Now No. 9 In Regional Rankings, Limestone Football In The Hunt For Berth Into NCAA Division II Playoffs

Charles Wyatt
No. 9 Ranking

With two games remaining in the regular season, Limestone University’s football team remains a viable contender for a berth into the NCAA Division II playoffs.

Limestone debuted inside the Top 10 this week at No. 9 in the NCAA Division II Super Region Two Rankings. The 28-team Division II postseason field will consist of the top seven squads in each of the four super regions.

The Saints, under the direction of head coach Mike Furrey, defeated Newberry 42-37 on Saturday to move to 6-3 overall and 5-2 in the South Atlantic Conference.

Limestone will wrap up its regular season by hosting Barton on Saturday, Nov. 5, and Emory & Henry on Saturday, Nov. 12. Both contests will kick-off from Saints Field at 12 noon.

To earn a playoff bid, the Saints will need to jump two spots in the regional rankings prior to the postseason field being announced.

Delta State holds down the No. 1 position in Super Region Two with an in-region record of 7-0. Benedict (9-0) is No.2, followed by Wingate (8-1), West Florida (5-1), and Virginia Union (7-1) rounding out the top five, respectively. The second half of the Top 10 includes, in order, Tusculum (8-1), Tuskegee (7-1), Albany Sate (7-1), Limestone (6-2), and Fayetteville State (7-2).

Including Wingate, Tusculum, and Limestone, the South Atlantic Conference has three teams occupying spots in the Top 10. Benedict and Limestone are the lone squads from the state of South Carolina appearing in the regional rankings.

Shepherd, 9-0 in-region, is ranked No. 1 in Super Region One. Grand Valley State (5-0) holds down the top spot in Super Region Three, and Angelo State (9-0) sits atop Super Region Four.

“It is certainly incredible to see our name in the Top 10 of the regional rankings, knowing the top seven teams will make it into the playoffs at the end of the regular season,” Furrey said. “Our singular focus at the moment, however, is preparing for Barton this weekend. Our job is to play our very best against the next team in front of us, and the rest will take care of itself. We encourage all of our Saints fans to show up and be loud this Saturday when Barton comes to Saints Field.”

The first round of the NCAA Division II playoffs will get underway on Saturday, Nov. 19, at the site of the higher seed. The champions of the four super regions will square off in the semi-final round. The neutral site National Championship game will be played on Saturday, Dec. 17, at 12 noon, in McKinney, TX.

After going 0-9 last season, Limestone’s turnaround has been nothing short of remarkable. The Saints opened the 2021 campaign with a loss at Division I Gardner-Webb but bounced back to win four straight by taking down Saint Augustine’s, Carson-Newman, UVA-Wise, and Mars Hill. Following back-to-back defeats against Lenoir-Rhyne and Wingate, Limestone now rides a two-game winning streak after taking down Catawba and then No. 12-nationally ranked Newberry.

The victory at Newberry secured the first-ever winning season for the Saints and set a single-season wins record.

Furrey was the head coach at Limestone in 2016 and 2017, amassing an overall record of 9-12 before departing to join the staff of the National Football League’s Chicago Bears. He returned to Limestone in March of this year. From 2018 through 2021, the Saints went 4-30 overall. With Furrey at the helm, this season’s 73-14 victory at St. Augustine’s in week-two snapped a 12-game losing streak.