ALLIANCE - Top-ranked University of Mount Union will be joined by fellow Ohio Athletic Conference member Heidelberg in the NCAA Division III football playoffs.
Mount Union will be hosting the playoff opener for the 17th straight year and Heidelberg is making its first appearance.
The Purple Raiders (10-0) will host Christopher Newport (Va.) University at noon Saturday at Mount Union Stadium.
Christopher Newport is 6-4 overall and in the tournament after winning the USA South Conference title and its automatic bid. The Captains started football in 2001 and have made eight playoff appearance with a 3-7 record in postseason play.
It will be the first meeting between the two teams and the first time Christopher Newport played a team from Ohio.
Mount Union completed a perfect regular season for the 21st time under coach Larry Kehres. The Purple Raiders have won the Ohio Athletic Conference title for 21 straight seasons.
The Purple Raiders have a 73-13 record in the playoffs and have advanced to the Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl 15 times.
Heidelberg (9-1), whose only loss came at Mount Union on Oct. 27, will host Wittenberg (9-1) at noon Saturday.
The game will be played at Frost-Kalnow Stadium behind Columbian High School. 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.
Wittenberg advanced by winning the North Coast Athletic Conference for the third time in four years. The Tigers claimed the NCAC's automatic berth after Denison upset Kenyon
Washington & Jefferson (Pa.) College, coming off a 31-14 win over previously-unbeaten Waynesburg on Saturday, is making its first playoff appearance since 2009 and 22nd overall.
The Presidents (8-2) will play at Johns Hopkins University (9-1) in Baltimore, Md., at noon Saturday. It will be the first meeting between the two teams.
Senior outside linebacker Nathan Melhorn, a graduate of Southern Local High School, has started all 10 games for Washington & Jefferson. He is the third-leading tackler with 76 total, including 43 solos, with 7 1/2 tackles for a loss, two fumble recoveries and one interception.
The Presidents have a 21-21 record in the postseason, including a 13-8 record in first-round games.