Charlotte, NC — The 2015 CIAA Football Championship game has been set, following an astounding weekend of play.
The Northern and Southern Division winners are determined by the highest percentage of conference games won based on the seven-game required schedule.
The Southern Divisional title hinged on the final week of the regular season for the third consecutive year. Winston-Salem Sate secured a 24-22 victory over Fayetteville State with an interception by Kyrell Williamson with 28 seconds left in the game. WSSU will head into the championship game with a 0.714 (5-2) conference win percentage. The Rams also leads the Southern division with a 0.800 (4-1) divisional win percentage.
Winston-Salem State will face Bowie State University for the conference title.
The CIAA has applied a nullification penalty to Bowie State University’s winning percentage for the participation of an ineligible student-athlete, along with other repercussions. The violation occurred in five overall games including two conference games. The NCAA penalty rate of 0.023 will be applied to the relevant games and deducted from the winning percentages.
Bowie State defeated Elizabeth City State 63-42 in a torrential rain storm. BSU, now 7-0 in the conference, will have a 0.954 winning percentage headed into the championship game. The Bulldogs divisional percentage will be unaffected, for the violation happen prior to divisional play.
In other CIAA games, Virginia Union University defeated Virginia State University 28-27 in Petersburg, Va. The Panthers close out the regular season with a 6-1 conference record and 0.857 winning percentage. VUU will await the NCAA DII Football Selection Show for any post-season hopes.
The championship game will be played at the Durham County Memorial Stadium in Durham, North Carolina. Tickets are on sale now at http://www.theciaa.com/championships/football/2015/tickets and at the participating institutions. Advanced online general admission tickets are $25, with reserved seats at $30. Both tickets will increase by $5 on the day of the game. Parking is $5 and must be paid for by cash.
Winston-Salem State will make its 19th appearance in the championship game since 1970. The Rams fell 17-21 last season to Virginia State University. WSSU have won a total of ten conference titles.
Bowie State will make it fifth appearance and will look to claim its first official title.
The CIAA originally began the divisional championship game format in 1970. At that time, the Northern and Southern Division Champions squared off and played a championship game, and the format continued until 1990. The Conference realigned into Eastern and Western Divisions in 1997, and since 1993, the CIAA has determined its champion by overall conference winning percentage. The interdivisional conference championship game, a format pioneered be the conference, has become somewhat of a staple in Division I Football.
On Nov. 11, 2000, in Durham, N.C., the football championship game was reborn after an eight-year hiatus. In that game, Winston-Salem State defeated Virginia Union 31-28.