TIFFIN, Ohio – When Heidelberg University’s Quentin Rembert blocked the potential game-winning field goal to secure a 35-34 win over Baldwin Wallace, he knew how much that meant to his team.
“I was pretty emotional for about an hour,” said Rembert, a team captain from Euclid. “It is a great feeling to know what that block meant for the team – a real good shot at the playoffs.”
Sunday evening, the NCAA confirmed what Rembert felt.
On the Division III Football Tournament Selection Show, the NCAA announced that Heidelberg will host Wittenberg University on Saturday, November 17.
The game will be played at Frost-Kalnow Stadium behind Columbian High School.
The at-large berth into the tournament is the first in Heidelberg history.
Heidelberg is familiar with Frost-Kalnow Stadium, having played home contests at the site for nearly five decades before returning to campus for home games in 2009.
Heidelberg, 9-1 overall, finished second in the Ohio Athletic Conference, with a 33-14 loss at Mount Union as the lone blemish.
The football team gathered in Frost Lecture Hall on Sunday evening to watch the announcement. As they heard their name called, the room erupted in celebration.
“Seeing our name up there was just a cool feeling,” said safety Justin Suddeth. “We’ve put in a lot of work to make that happen.”
The tournament berth is more evidence of the remarkable resurgence of Heidelberg football under the direction of sixth-year head coach Mike Hallett.
Hallett took over a team that had lost 36 consecutive games. After three 4-6 seasons and a 5-5 campaign, Heidelberg turned in an 8-2 record a season ago, but did not earn a berth in the tournament.
“It’s a special day for the University and the program,” said Hallett. “Heidelberg and Wittenberg match up well with one another. I can’t wait for our guys to get after it.”
Wittenberg, also 9-1, received the automatic qualifier from the North Coast Athletic Conference. The only Tiger loss came in Week 5 against Wabash, 27-24.
The teams are no strangers to one another, last meeting in 2001. Wittenberg holds a 42-18 edge all-time against Heidelberg, with many of the contests coming while the Tigers were members of the Ohio Athletic Conference.
Tickets will be $8 for adults, $4 for students from Heidelberg and Wittenberg. Passes are not valid for the postseason.
Additional information about purchasing tickets will be posted at www.heidelberg.edu/athletics as soon as it becomes available.