The University of Indianapolis football team and member of the Great Lakes Valley Conference, has once again made its way into the Division II NCAA playoffs with a 41-3 victory over Southwest Baptist University, according to UIndy Athletics. Head Coach Chris Keevers said during the week leading up to the game against Southwest Baptist, the team’s only focus was winning so that they could return to the playoffs.
“We’ve got to go to Southwest Baptist and win a football game to win the [GLVC] league and get into the playoffs,” Keevers said.
This year marks the ninth outright GLVC championship title that the team has won, according to UIndy Athletics. Keevers said the team has battled through injuries and transfers throughout last season and into this one. He said this year the team has brought on some younger guys that have added depth to the lineup despite the team facing injuries.
“We’ve lost some players recently, but no excuses, I mean, we’ve got enough players to win,” Keevers said.
According to UIndy Athletics, key plays in the game against SBU included a 79-yard touchdown by sophomore wide receiver Markez Gillam on a pass from sophomore quarterback Gavin Sukup and a 77-yard touchdown reception from freshman wide receiver Kaleb Carver. Sukup finished with an 18-20 completion rate and 357 receiving yards and three touchdowns, according to UIndy Athletics. Additionally, the team more than doubled SBU’s total yards with 535 versus SBU’s 245.
The team suffered a 16-21 loss against McKendree University on Nov. 4, which junior linebacker Clay Shulte said has left a bad taste in the team’s mouth and has pushed them to do better as they head into the playoffs. He said the loss against McKendree, as well as last year’s loss in the playoffs against Pittsburg State University, has also pushed them to compete better this year.
“We all hate losing, so I think that’s kind of left a bad taste in our mouth,” Shulte said. “And then last year, we knew we could have competed better than what we did, so I’m just gonna go show this team’s capabilities this year.”
Keevers said that the win over SBU has made this season a great one, but the team still has more to look forward to. He said the team is continuing to work hard at practice in hopes of keeping their season alive.
“We’ve had a good year. I think if we can finish it off for the championship on Saturday, it would be a great year,” Keevers said. “You know, we like to keep playing. There’s no question about that—we expect to keep playing.” The team faced a rematch against Pittsburg State University on Nov. 18 in the first round of the NCAA DII Championship. The Greyhounds lost the game 14-35, according to UIndy Athletics. They end the season with an overall record of 9-2.