The teams that will play in the Graphic Edge Bowl have been set, as two games will kick off in the UNI Dome on Dec. 8 in Cedar Falls, Iowa.
The Graphic Edge Bowl will feature three top ten teams. The matchups are: Iowa Central against No. 7 Rochester, and the featured match-up of No. 3 Iowa Western vs. No. 5 Butler.
The Iowa Western Reivers (10-1, 8-0 ICCAC), who were last year’s NJCAA National Champion, put together another excellent season, suffering only one loss to No. 1 Georgia Military.
The Reivers offense was explosive this year, with the team averaging 48 points per game in the regular season. Moreover, the offense was also well rounded.
Quarterback Connor Bravard and running back Akise Teague have been key cogs in the Reivers ability to put up points.
Bravard is averaging 234.3 passing yards a game and has 23 touchdowns this year. Teaque has been a dominant force on the field, averaging 132.6 rushing yards a game, and has rushed the ball into the end zone 12 times this season.
Reivers head coach Scott Strohmeier is thrilled for the chance to compete against Butler in the bowl game.
“Butler’s tradition speaks for itself,” Strohmeier said. “We are excited for the chance to play against such a quality opponent.”
The Butler Grizzlies (9-1, 6-1 KJCCC) will top off another successful season with a chance to avenge their loss to Iowa Western last year in The Graphic Edge Bowl, which was the NJCAA Championship Game. Butler head coach Troy Morrell is looking forward to another challenge.
“Playing #3 ranked, and defending national champion, Iowa Western will be a tremendous challenge for our program this year,” Morrell said. “Special thanks to The Graphic Edge and their continued support of this bowl game.
The Grizzlies are use to playing in high-stakes games, as they have played in 11 national championship games in their history—winning six of them.
This year the Grizzlies have relied on a range of talented offensive and defensive players, such as linebacker Phillip Williamson, who leads the team in sacks with 7.5, and running backs Ty Suggs and Chris Carson, who together have found the end zone 13 times.
“We are thankful for the opportunity to participate in the 2013 Graphic Edge Bowl,” Morrell said. “Being part of a bowl game in junior college football is special and something that our players, coaches, administration, students and fans will all cherish.”
The teams that will be play in the Graphic Edge Bowl have been set, as two games will kick off in the UNI Dome on Dec. 8 in Cedar Falls, Iowa.
The Graphic Edge Bowl will feature three top ten teams. The matchups are: Iowa Central against No. 7 Rochester and No. 3 Iowa Western against No. 5 Butler. The feature game at the bowl game will be Iowa Western against Butler, which is a rematch of last year’s national title game.
The Iowa Central Tritons and the Rochester Yellow Jackets will both get a chance to flex their football skills in the first game at the Graphic Edge Bowl.
After clinching a Graphic Edge Bowl berth in their last game of the season, the Tritons (5-5, 3-5 ICCAC) will get a chance to face Rochester for a bowl win over a top ten ranked opponent.
This will be the 15th time that Tritons head coach Kevin Twait has lead his team to a bowl appearance, and he is excited for the opportunity.
“We are tickled to death to be going,” Twait said. “We are thrilled to get to go. It will be a great challenge for us. And we appreciate The Graphic Edge for hosting.”
The Tritons have gotten great play out of their defense this season. Defensive end Jareid Combs and defensive tackle Shaquille Wells have been the catalyst of this great defense. Combs has complied 44 tackles and eight sacks on the year, and Hall has 39 tackles and seven sacks.
In his first year as the head coach of the Rochester Yellow Jackets (10-1), Bill Quistorff was able to lead them to a bowl game.
“We are very honored to have the opportunity to play against a high caliber program such as Iowa Central in The Graphic Edge Bowl,” Quistorff said. “We know they are a good team with very high quality football players and also are very well coached.”
Rochester has a lot of momentum going in the post season already. They beat No. 11 Central Lakes-Brainerd to claim their fourth straight MCAC State Championship. The win propelled them into the top ten in the NJCAA polls and well poised to contend for a bowl victory
The Yellow Jackets (10-1) offense has been impressive this year. This offense has been anchored by wide receiver Josh Zitzman, who has 591 yards and nine touchdowns this season.
“We know that coach Twait will have his team ready to play and firing on all cylinders,” Quistorff said, “We will need to prepare well and work hard in the time we have leading up to this game. I believe it will be a good matchup. We know that we need to play our best game of the season.”