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Tuesday, 05 July 2011 10:33

1st down classic

3.16.10 | Football

Baker to take on Ottawa in College Fanz First Down Classic


GRAND ISLAND, Neb. - College Fanz™ Sports Network, the world’s largest online college sports community launched by ESPN founder Bill Rasmussen, today announced that the Ottawa University Braves will host the Baker University Wildcats in the fourth annual College Fanz First Down Classic. The football game is tentatively set to kick-off on Saturday, August 28th at 7 p.m. Central Time at People’s Bank Field in Ottawa, Kan.

It has been 17 years since these two rivals, separated by less than 20 miles, have faced off on the gridiron. Baker University (based in Baldwin City, KS) owns a 43-31-2 advantage in the all-time series with Ottawa University, including a 10-game winning streak dating back to 1976. The last time the two teams faced off was in the first game of the 1993 season, with the Wildcats handing the Braves a 43-9 loss on Ottawa’s home field.

“Bringing together two long-time rivals in the season opener for both teams is the perfect game for our fourth annual College Fanz First Down Classic,” said Rasmussen, founding partner and Chief Executive Officer of College Fanz. “The excitement these two college communities bring to their contests is a cornerstone of why fanz, students and alumni around the world have embraced College Fanz Sports Network, and this football game is further demonstration of the power of college sports to bring people together.”

Ottawa finished 2009 with an 11-1 overall record and a 9-0 record as champions of the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference (KCAC). Ottawa defeated Hastings College (Neb.) in the first round of the NAIA Championship Series 40-34, before falling to Lindenwood University (Mo.) 64-26.

“This is the type of game the alumni from both schools have long been waiting for,” said Kent Kessinger, head football coach of Ottawa. “Kicking off our 2010 season with this game adds to our excitement for the upcoming 2010 season.”

Baker was 7-3 in 2009 ending the season with a five-game winning streak while finishing fourth in the Heart of America Athletic Conference (HAAC). Baker last made the NAIA Championship Series in 2008, losing in the first round to Morningside College (Iowa).

“We are really looking forward to this,” said Mike Grossner, head football coach of Baker. “There’s been a lot of local interest over the last few years playing just junior varsity games against each other. I have great respect for Kent and the progress he has made with the Ottawa University program. We will have to have our guys ready for a big early season challenge.”

This year’s College Fanz First Down Classic will be televised live on The 2009-2010 school year featured the inaugural seasons of both the "College Fanz NAIA Football Game of the Week" and the "College Fanz NAIA Basketball Game of the Week." These highly-successful broadcasts were viewed by fanz in over 100 countries.

In 2010-2011, College Fanz will expand live and on-demand television coverage of college sports through the innovative College Fanz Mobile Broadcast Unit on Campus program. College Fanz features video stream broadcasting 24 hours a day, seven days a week with programming that includes highlights and features covering a wide-range of college sports, student-athletes, coaches, rivalries, mascots, marching bands, fanz and alumni.

“Of all the games we have put together for the First Down Classic, this one will be the biggest,” said Jason Dannelly, Director of College Relations for the College Fanz and the game’s founder. “There have been some great matchups but never a rivalry like these two institutions.”

2010 will mark the fourth season of the College Fanz First Down Classic and the first appearance for Baker. Ottawa will make their second appearance as they participated in the second game of the 2009 College Fanz First Down Classic, defeating McKendree University (Ill.) 31-21. Avila University (Mo.) defeated Doane College (Neb.) in the first game of the 2009 College Fanz First Down Classic 9-6. In 2008, Doane College defeated William Jewell (Mo.) 15-12 and in 2007 MidAmerica Nazarene defeated Azusa Pacific 59-38.

Fans can expect to see a quality game from a great facility as People’s Bank Stadium is one of the latest renovations of the Ottawa University Campus. Finished in the summer of 2008, the facility boasts a synthetic turf surface and seating for over 3,000.

Check back on for the full 2010 football schedule in the coming weeks.

About College Fanz:

Launched September 7, 2007, 28 years to the day that Bill Rasmussen’s ESPN dream went on the air for the first time, College Fanz Sports Network is the world’s largest online college sports community, with students, alumni, and other fanz of college sports. College Fanz boasts over 22,000 web pages devoted to more than 1,450 colleges and universities competing in over 225,000 NCAA and NAIA athletic events. Fans can post videos, photographs, and comment on their favorite teams and schools, participate in contests, and communicate with other fans in a compelling and ever-growing social network. Live and on-demand broadcasts of selected college games further enhance the constantly-evolving content offered on College Fanz. Additional information is available here.


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