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The Journal Gazette

  • Courtesy Saint Francis running back Justin Green makes a move during Saturday's NAIA championship game against Baker (Kansas) in Daytona Beach, Florida.

  • Courtesy The Saint Francis offense lines up during Saturday's NAIA championship game against Baker (Kansas) in Daytona Beach, Florida.

  • Courtesy Saint Francis coach Kevin Donley at work during Saturday's NAIA championship game against Baker (Kansas) in Daytona Beach, Florida.

  • Courtesy Saint Francis running back Justin Green makes a move during Saturday's NAIA championship game against Baker (Kansas) in Daytona Beach, Florida.

  • Courtesy Saint Francis' defense celebrates a play during Saturday's NAIA championship game against Baker (Kansas) in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Saturday, December 17, 2016 10:11 pm

Champions! Saint Francis wins 1st NAIA title

Greg Jones | The Journal Gazette

DAYTONA BEACH – Saint Francis won the NAIA football championship, beating Baker (Kansas) 38-17 on Saturday at Municipal Stadium.

The No. 4 Cougars (13-1) won their first NAIA title in the school’s fourth all-time appearance in the title game.

Saint Francis finished as runner-up in 2004-06.

The No. 2 Wildcats (14-1) was playing in the school’s second all-time appearance in the title game, finishing second in 1986.

The only other time the two teams had previously met was in the opener of the NAIA playoffs in 2012 when Saint Francis beat Baker 22-17.

With the title game win, Saint Francis coach Kevin Donley improved to 302-129-1 all-time in 38 years of coaching, including 188-44 in 19 years with the Cougars.

Donley previously won the NAIA title in 1991 with Georgetown, Kentucky.