CINCINNATI, Ohio - The 2020 Mount St. Joseph University football schedule features five home contests, highlighted by Homecoming festivities on Oct. 24 and a trio of high-profile non-conference opponents.
For the first time in three years the Lions will open their football season on the road. On Sep. 5 they will head to Albion, Mich. to take on the Brittons of Albion College. Last season the Brittons posted an 8-2 overal record with a 7-0 record inside the MIAA to secure the conference's championship and a birth in the NCAA DIII playoffs.
The following two weeks the Lions will welcome Alfred University and North Carolina Wesleyan to The Mount and Schueler Field. Alfred of the Empire 8 Conference comes off a 5-5 season and NC Wesleyan finished 2019 6-4.
The Lions will open Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) play in week four by welcoming the Beavers of Bluffton to Cincinnati. Four of the following five games will take place on the road with the Lions heading to Franklin, Manchester, Anderson and Hanover. Those matchups sandwich around Homecoming weekend on Oct. 24 where the Lions will square off with Defiance College.
The final game of the season will see the Lions welcome the Rose-Hulman Fightin' Engineers to Cincinnati to finish the 2020 season. The HCAC has adjusted the leagues schedule so that the leagues four marquee football programs will square off in the season's final week. With the Mount and Rose-Hulman joining Hanover vs. Franklin as the leagues marquee matchups, that group of teams has accounted for at least a share of the league title during every year of play.
The Lions will go into 2020 with a ton of talent returning on both sides of the ball. On offense the Lions will be headlined by first-team All-HCAC performers in running back/wide receiver Cornell Beachem Jr. (Cincinnati, Ohio/Winton Woods) and tight end Paul Minor (Indianapolis, Ind./Warren Central). All told The Mount will return eight starters on the offensive side of the ball, the biggest question mark will be at quarterback. For the first time in four years the Lions will be without the programs all-time leader in every passing category with the graduation of Chaiten Tomlin.
On defense the Lions will have more to replace as the graduation of Spencer Kandra, Sean Sullivan and Peyton Williams will provide holes at all three levels of the defense. They will though bring back a ton of experience, as linebacker Julius Fisher (St. Mary's, Ohio/St. Mary's Memorial), safety Payton Luegers (Goshen, Ohio/Goshen) and cornerback/return ace Troy Speakman (Grove City, Ohio/Central Crossing) all return as former All-HCAC performers.
"We are extremely excited for our 2020 schedule, we have three opponents that we have never played before during our non-conference slate. Those three teams make up what has to be the most difficult non-conference schedule in the history of our program" said Coach Hopperton. He went on to add "And to have the HCAC schedule change to give us a game against another HCAC power week 11 will be great for our team going forward."