The Newnan Times-Herald

Sports

Northgate graduate Matthew Lewis helps lead Reinhardt into NAIA national title game


  • By The Newnan Times-Herald
  • |
  • Dec. 14, 2017 - 9:41 PM

Trevae Cain’s 2-yard touchdown run in double overtime pushed the Reinhardt Eagles (12-0) over the 12-1 Southern Oregon Raiders, 37-34 last week, and earned the team a spot in the 62nd annual NAIA Football National Championship for the first time in history.

With the win, the Eagles now set their sights on a rematch with Saint Francis (Ind.) (13-0) in Daytona, as the Cougars held off Morningside (Iowa) (13-1), 43-36.

A year ago, Reinhardt ended its season with a loss to St. Francis.

Reinhardt, which is in only its fifth season as a varsity program, is now 1-1 all-time in the NAIA Football Championship Series (FCS) semifinals.

Reinhardt will have a couple Coweta County connections in the game when they take the field for the national title contest Saturday.

Redshirt freshman cornerback Matthew Lewis, who played high school football at Northgate for head coach Tommy Walburn, has made an impact on this year championship run.

Lewis has played primarily on special teams amd in nickel packages for Reinhardt amd has six tackles this season.

Freshman center Bryce Griffin, who is from Sharpsburg and played high school football at Our Lady of Mercy in Fayetteville, is also on the roster.

Former East Coweta coach Danny Cronic helped start the Reinhardt program before handing over the coach duties to his son, Drew.

Drew later went to Furman University as an assistant coach was named head coach at Lenior-Rhyne last week.

"Great team victory as we persevered and found a way to win," Reinhardt head coach James Miller said. "Hats off to Southern Oregon on a great team and season. Billy Hall played a great game for us and really stepped up.”