Tigerville, S.C. – North Greenville football has released its 2018 schedule, the first as a full time, Gulf South Conference member.
The Crusaders will open up the season with a familiar face, traveling to Greeneville, Tennesee to take on Tusculum College on the first of September. North Greenville has won the last five games against the Pioneers, dating back to the 2013 meeting. Three of those wins were on the road, including back-to-back wins in 2015 and 2016.
Week two pits North Greenville against another South Atlantic Conference member as Lenoir-Rhyne travels to Tigerville as the first home opponent for the Crusaders in 2018. NGU looks to knock off the Bears after a loss to them in 2017 in Hickory, North Carolina. The game against Lenoir-Rhyne is the first of a two-game home stand and is currently scheduled for September 8th.
The second of two consecutive home contests will also mark a pair of firsts for North Greenville as Mississippi College travels to Tigerville for the first-ever meeting between the two schools. The September 15th meeting with the Choctaws will also double as the first official Gulf South Game in North Greenville’s history.
North Greenville hits the road again in week four for a rematch with Delta State, it will be the third meeting all-time between the Crusaders and the team affectionately known as the “Fighting Okra” including a playoff meeting in 2011 and an overtime thriller in last season’s game. The Statesman were victors in both, defeating the Crusaders by less than a touchdown average.
The next four games are an even split between road and home games with home games against West Alabama (9/29) and Shorter (10/13) and road trips to West Georgia on October sixth and Valdosta State on October 20th. North Greenville is 1-1 against West Alabama and split a series with Shorter. NGU’s win over the Hawks came in the 2014 Victory Bowl. The games against West Georgia and Valdosta State are both firsts for NGU.
October 27th will be a big day for NGU as it welcomes West Florida to Tigerville. The Argos travel to Tigerville for the first time, in the short program history after falling to Texas A&M Commerce in the NCAA Division II National Championship game.
The season wraps up with consecutive road trips. Coach Farrington will lead his team to Melbourne, Florida to take on Florida Tech on November third and at Division I, North Alabama on the 10th.
NGU's 2018 opponents were an even .500 last year with a combined record of 73-73. Five Gulf South teams finished with a winning record led by West Alabama which was 10-3. The Argos finished the 2017 season with an 11-4 mark with one loss in the National Championship game. The Crusaders will face an uphill battle in 2018 with four teams ranked inside the Division II top-25 including West Florida at #2, West Alabama at #12, West Georgia at #19, and Delta State rounding out the group at #21.
North Greenville finished the 2017 season with a 4-6 mark. The Crusaders lost those six games by an average of just 6.5-points, with two losses coming in overtime and one to Kennesaw State on a last-second touchdown.