Yotes 4

College of Idaho quarterback Darius-James Peterson (4) tries to evade Montana State-Northern defenders Saturday.

A pair of newcomers will be crashing the NAIA Playoff party in Caldwell on Saturday.

The College of Idaho football team earned the No. 5 seed and will host Ottawa University of Arizona in their first round matchup the NAIA announced on Sunday. The Yotes (10-0) are in their sixth season of reinstatement after the program went on a 37-year hiatus. They will be making their first appearance in the postseason since playing in the 1953 Refrigerator Bowl.

The Spirit (9-1) are making their first-ever postseason appearance in just their second season of existence. Ottawa punched its ticket to the playoffs with a 33-14 win over Southwest Assemblies of God University this past Saturday to clinch the Sooner Athletic Conference championship.

The game will feature two teams that rank in the Top 5 in the nation in total yards-per game and in the top 15 in scoring defense.

The Spirit bring in a high-powered offense, which has averaged 45.2 points per game. Quarterback Austin McCullough is has 2,980 passing yards on the season and has thrown 33 touchdown passes to nine interceptions on the year. He has five different receivers who have caught at least 20 passes this season.

Defensively, Ottawa is holding opponents to 17.1 points per game, having forced 30 turnovers on the season. Free safety Amare Burks leads the team with 72 tackles and has three interceptions, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. Linebacker Christian Viville has at least one tackle for a loss in every game this season, and has recorded 10.5 sacks on the year.

All of College of Idaho’s playoff games will be broadcast live on KTIK 1350 AM.

John Wustrow is the assistant sports editor of the Idaho Press. He is a Michigan native and a graduate of Indiana University.

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