Thursday, November 2, 2023

Rivalry Renewals Highlight First Saturday in November

In a rare Saturday night matchup, the Appalachian State Mountaineers will face off against Marshall at Kidd Brewer Stadium in Boone. The game, scheduled for 6 p.m., is generating buzz as it is believed to be the first Saturday night home game played in Boone during November or December in recent memory. The last time the Mountaineers played a Saturday night game at Kidd Brewer Stadium was in 2014, their inaugural year as an FBS member. Since then, the team has enjoyed significant success at home, boasting a remarkable 51-10 record and drawing record-breaking crowds, with 2022 seeing ten of the top 12 crowds in stadium history.

The Mountaineers' strong performance at home, coupled with an average attendance of 35,774, has cemented their reputation as a powerhouse in college football. The 2023 season has also seen quarterback Joey Aguilar shine, leading the Sun Belt Conference with 20 touchdown passes and ranking 7th nationally. This upcoming game against Marshall carries added significance as it marks the first league matchup between the two teams in Boone since 1996, a nostalgic encounter for long-time fans. The game serves as a reminder of the rich history between Appalachian State and Marshall, who were both former FCS-level Southern Conference members and only recently reunited on the field in 2020 and 2021 for nonleague games. 

Lenoir-Rhyne vs. Catawba: On Saturday, November 4, 2023, #16 Lenoir-Rhyne (8-1, 6-1 SAC) faces Catawba (4-5, 2-5 SAC) at Moretz Stadium in Hickory. For Lenoir-Rhyne, a win would secure their spot in the SAC Championship next week, thanks to their head-to-head win this season, giving them a tiebreaker over Limestone, and they also control their destiny in the Piedmont Division race. LR can also clinch a championship berth if Limestone loses against Barton. This game is significant as the Bears aim to add to their 24 overall conference championships in program history, with seven won since 2010. Additionally, it marks the 102nd all-time battle between Lenoir-Rhyne and Catawba, one of the most played and closely contested rivalries in NCAA Division II. LR has recently dominated, winning four straight games and seeking to even the all-time series, which currently stands at 49-48-4 in Catawba's favor. The rivalry between the two schools has been a historic and pivotal part of the conference's football history, often deciding championships in their final regular-season game, although this tradition has changed with the introduction of the SAC Championship game after the regular season.