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Hornets on their way

After a nail-biting 29-24 win over NCAA Division II opponent Miles College last week, Concordia returns to NAIA competition against Edward Waters — a South Eastern Athletic Conference rival.

A win will give the Hornets (5-3) their second overall SEAC title. They won it in 2005 and finished in a three-way tie in 2007.

As SEAC members, the Hornets and Warriors (0-6) are very familiar with each other. The Warriors took each of the first two meetings by 42 points, but the Hornets earned their first win in the series 38-27 last year.

“They remind me a lot of us,” said Concordia coach Shepherd Skanes. “They’re playing great football.”

The Warriors’ winless record is a bit misleading. They are 0-6, but Concordia will only be their second NAIA-caliber opponent this season.

The Warriors fell to two Football Championship Series teams (Citadel and Jacksonville University), two NCAA Division II teams (St. Paul’s College and Pembroke) and one NCAA Division III team (Wisconsin-Steven’s Point).

“When you play big teams and they pay you to come to them, the record is not indicative,” said Skanes. “I think we match up well with them.”

Though Saturday’s contest will determine the SEAC champion, the game could have bigger implications down the line.

“We’re 5-3 with one game (West Alabama) we just let get away,” said Skanes. “You can say we’re right where we should be, but we can get better. We have three tough games left, and its not going to be a cakewalk.”

Concordia only has two NAIA opponents — Webber and Texas College — left to play sandwiched around a matchup with Football Championship Series opponent Savannah State.

For a team still awaiting NAIA acceptance, every game counts if the Hornets are to receive an at-large bid for postseason play.

“We’re just going to do what we do and let the chips fall where they may,” said Skanes.

Another factor that may play into Saturday’s matchup is the presence of scouts on the Concordia campus.

Skanes and his staff spent a large part of Thursday away from the football offices as scouts for the Green Bay Packers and Kansas City Chiefs commandeered Concordia’s gym to watch film.

Such a presence can tend to distract players — particularly those under the microscope.

“It means we’re playing quality football and have great talent here in Selma,” said Skanes. “But we’re not going to be distracted.”

The Hornets and Warriors kick off at 1 p.m. on Friday in Babson Park, Fla.