Leopards Draw No. 3 Seed Massachusetts in First Round of the NCAA Division I Football Championship
Nov. 19, 2006
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EASTON, Pa. (www.lafayette.edu) - Lafayette claimed the Patriot League's automatic bid to the NCAA Division I Football Championship field with its 49-27 win over Lehigh in the nation's most-played college football rivalry on Saturday. On Sunday, the Leopards learned they will travel to Atlantic 10 champion Massachusetts to face the No. 3-seeded Minutemen in Amherst, Mass. Game time is set for noon at McGuirk Stadium.
The automatic bid is the second in three years for the Leopards, who will be making their third straight appearance in the playoffs after earning an at-large bid with an 8-3 record last season. The consecutive postseason berths are the first in school history for Lafayette.
Lafayette is one of six schools in the Football Championship field that have qualified each of the last three seasons, joining Furman, Montana, Hampton, New Hampshire and Southern Illinois.
The name change from NCAA Division I-AA, which was established in 1978, to the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision officially goes into effect on Friday, Dec. 15 at the national championship game in Chattanooga, Tenn.
The Leopards have been more than competitive in their first two appearances in the I-AA Playoffs. In 2004, they led defending national champion Delaware 14-13 in the fourth quarter, and later drove inside the 20-yard line for the tying touchdown before a fumble return for a touchdown created the final 28-14 margin.
Last year at eventual national champion Appalachian State, Lafayette held a 17-10 lead at halftime and entered the final period tied at 20-all before falling 34-23 to the Southern Conference champions.
Ticket prices for Saturday's game are as listed: $15 for reserved seating, $12 for adult general admission, $6 for children 18-and-under, and $5 for UMass/Lafayette students.
More ticket information will be released on Monday at www.goleopards.com, and broadcast information will be announced as it becomes available. The Lafayette Sports Network intends to televise the game, as it has for every Lafayette football game in the last four years, including last year's first round game at Appalachian State.
A Maroon Club travel package to Amherst will be offered, with details to be announced on Monday.
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