As the Lindenwood University-Belleville Lynx will open their 2015 campaign at home with a conference game against Sienna Heights University as the school has released its schedule for the fall season.
LU-Belleville will have just four homes games this year in the 10-game schedule. Last season, the program has six home games. One highlight of the home schedule will be a game on Halloween against Robert Morris.
The Lynx are preparing to enter their fourth season of play, they will also be preparing for their inaugural season in the Mid-States Football Association (MSFA). Interim head coach Byron Gettis, a Cahokia native, will lead the Lynx.
LU-Belleville was previously an independent program. The Lynx will join the Mid-States Football Association Mideast League, which will now house seven teams as the Midwest League will stay with six teams.
The 1 p.m. campaign home opener on Sept. 5 will be played on the distinctive red turf at Lindenwood Stadium against Sienna Heights will be the first meeting between the two programs. Sienna Heights went 6-4 last season.
The Lynx will travel in back-to-back weeks to face Olivet Nazarene University and Saint Ambrose University. The Sept. 12 game against Olivet Nazerene will be played 6 p.m. in Kanakee. The Lynx are 1-1 against Olivet Nazerene, who finished 2-9 last year. Last year, LU-Belleville won 29-7 in the game.
LU-Belleville and St. Ambrose will kick off at 1 p.m. Sept. 19 in Davenport, Iowa, in Week 3. The Fighting Bees won 48-30 last year in the first meeting between the two schools. St. Ambrose finished last year with a 5-5 record.
The Lynx will then host St. Francis University (Ind.) before their bye week. Kickoff is at 1 p.m. on Sept. 26 The two teams did not meet last season. St. Francis holds a 1-0 series record. St. Francis went 6-5 last year.
Following the off week on Oct. 3, the Lynx will travel to second-year program Missouri Baptist in Chesterfield, Mo., before coming home to face Marian University. The Oct. 10 game has a 4 p.m. kickoff. Last year, LU-Belleville defeated the Spartans of Missouri Baptist 44-6. The Spartans were 1-10 last season.
LU-Belleville will have a 1 p.m. kickoff against visiting Marian on Oct. 17. The two teams have not met before. Last season, Marian went 4-7.
The Lynx will travel to St. Francis (Ill.) University on Oct. 24 before hosting Robert Morris University in the final home game of the season on Oct. 31. The regular season will come to a close with back-to-back conference road games at Taylor University and Concordia University (Mich.).
The game in Joliet against St. Francis has a 1 p.m. kickoff. St. Francis is 2-0 against LU-Belleville. Last year, the Lynx lost 40-7.
The Lynx will have a 1 p.m. kickoff in the home finale against Robert Morris. Last year, LU-Belleville lost 30-7 and has lost both times the two teams have played each other.
The Nov. 7 game in Upland, Ind., against Taylor University has a noon kickoff. It will be the first meeting of the two programs. Taylor was 5-6 last year.
LU-Belleville closes out the season on Nov. 14 in Ann Arbor, Mich., against Concordia University. It will be the first meet of the two schools. Concordia was 3-8 last year.
The Mid-States Football Association is divided into two leagues — the Mideast League and the Midwest League. The Mideast League consists of Concordia (Mich.), Lindenwood-Belleville, Marian, Missouri Baptist, Saint Francis (Ind.), Siena Heights, and Taylor.
The Midwest League is comprised of Olivet Nazarene, Robert Morris (Ill.), Saint Ambrose, Saint Francis (Ill.), Saint Xavier, and Trinity International.
The winner of each division will receive an automatic bid to the NAIA National Tournament, as the MSFA is a two-bid conference.
Three of the last four NAIA National Champions have all come from the MSFA — Grandview (2013), Marian (2012), Saint Xavier (2011).
The Lynx played a schedule in 2014 that saw them match-up against five MSFA teams — Missouri Baptist, St Francis (Ill.), Olivet Nazarene, St. Ambrose, and Robert Morris.
They went 2-3 in those games, beating Missouri Baptist and Olivet Nazarene — both at home — and falling to St. Francis, St. Ambrose, and Robert Morris.