Ernest Meyers, Assistant Athletic Director for Media Relations
GAFFNEY, S.C. – The Limestone College Athletics Department has released the 2020 football schedule, an always challenging slate that will feature two non-conference games and the gauntlet of eight South Atlantic Conference contests. This will be the first season of competition as Limestone University football.
The Saints went a very competitive 3-8 under first-year head coach Brian Turk during the 2019 campaign, snapping a 15-game losing skid that dated back to the 2017 season a few games into the season. The Blue and Gold went toe-to-toe with a pair of regional powers in West Alabama and West Georgia to open the year while giving conference juggernaut and seventh-ranked Lenoir-Rhyne one of its biggest scares.
Limestone posted its first ever homecoming win with a 52-24 thrashing over Catawba a season ago and won its first meeting with SAC newcomer UVA Wise. The Saints came very close to adding to their overall win total down the stretch with their last four losses of the year, including a pair of narrow setbacks to playoff teams in Lenoir-Rhyne and Carson-Newman, being decided by a touchdown on each occasion.
For the second time in three years, the Blue and Gold will open its season with the shortest road trip of the year as it travels just across the North Carolina border to take on Division I FCS opponent Gardner-Webb on Thursday, September 3. It will be Limestone’s first Thursday night game in program history.
With the NCAA mandating a 10-game schedule for Division II teams in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Saints get an early bye week on September 12 before beginning the SAC schedule with a road trip at Tusculum on September 19. Limestone then opens its home schedule the following week.
The Blue and Gold will square off against a familiar institution for Homecoming on Saturday, September 26 as it welcomes former Conference Carolinas rival Barton to The Reservation. The Bulldogs, who are scheduling partners with the South Atlantic Conference in 2020, are entering their first year of competition following a 70-year hiatus on the gridiron. Kickoff on Homecoming Saturday is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Limestone will play conference games the rest of the way, starting with a road trip to take on Catawba on October 3. The Indians, who finished last in the conference standings a year ago, are looking for redemption after the Saints shattered multiple program records in last season’s 52-24 Homecoming win.
The Saints then host back-to-back home games for the only time in the 2020 season as Wingate (October 10) and Mars Hill (October 17) make the trip to Gaffney. Limestone is still looking for its first win against the Bulldogs and its first home win in what has traditionally been a yearly shootout with the Lions.
A trip to Hickory, N.C. to take on two-time defending SAC Champions Lenoir-Rhyne – the Saints only win against the Bears came at Moretz Stadium in 2016 – will follow before the Blue and Gold brings October to a close with a Halloween showdown against UVA Wise. The Saints beat the Cavaliers 27-6 a year ago.
Limestone is also looking for its first win against Carson-Newman when the two hook up in Jefferson City on November 7. Last season, the Saints rallied from an early 24-point deficit to take a 35-34 lead and had the ball with 3:14 left to play. However, a turnover would allow the Eagles to steal the last-minute win.
The Blue and Gold then hosts rival Newberry to close the year for a second straight season. Limestone, who was limited to a season-low seven points against the Wolves in 2019, is looking for its first home win against its South Carolina nemesis in a series history that dates to Limestone’s inaugural season in 2014.
The Saints get the the 2020 campaign started when they travel 20 minutes up the road to take on DI FCS foe Gardner-Webb University on Thursday, September 3. Game time is to be announced at a later time.