The Bethel football team has been on an august journey this month. The Royals (10-2) have defeated Wheaton (Ill.) and Linfield (Ore.) on the road to reach the NCAA Division III quarterfinals for the first time since 2018.
The Royals play defending DIII national champion Mary Hardin-Baylor at noon Saturday in Belton, Texas. The Royals, who are making their fifth overall appearance in the quarterfinals, and the Crusaders have never met in football.
Saturday noon: Watch the web stream, listen and live stats
The Crusaders (11-1) are in their first season under coach Larry Harmon, who was their defensive coordinator the previous 20 seasons. They have won 10 consecutive games since losing at Wisconsin-Whitewater in the second week of the season.
The Crusaders, who defeated Huntingdon at home and Trinity (Texas) on the road to reach the quarterfinals, have won 58 of their last 60 games and have reached the Stagg Bowl three times since 2017.
Kyle King has passed for 3,155 yards and 38 TDs to lead the Crusaders, who have averaged 43.6 points and 476.3 yards per game. King has completed 66.6% of his passes and thrown just four interceptions.