DES MOINES — After taking down the 11th ranked College of Idaho Yotes for a share of the Frontier Conference title, the Carroll College Fighting Saints found themselves ranked 15th in the nation, and would enter a tough first-round playoff match up against the No.2 Grand View University Vikings.
The Fighting Saints looked on par with their highly ranked opponents throughout the entire matchup, but it was Grand View that would come out on top, 17-14.
Both the Vikings and Saints will flex their defensive muscles early, resulting in a scoreless first quarter.
With just over five minutes to go in the half, the Vikings would strike first after an impressive air show to get them down to the 4 yard line. Carroll held them at the 4, forcing the Vikings to settle for a field goal to get on the board first. On the Vikings next possession, the Saints would have a huge fumble recovery and take over at the 29. Carroll would then milk that drive for the remainder of the half, leaving freshman Spencer Berger to attempt a 39-yard field goal into 22 mph winds. The kick would go short to make it 3-0 Vikings at the half.
Carroll would snag their first lead of the game with 10:11 left in the third quarter after going three-and-out, but being kept alive after a roughing the kicker call to bring the Saints offense back on to the field. During that drive QB Jack Prka would find Tony Collins from 25 yards out to put the Saints up 7-3 following the point-after kick. This would be the Saints' best drive of the day.
After going back-and-forth with turnovers, the Vikings would find themselves with the ball on the Saints 23. Shortly after, Johnny Sullivan would find senior receiver Carson Rollinger for the GVU lead 10-7 with 4:08 left in the 3rd. Three minutes later Sullivan found Nate Wilcockson for 17 yards for a two-score lead with one minute left in the quarter.
With 1:33 on the clock, Prka hit Carson Ochoa for 5 yards to make the score 17-14 Vikings. With just over 30 seconds to go, the Vikings would take a knee to make the final score 17-14 and advance to the quarterfinals.
Senior DB Rex Irby was named Carroll's Champion of Character at the end of the game.