MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The Huntingdon football team will play at Berry College on Saturday in the opening round of the NCAA Division III playoffs.
Kickoff will be at 11 a.m. (Central) at Valhalla Stadium.
"I'm incredibly proud of everybody involved with this team and the way our guys believed they could be where they are right now," Huntingdon head coach Mike Turk said. "After last year and the way we started this season, there were so many opportunities for this team to not believe it could be here. But we didn't do that. That's really what it boils down to, the leadership on this team believed this day would come and they made it happen."
This is Huntingdon's first playoff appearance since 2017 and the fourth playoff appearance in the past five seasons.
"This is a big opportunity for us. We've come a long way since last season and from the beginning of this season," senior receiver Otis Porter said. "This group of guys, we've been through a lot and we know we can count on each other. We had a tough start to the season with a couple of losses, but we overcame it. We remained positive, kept coming to work and tried to get better each day."
After missing the postseason last year, Huntingdon enters the playoffs with a 7-3 record. The Hawks began this season with a 1-2 record before winning six of their next seven games to win the USA South Athletic Conference championship.
"Winning the conference title and being back in the playoffs means a lot," senior defensive lineman DeAnte' Griffith said. "This is a close team that has been through some hard times, but the hard times we've been through last season and earlier this season helped bring us together and make us stronger.
"We had two losses headed into the bye week after our third game this year. We could have just turned the other way, lost confidence in ourselves and started going downhill, but we made the decision to keep working and to get better. That attitude going into conference play helped start us in the right direction."
Berry, the 20th-ranked team in the American Football Coaches Association poll, enters the playoffs with a 9-1 record, four straight Southern Athletic Association championships and three consecutive appearances in the Division III playoffs. The Vikings carry a 22-game home winning streak into the playoffs.
Huntingdon and Berry last met in the first round of the 2017 playoffs. Berry won that game 34-20.
Ticket prices for Saturday's game will be $10 for adults, $5 for children under 12, seniors and students with a valid student ID. Children two years of age and younger will be admitted free.
Additional playoff information will be posted on Huntingdon's website on Monday.