OLATHE, Kan. — Rotating quarterbacks Tyler Herl and Sean Ransburg combined for four rushing touchdowns Saturday, and No. 4-ranked Mid-America Nazarene eliminated No. 14 Southern Nazarene 40-28 in a first-round NAIA football playoff game.
Southern Nazarene finished its season 9-3, winning its most games in the football program's history and qualifying for the postseason for the first time. Saturday's game marked the only time SNU will participate in the NAIA playoffs. The Bethany school begins a two-year probationary period the next academic year as part of moving up to NCAA Division II. The Crimson Storm will not be eligible for postseason play the next two years.
Mid-America Nazarene (10-1) never trailed in a game that produced a cumulative 880 yards offense. The Pioneers led 20-7 at halftime and extended that to 27-7 in the third quarter before SNU made a comeback. Quarterback Brady Wardlaw threw a 5-yard touchdown to David Balenseifen late in the third quarter and a 64-yarder to Jared Martin early in the fourth to draw the Storm within 27-21.