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Montana Western receives bid to NAIA football playoffs

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Nate Simkins

Nate Simkins celebrates a touchdown against Montana Tech on Nov. 6 in Dillon.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Montana Western's dream season continues. 

In addition to reaching eight wins for the first time since 1995, the Bulldogs learned Sunday that they would be representing the Frontier Conference in the NAIA Football Championship Series, according to a Sunday release from the Frontier.

Montana Western (7-3, 8-3) defeated Rocky Mountain College on Saturday to secure a Frontier Conference co-conference championship along with College of Idaho. Since the Bulldogs (No. 18) finished in the Top 20 of the latest NAIA coaches' poll, they received a bid over the No. 21 Battlin' Bears and will go into the playoffs as the No. 16 seed. Once College of Idaho lost to Carroll College on Saturday, there was little suspense that it would get the bid. The Yotes did round out the poll at No. 25, though.

Western will face unbeaten and top-seeded Lindsay Wilson (Ky.) (10-0) on Saturday in Columbia, Kentucky.

The playoff field is comprised of 12 automatic qualifiers and four at-large berths. In order to qualify for an automatic bid, teams must win their conference regular-season title. At-large berths were determined by the NAIA Football National Selection Committee. Teams who earned an at-large berth must be ranked in the Top 20 of the final NAIA coaches' Top 25 poll.

Saturday will mark the Bulldogs' fifth playoff appearance and first since 2002. Montana Western is 1-3 all time in the NAIA playoffs.

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