Justin Berendzen (@jrberendzen on Twitter) with my NAIA playoff matchups preview ranked 1-8 based on how competitive I think each matchup would be.
1.Kansas Wesleyan University at Indiana Wesleyan University
The Coyotes come to meet the Wildcats. Indiana Wesleyan’s offense has senior running back Devodney Alford who has 740 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns. Cole Parker junior defensive lineman has 44 tackles, 14.5 TFLs and 8.5 sacks. The Coyotes offense has senior wide receiver Stevie Williams who has 1,013 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns. Indiana Wesleyan defensively has Justin Johnson who has 52 tackles, 11 PBUs and 8 TFLs.
2.Saint Xavier(ILL) University at Concordia (MI) University
Saint Xavier comes to meet Concordia in what should be a tough matchup. The Cardinals offense has senior running back Keirell Jackson who has 585 rushing yards and 4 touchdowns. Defensively for Saint Xavier they have junior defensive back Jacob Denney who has 29 tackles, 7 PBUs and 4 interceptions. The Cougars offense has junior receiver Justin Pringle who has 698 receiving yards and 7 touchdowns. Defensively for Concordia they have junior defensive back Gerald McHenry Jr who has 37 tackles, 7 PBUs and 5 interceptions.
3.Central Methodist University at Northwestern(IA) College
Of the matchups featuring the top 4 teams this has the most intrigue to it because you have a good offensive team in Northwestern and a good defensive team in Central Methodist should be a battle. Cade Moser senior wide receiver has 1,176 receiving yards and 19 touchdowns for the Raiders of Northwestern. Defensively for Central Methodist they have junior defensive back Mujahid Camel who has 47 tackles, 8 TFLs, 5 sacks and 5 PBUs. The Eagles offense has senior receiver Katavious Taylor has 855 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns. Defensively for Northwestern they have sophomore linebacker Parker Fryar who has 77 tackles, 5 TFLs and 3 PBUs.
4.Keiser University at Reinhardt(GA) University
Good defensive matchup. Reinhardt’s offense has sophomore wide receiver Navarie Solomon who has 913 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns. For the Seahawks defense they have freshman defensive back Wendol Philord who has 48 tackles, 6 interceptions and 4 PBUs. Keiser’s offense has junior running back Marques Burgess who has 1,558 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns. Defensively for the Eagles they have redshirt sophomore defensive back Kellen Neal who has 30 tackles and 4 PBUs.
5.Southwestern College(KS) at Marian University
This is one of those in between matchups I really don’t know what to think of because Marian has kinda been all over the place and Southwestern comes in off of a huge win that got them into the playoffs anything could happen. Marian has freshman running back Daylen Taylor who has 845 rushing yards and 8 touchdowns for the offense. Southwestern defensively has junior defensive lineman Shane Rodriguez who has 49 tackles, 9 TFLs, 5.5 sacks and 3 forced fumbles. Junior receiver Keyshawn Jones has 953 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns for the Moundbuilders offense. Defensively for Marian they have junior linebacker Sir’Zion Dance who has 74 tackles, 14.5 TFLs and 4 PBUs.
6.Ottawa University(Ariz) at Morningside (IA) University
The Spirit travel to Iowa to play the Mustangs. Morningside’s offense is led by senior running back Anthony Sims who has 1,290 rushing yards and 26 touchdowns in 2021. Defensively for OUAZ they have senior linebacker David Jones Jr who has 47 tackles, 6 PBUs and 3 interceptions. Marcelous Chester-Riley has 956 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns. Defensively for Morningside they have senior linebacker Tyler Wingert who has 99 tackles, 17.5 TFLs, 6.5 sacks, 3 interceptions and 3 PBUs.
7.University of Montana Western at Lindsey Wilson College
Alright the question everyone has been asking is can the powerhouse of Lindsey Wilson be defeated there is a small chance they lose this one. The Blue Raiders offense is led by senior running back Jaylen Boyd who has 913 rushing yards and 9 touchdowns. The Bulldogs have freshman defensive back Braden Swank who has 63 tackles and 19 PBUs. Offensively for Montana Western they have redshirt senior wide receiver Nate Simkins who has 1,106 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns. Lindsey Wilson’s defense has senior defensive back Robert Carter who has 27 tackles, 8 PBUs and 7 interceptions.
8.Dickinson State University at Grand View University
The reason I placed this game last is because Dickinson State hasn’t faced the level of competition the other teams in the field have. Not that they can’t beat Grand View it can happen but very unlikely on paper. For Grand View’s offense sophomore running back Ali Scott has 703 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns. Defensively for the Blue Hawks they have junior defensive lineman Krew Mathern who has 40 tackles, 15 TFLs and 7.5 sacks. Tyger Frye senior receiver for Dickinson State has 808 receiving yards and 9 touchdowns. Defensively for Grand View they have junior defensive back Jianni Angulo who has 27 tackles, 4.5 TFLs and 3 interceptions.