First Down Classic

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First Down Classic
Stadium various locations
Operated 2007-2011
Conference tie-ins NAIA
College Fanz, Victory Sports Network

The First Down Classic was a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics endorsed Pre-Season bowl game created by Jason Dannelly of the Victory Sports Network. It began operations in 2007, taking over for the defunct Wheat Bowl that operated from 1995 until 2006. In 2009, two separate games were played under the same name "First Down Classic". The game ceased operations after completion of the 2011 game.

Year Winner Score Loser Score Location
2007 MidAmerica Nazarene 59 Azusa Pacific 38 Pirate Stadium * Platte City, Missouri[1]
2008 Doane 15 William Jewell 13 Pirate Stadium * Platte City, Missouri[2]
2009 (game 1) Avila 9 Doane 6 Pirate Stadium * Platte City, Missouri[3]
2009 (game 2) Ottawa 31 McKendree 21 Pirate Stadium * Platte City, Missouri[4]
2010 Ottawa 24 Baker 15 Peoples Bank Field * Ottawa, Kansas[5]
2011 Baker 41 Ottawa 16 Liston Stadium * Baldwin City, Kansas[6]

Game details[edit]


1 2 3 4 Total
Baker 0 0 0 14 14
Ottawa 7 0 7 10 24

The start of the 2010 NAIA football season began at Ottawa University in the College Fanz First Down Classic game between Ottawa and Baker. This game marked the first time the two schools met in football for 17 years. Ottawa began the game by returning the kickoff for a touchdown and led the entire game to a 24-14 victory.[7]


1 2 3 4 Total
#10 Ottawa 13 4 0 0 17
#23 Baker 14 3 10 14 41

Nationally ranked at #23, Baker University upset #10 ranked Ottawa University in the 2011 match-up played at Liston Stadium in Baldwin City, Kansas. Ottawa scored first when Shane Gimzo completed a 9 yard run for a touchdown with 9:02 remaining in the first quarter. It was the only lead Ottawa would hold for the entire game, which they lost when Baker's Tyler Hatcher ran the kickoff return for 82 yards for a touchdown and Andrew Kimrey completed the PAT kick. Later that same quarter, Baker's Reggie Harris ran a 62 yard punt return for a touchdown to take the lead.

Ottawa managed to get close several times with the score at the end of the first half with Baker leading 16–17.[8]

Baker managed to hold Ottawa scoreless in the second half of play while scoring three touchdowns and a field goal. Baker recovered two fumbles and intercepted three passes to win with a final score of 41–16.[8][9]

Baker Running Back John Babb was named the game's Offensive MVP with 102 rushing yards on 10 attempts, 1 reception for 11 yards, and a Touchdown. Baker Outside Linebacker Adam Steele was named Defensive MVP with 16 tackles (7 Unassisted), 2 Interceptions and One Tackle for Loss.[8]


  1. ^ Victory Sports Network "MidAmerica Nazarene Tops Azusa Pacific 59-38 in VSN First Down Classic" by Jason Dannelly, August 25, 2007
  2. ^ Victory Sports Network "Groteluschen's Kick Sends Doane Past Jewell, 15-12" by Jason Dannelly, August 30, 2008
  3. ^ Victory Sports Network "Avila Downs Doane 9-6 in 2009 FDC Game #1" by Jason Dannelly, August 29, 2009
  4. ^ Victory Sports Network "Ottawa University Senior Quarterback Ethan Haller Throws Four Touchdown Passes to Lead the Braves to a 31-21 Victory over McKendree University" by Jason Dannelly, August 29, 2009
  5. ^ Victory Sports Network[permanent dead link] First Down Classic
  6. ^ Victory Sports Network First Down Classic
  7. ^ DakStats 3000 Baker University at Ottawa University
  8. ^ a b c "Ottawa (Kan.) at Baker (Kan.)". DakTronics 3000. Daktronics, Inc. August 27, 2011. Retrieved August 28, 2011. 
  9. ^ Gillispie, Jimmy (August 11, 2011). "Baker football rolls past Braves in season opener". Baldwin City Signal. Retrieved August 28, 2011.