UNK Football: Lopers crack the AFCA Top 25 for the first Time since 2011

(Joe Scanlan)
Published: Sep. 13, 2021 at 3:49 PM CDT
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KEARNEY, Neb. (KSNB) - The UNK football team is ranked 23rd the latest American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Division II Top 25 poll. This is the first time the Lopers (2-0) have been ranked in a decade.

In 2011, UNK went 11-2 and reached the NCAA Playoffs. That team, competing in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC), got as high as fourth in the poll which tied a program record. They finished the year ranked 10th.

UNK is riding a five-game win streak dating back to November 2019. During the streak the option-based Lopers have run for 2,053 yards (410.6 avg.) and 20 touchdowns.

The defense shut out Missouri Southern in the 2021 opener and blanked Pittsburg State in the second half this past Saturday. 

The Lopers received 93 points in this week’s poll and is one of seven teams from Super Region III to be ranked. The others are Ferris State of Michigan (2nd), Northwest Missouri State (3rd), Ouachita Baptist from Arkansas (9th), Grand Valley State of Michigan (11th), Indianapolis (12th) and Henderson State from Arkansas (25th).

Seven teams will make the 28-team playoffs (seven teams from each of D2′s four regions) come November.

UNK hosts the No. 29 Washburn Ichabods (2-0) Saturday at 1 p.m. WU is the last team to beat Kearney, winning 57-41 almost two years ago at Cope Stadium. They received 21 points in this week’s poll to be tied with Harding (Ark.) for 29th.

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