As the Apple Cup dominates the attention of local college football fans on Saturday, another team prepares to make its first playoff appearance since 2009.
Central Washington University hosts Texas A&M-Commerce at noon in Ellensburg in the second round of the NCAA Division II playoffs. CWU earned a first-round bye as the No. 1 team in Super Region 4.
Central is riding a 13-game winning streaking thanks to a roster loaded with graduates of Washington high schools. The team finished the season 11-0, ranked No. 7 nationally and champions of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference. The Wildcats placed 21 players on the all-conference team.
The game can be streamed online at wildcatsports.com/live.
The Wildcats lead the nation with 5.27 sacks per game. They had a school record 11 sacks in the season finale against Humboldt State. The pass rush, led by Bo Banner of Bellingham and Billy Greer of Tacoma, is likely to play a decisive roll in today’s game. No. 8 Commerce has the No. 1 passing offense in the nation, averaging 360.5 yards per game.
Commerce is 10-1 and beat Winona State 20-6 in the first round of the playoffs.