IT’S TIMMMMMMMEEEEEE! We have two teams that fit well in the red corner and blue corner. Let’s hope that maybe tomorrow we can experience a color-on-color matchup. The Keiser Seahawks and Northwestern Red Raiders have prevailed to be the best two teams in the NAIA, Tomorrow they duke (the game is in Durham) it out to see who takes home the National Championship Trophy. I have your NAIA National Championship Preview and Prediction right here!
Keiser’s Offense vs. Northwestern’s Defense
If you look at the players to watch on the Keiser side, you see TE Jaylen Arnold listed. He leads the Seahawks in receiving yards. How often do you see a TE lead a team at any level in receiving yards? The Seahawks love getting their ground game rolling, which will be the main key to this game. Keiser has developed two 1,000-yard rushers this season. Running back Jaden Meizinger has handled the load since leading rusher Marques Burgess has been out. The front seven for Northwestern hasn’t budged much all season. The defense of Northwestern has only allowed two teams this season to score more than 10 points. They just don’t let teams do much. In the first halves of their playoff games, they only gave up seven points. The rest of the points were mostly in garbage time. If Keiser wants to win this game they have to make something happen in the first half offensively.
Northwestern’s Offense vs. Keiser’s Defense
The Keiser team in general but more importantly the defense is the most battle-tested unit in the NAIA. If Keiser wins this game there should be case studies on how the tough scheduling could have boosted Keiser’s chance at a National Championship. Northwestern’s Jalyn Gramstad is a dangerous man through the air or on the ground. No team in 2022 has been able to neutralize his firepower. Wide Receiver Michael Storey has been the man his whole career but has turned it on during the playoffs. Storey has 283 Receiving yards in the 2022 playoffs. Keiser has the big DTs up front to control A-B Gaps, I am excited to see if their secondary can rise to the challenge. The Seahawks have grabbed 17 interceptions this season, and defensive back Wendol Philord leads them with four. Keiser has to force turnovers to help out their offense if they cannot establish a rushing attack.