"It's been a special ride the whole season," junior Jerrin Walton said. "We've been through so much, different injuries, and we've found a way to always come back."
The eighth-ranked Ravens come back to the postseason in a big way on Saturday hosting their first NAIA Playoff Game at Larry Wilcox Stadium since 2001.
"Over 30 seniors and the continuity of the program are the things that have have allowed us to have the success we've had even though we weren't projected to be where we're at," head coach Larry Wilcox said.
After being picked to finish fifth in the Heart of America Athletic Conference, Benedictine has gone 10-1 and earned a share of the HAAC crown for their sixth conference title in program history. A feat Wilcox says is made possible by one of the most tightly knit groups he's had in recent years. That starts with a leadership group of over 30 seniors including third-year starting quarterback Bill Noonan.
"I think he trust me a little bit more than a couple years ago," Noonan said of Wilcox. "I think he understand why I do things and what I see on the football field."
"He's a good student of the game," Wilcox said. "He's lucky to have one of the best compliments of receivers I feel like we've had in this conference in a long time."
A receiving corps highlighted by Walton -- a Missouri Western transfer. He's just one in a list of weapons that's helped the Ravens lead the HAAC in scoring and yards per contest.
Having the program's all-time points and touchdown leader in running back Cameron Fore helps as well. He's now in his third year in the backfield with Noonan building a chemistry that's second to none.
"We're best friends," Fore said of he and Noonan. "We got here together and he's been the starting quarterback ever since, and I've been back there with him. That close-knit bond really helps us. He knows that I have his back when he's throwing the ball."
Now they have a chance to help deliver the program's first playoff win in 12 years, and make their last memory as Ravens their biggest mark yet.
"The team knows that we have an opportunity here to do something that not many people have done at Benedictine by winning a playoff game at home," Noonan said. "It's a big step in our football careers... the biggest game of our lives coming up this weekend."