SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – The Evangel football team entered the NAIA Football Coaches' Top 25 Monday at No. 11 when the first poll of the season was released by the organization.
The Crusaders have started the season 3-0 with three consecutive wins over teams that were ranked in the Preseason NAIA Top 25. Evangel is one of four Heart of America Athletic Conference teams ranked in the top 25 joining No. 10 Grand View, No. 12 Baker, and No. 15 Benedictine. Evangel so far has wins over previously ranked No. 22 SAGU, Grand View and Benedictine through the first three weeks of the season.
Evangel was ranked as high as 23 last season after entering the Top 25 the final three weeks of the season. Sitting just outside the top 10, the Crusaders hold their highest ranking since 2012 when they spent two weeks at No. 15 before finishing the year at No. 23.
Defending national champion Saint Francis (Ind.) earned all 16 first-place votes to hold the top spot while Morningside (Iowa) enters at No. 2 followed by Southern Oregon in third, Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) at No. 4, and Northwestern (Iowa) to round out the top five.
Evangel heads north this Saturday to face Peru State in the first road test for the Crusaders. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.
For the latest information on Evangel Athletics, follow the Crusaders on Facebook at Facebook.com/EUAthletics or go to www.EvangelAthletics.com. Fans can also receive updates on the team by downloading the Go Evangel Front Row App at EvangelAthletics.com/FrontRow available on Google Play and in the App Store.