome will host the most important game of the 2005 football season. On Thursday night, Valley City State University (18) will battle Azusa Pacific University (10) for one of the 16 spots in the 2005 NAIA Football Championship series.
Valley City State, who shared the 2005 Dakota Athletic Conference with Dickinson State, is seeking its first national playoff bid since 2000 while APU, an NAIA Independent, is seeking to return to the Championship Series after a top 4 finish in 2004.
Head Coach Dennis McCulloch envisioned great things for his program when he first scheduled the home and home series with the school located in Southern California. "The series has been great for our program. Last year we had the opportunity to travel out to LA and give our kids an experience of a lifetime. Playing in the Fargo Dome with a chance to earn a national playoff spot is a similar once in a lifetime experience for our kids."
Over the years VCSU has played several games in the Dome including the 2000 playoff game. For APU the game will mark the first ever indoor game for a team that has played all over the country. One of APU's losses occured earlier in the season in Helena, MT at the hands of Caroll College.
Although the last meeting between the two teams was lopsided a different outcome is expected. 'Last year’s score will definitely be on their mind. I anticipate Valley City to be very motivated and prove that’s not the team they are. We just happened to get some early breaks, got up on them and stayed up. I think we were as shocked by the score as much as they were. We expect a fired up Valley City State that remembers last year’s score and play its best football,' commented APU Head Coach Pete Shinnick.
Azusa Pacific's athletic program won the NACDA Director's Cup for the NAIA level in 2004, an award that is presented to the most successful athletic program in the country.
APU lists eight players on their roster that have transferred from NCAAA Division I programs.
Game time is approximately 8:15 p.m. as the second half of a double header in which the first game pits Concordia College against the Univeristy of Minnesota Morris. Tickets are $7 for adults and $3 for students and tickets will be available at the door.
VCSU's Athletic Department is hosting a pre-game social in room 203 in the Fargo Dome beginning at 7 p.m. All VCSU Fans are invited.