Sep 22, 2020 3:23 AM

Griffons to play football this fall; open at Central Arkansas on Halloween

Posted Sep 22, 2020 3:23 AM

St. Joseph, Mo. - Griffon Football is back.

As announced today by the University of Central Arkansas, the Missouri Western State University Griffons will meet the Bears on Homecoming in Conway, Arkansas on October 31st, 2020 at 3:00 pm.

"Since March, we have been completely focused on any and all solutions to put our student-athletes safely back on the field," said Dr. Josh Looney, Vice President of Intercollegiate Athletics. "We have remained ready and we are thrilled to be able to provide this opportunity for our football team. This would not be possible without campus leadership and the incredible external support we have received in order to take this next step toward competition."

Central Arkansas is an NCAA DI FCS institution from the Southland Conference. The Bears are currently 1-1 on the season and were the first NCAA football program to compete in 2020, appearing on ESPN August 29th. MWSU head football coach Matt Williamson served as the defensive coordinator for UCA from 2010-2013.

"I don't really have the words to describe how excited we are right now," said Williamson. "We have been successfully practicing since late August in a much different environment just to be ready to go at any time. We are thankful for Central Arkansas to provide us with the opportunity to officially get back on the field. We will be ready October 31st."

The announcement comes more than a month after the MIAA announced the suspension of fall sports due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While discussions are still ongoing for MIAA spring volleyball and soccer schedules, the league has since canceled conference scheduling for cross country and football. Missouri Western's 17 NCAA teams have been practicing since late August, following strict protocols instituted by the campus, local health policy and the NCAA's Resocialization of Sport guidelines.

Missouri Western is working to finalize an abbreviated fall football schedule that includes NCAA DII opponents. An announcement is expected to be made in the coming days.

--- MWSU Athletics ---