Kats take No. 6 seed in FCS playoffs

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HUNTSVILLE – With the regular season behind them, the Sam Houston State Bearkats now have a blueprint route for a return to Frisco as they were named the No. 6 seed in the FCS Playoffs on Sunday.

The Bearkats are one of eight national seeds in the 24-team bracket and will get at least one home game at Bowers Stadium in the second round when they host the winner of an opening-round matchup between Nicholls and South Dakota. That game will be played in Thibodaux, La. on Saturday afternoon.

Sam Houston, along with New Hampshire and North Dakota State, are the only teams in the field to have made the FCS playoffs each of the past seven seasons.

“I’m so proud of the guys for making a seventh straight playoff appearance,” Bearkat head coach K.C. Keeler said after Sunday’s selection show. “This is a special time of year where everything you have put in all year long has paid off because now you are one of those select 24 teams who has a chance to compete for a national championship.”

Defending national champion James Madison is the top overall seed in the bracket after completing a perfect regular season that included a CAA title. Missouri Valley champion North Dakota State is the No. 2 seed while Ohio Valley champion Jacksonville State is the No. 3 seed. Southland champion Central Arkansas is the No. 4 seed, their first national seed in the playoffs in school history.

Other seeds include South Dakota State (No. 5), Wofford (No. 7) and Southern Utah (No. 8).

“The hope was that we were going to get a bye. We got a bye. The hope was that we would get a home game, and we got a home game,” Keeler said. “So we got everything we could possibly want in terms of the selection of the Bearkats into the playoffs. Like I told the players, it’s a one-game season and whoever we play, we play. Beat them and we have a chance to play another game. The whole mentality has to be that of a one-game season now.”

Sam Houston completed a 10-1 regular season on Saturday with a 53-33 win over Houston Baptist behind five touchdown passes from quarterback Jeremiah Briscoe. The Kats will enter the playoffs with the nation’s top offense once again after racking up more than 600 yards of offense for the sixth time this season.

It is the fourth straight 10-win season for Sam Houston and the 11th appearance in the FCS playoffs in school history. The Kats are 14-6 in that span, a mark only bettered by North Dakota State who has won five of the last six national crowns.

Playoff Tickets will go on sale Sunday, November 19 at 12:00 p.m. Tickets may be purchased at gobearkats.com, by calling the Athletic Ticket Office at (936) 294-1729 or at the West Box Office of Bowers Stadium.

2017 football season ticket holders have the opportunity to purchase their same seats for the playoff games at Bowers Stadium through Monday, November 27 at 5:00 p.m. Season ticket holders can log into their MyBearkat account or by calling the Athletic Ticket Office.

Playoff ticket pricing will be $18 for general admission, $23 for bleacher reserved and $30 for reserved chairbacks. Premium seating is available in the Bearkat Champions Football lounge for $150 per seat.

The first 500 student tickets will be complimentary courtesy of the Division of Student Affairs. Students may pick up tickets beginning Sunday, November 19 at 12:00 p.m. at the West Box Office and during ticket office hours during the week. Also, students can pick up tickets on the LSC mall area this week on Monday and Tuesday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Student tickets will be $5 for the playoff game once the 500 complimentary tickets are gone.

The Athletic Ticket Office will be open Sunday from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Monday through Wednesday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.